While the crowds descend on downtown Austin during South by Southwest, there are two festivals (Mexican American Experience and Pan Americana Festival) where you can enjoy Tejano and Latin rhythms for free while taking in the city’s awe-inspiring lakeside views and festive atmosphere.
Head to the courtyard of the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center on March 18-21, where music kicks off at 6 p.m. with the Mexican American Experience festival. Sunny Ozuna and the Sunliners, which was the first Tejano music group to appear on “American Bandstand,” headlines on Wednesday night. Other featured artists that evening include Mariachi Amor, Cañonazo, Street People and Latin Express.
On Thursday, San Antonio native and Tejano music star Chente Barrera wraps up the fest after performances by Tejano Idol contest winner Erica Rangel, Beyond Therapy, Llueve and Baraja de Oro.
The hip-shaking music continues after the Mexican American Experience festival ends and the Pan Americana Festival begins on March 20. Master accordionist and party instigator Celso Piña returns this year to headline Friday night. Nicknamed “El Rebelde del Acordeón” (Accordion Rebel), Piña created a hybrid cumbia sound that incorporated reggae, hip-hop, ska and rock. Also bringing innovative genre-blending sounds will be San Antonio’s Piñata Protest, who play accordion-style punk music.
Monterrey electronic rockers Kinky return to the festival as well, this time headlining Saturday night. Los Masters Plus and Austin’s Cilantro Boombox will also energize the stage.
Here’s the full line-up:
Mexican American Experience
6 p.m. Mariachi Amor
7 p.m. Cañonazo
8 p.m. Street People
9 p.m. Latin Express (Ft. Worth)
10 p.m. Sunny Ozuna and The Sunliners (San Antonio)
6 p.m. Tejano Idol- Erica Rangel
7 p.m. Beyond Therapy
8 p.m. Llueve (Edinburg, TX)
9 p.m. Baraja de Oro
10 p.m. Chente Barerra (San Antonio)
Pan Americana Festival
Master Blaster Sound System
Os Alquimistas w/Tita Lima
Los Master Plus
The Copper Gamins