Music enthusiasts indulge in tacos and tunes at Tropicália festival

Large+crowds+gathered+during+the+Low+End+Theory+DJ+set+at+Tropic%C3%A1lia+Music+and+Taco+Festival+on+Nov.+11.

Stacy Marquez

Large crowds gathered during the Low End Theory DJ set at Tropicália Music and Taco Festival on Nov. 11.

by Stacy Marquez, Staff Writer

Music festival season was thought to be over, but Long Beach thought differently. On Nov. 11, the waterfront city held Tropicália Music and Taco Festival at Queen Mary Park in Long Beach.

In its debut year, the festival featured a diverse lineup of performers and an assortment of taco and merchandise vendors.

Computer engineering sophomore Alexis Mora is not new to the music festival scene, but she said she particularly enjoyed the unique lineup of artists and crowd Tropicália attracted.

“This is one of the first music festivals that brings together the Latinx and Chicanx community. I was surrounded by my own people, which is amazing,” Mora said.

Biology senior Andrew Macias felt the same about the crowd at his first music festival.

“I really enjoy seeing other people that look like me, a majority of brown people,” he said.

Some of the performers that graced the main stage were Mexican-American singer Cuco, Puerto Rican-born reggaeton singer Ivy Queen, Colombian-born singer Kali Uchis and Norteño group Los Tigres del Norte.

Artists were not shy about expressing their personal thoughts and political opinions. At the end of Cuco’s set, female DJ collective Chulita Vinyl Club lifted a banner that said “Protect Central Americans. Defend TPS. Defend DACA.”

During Mexican latin rock band Cafe Tacuba’s set, lead singer Rubén Albarrán acknowledged pre-hispanic language and song and its influence on music. Psychedelic soul band Chicano Batman also called attention to the people in the audience.

“Make some noise if you’re brown,” the musicians said.

Macias said his favorite part of the event was seeing artists he knew and discovering new music.

“I saw the lineup and was really excited because there are artists I listen to and seeing them all at one time was cool,” he said. “I saw Smino at the Mota stage before one of the artists we wanted to check out and I’m definitely going to start listening to (Smino’s) music.”

Biology senior Jazmin Avalos attended the event and said it felt nostalgic.

“(Brenton Wood) was throwing me back when I used to have car rides with my dad with his oldies music and it was heartwarming,” Avalos said. “I’ve been having so much fun, eating nonstop and listening to great music and dancing.”

Tacos were free for guests from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., allowing multiple opportunities to eat between sets or while exploring the various stages.

Avalos felt the lines were rather long and disorganized, but said the wait was worth it.

Since this was the pilot year for the festival, there were certain issues bound to happen, but guests saw it as room for improvement.

Avalos thought the event had a substantial number of attendees, but not enough room to accommodate.

“You could tell it was a first-year event, VIP looks empty. (The crowd) is super huge, it just needs to be expanded,” she said.

Mora also found the parking lot difficult to find.

“Parking was hard, but there was a shuttle coming to drop us off at the venue which was very helpful,” Mora said.

Long Beach has been getting attention for their number of music festivals and events in the recent year like Rock the Queen, Summertime in the LBC and Music Tastes Good Festival.

Where does this leave San Diego?

San Diego is known for events like Kaaboo, CRSSD and various LED shows, but these mostly cater to electronic and alternative crowds.

Given that San Diego is so close to the border with a large and present Latinx community, how successful would a Latin-inspired music festival be here?

“Music is such a great way of connecting people and I would love to see (this music festival) in San Diego,” Macias said.

Perhaps in the coming years, San Diego can be home to a new festival that shows the diversity of music and people like Tropicália has.

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