The name of the festival itself let you know what you were going to be in for. Could this festival live up to the title that preceded it? By naming this Austin Festival “Pachanga Fest”, the organizers were setting the expectations very high because a Pachanga means an all-around banging party that has good people, good music, good food and fun happenings.
May 21, 2012 at Austin’s Fiesta Gardens, the Pachanga Fest met and exceeded those expectations. This party had everything going for it, especially the music. Some of the earlier bands were missed because the freeway, yes the freeway, which led to the venue was closed. “ Exit the freeway” read the sign and “find another way” read another, not really but it would have made sense. All of this occurred just a couple of miles from arriving, but it would have been worth even walking to this event.
Congratulations to the founders/organizers of Pachanga Fest: Rich Garza and Alex Vallejo, for putting together such an amazing event. The four-stage, twenty-two band event seemed to flow flawlessly from stage to stage and from genre to genre, all of the music evoking the Latin and Chicano emotions that come from partaking in a Pachanga. The artists themselves appeared especially enthused, performing at the top of their game and expressing their love for all things Latino and Chicano, like the great people who were in attendance.
The variety of music included but was not limited to Mariachi, hip-hop, dance/techno, Chicano rock and Mexican folk songs. Every band and song struck a chord with every person listening, regardless of the extreme Texas heat that left its mark on performers and fans alike. Namely, red cheeks and sweat. For example Nina Diaz, lead singer and guitarist from the San Antonio rooted, all Chicana band Girl In A Coma, performed during the peak of the heat on the Patio Stage which was one of the stages with the least protection from the sun. This “challenge” by mother nature did not seem to faze Nina as she played some of her older tunes, a few from GIAC’s soon to be released album and then closed with a rock-and-roll cover of “Si Una Vez” from the Chicano icon Selena. Nina performed solo, as she said her band mates were busy “eating tacos”.
One of the larger and more livelier crowds appeared at the Hierba Stage a little bit after Nina did her thing, to dance and sing-along with hip hop star Chingo Bling. His stage presence was big, his music even bigger, louder and with more bass than the other groups combined, which makes sense especially since Chingo is the founder of Big Chile Records, known for their quality sound. This San Antonio educated artist was definitely one of the keys to the success of the event, in fact Chingo Bling was feeling the event so much he had to be told that he was out of time and he still played a few more.
For more photos of Pachanga Fest visit CCM’s Facebook page : http://on.fb.me/lqBXDX