Why Mexico City is One of the Best Festival Destinations EverArticle by: Caitlin Ahern
Wed November 22, 2017 | 13:30 PM
México is an ideal place to take in a festival, and if you’re an indie rock music lover, Corona Capital in México City may be just the festival to put on your bucket list. While the lineup typically consists of all U.S. and European musicians, Corona Capital brings the Méxican flavor with their food, drinks, production creativity and hospitality. Travel advocate Caitlin Ahern attended the Corona Capital Festival this past weekend. Here is her take on why México City works so incredibly as a festival setting.
México Has the Best Fans
Bands such as The Kings of Convenience have said before that they love playing in México because of how energetic the crowds are. Méxican fans are passionate (it’s likely one reason the NFL is playing games here this season). What better place to attend a music festival than a place where people are actually enthusiastic about the musicians? The enthusiasm is shared with musicians and sponsors alike – explaining why brands like Vans are so committed to engaging with their audience here. The Vans sponsor tents were some of the best at the Corona Capital festival – one area included a large carnival spinning ride.
Méxican Celebrations Are Super Inclusive
There’s no doubt that Méxicans are proud, wanting to share their culture and customs with others, especially during times of celebration. Musicians appealed to this comradery, like when The Shins’ James Mercer called out “Fuerza México!” to the crowd, a slogan meaning “Strong México” that has become a common uplifter after the recent earthquakes.
You Can Indulge in Méxican Food and Drink
Aside from finally fulfilling my dream of seeing The Shins perform live, my favorite part of the festival was absolutely the food and drink. Trade in the Millers and Buds for Corona micheladas (sold at the bars or by the vendors conveniently walking around the festival). Looking for something with a little more oomph? In México you can opt for mezcal instead of the usual whiskey or vodka. Oh, and you’re hungry? Choose from three different food sections offering México’s best food choices. My go-to: seafood tacos to complement my mezcal.
You Can Browse Méxican Art
With Corona Capital’s Kichink mercado section, small Méxican brands are able to showcase their goods to a large audience. In this year’s mercado, you could browse items ranging from purses with traditional embroidered Méxican fabrics to men’s handmade skincare and haircare products to funky cat houses.
México is a Design Hub
It’s no secret that México (in particular, México City) is one of the world’s design hubs. You can expect festivals here to follow suit with large and creative sculpture installations. Corona Capital puts the most design emphasis on their main entrance and the stage lighting, as well as the curating of all the sponsor tents, food and drink areas. Instead of the bar area having a large plastic Corona sign, designers put time into creating a well thought-out display – with raw wood, Corona beers set just-so, and plants intertwining the bottles.
You'll Be Taken Care Of
México is a country where hospitality is important. Corona partnered with local municipality to offer vast public transportation options. They provided nine different bus routes with over 1,000 operating buses to transport festival-goers to the various metro stations. The info sections had bilingual university students manning the booths, eager to answer your questions. Bathrooms were clean and plentiful. There was a separate entrance for people with physical limitations, as well as various zones throughout the festival with easier access. Multiple security stands around the festival ensured everyone’s safety. Complimentary lockers allowed people to store their extra layers for the chilly evening without toting them around in the day’s hot sun. Julia Neeson of Houston, Texas, said, “It was the most beautiful, clean and engaging festival I’ve ever been to.”
It's a Cross-Cultural Experience
Just as México City’s 23 million inhabitants aren’t all Méxican, neither were Corona Capital’s 100,000+ festival attendees. Like the city itself, the festival provides a diverse cross-cultural experience. While approximately 50% of people who attend the festival are from México City, the other 50% come from other parts of México and even other countries, like Spain and Ireland, Australia and the U.S. And, just as the people are diverse, there is a diversity on the production level as well. Producers pull ideas from other festivals such as the large balloon string lights first seen as Coachella, creating an inspiring setting with ideas and people from around the world.