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Pachanga Fest to feature La Santa Cecilia, Gaby Moreno, Chicha Libre

Deborah Sengupta

Editor’s note: This article was originally published February 13, 2014

The seventh edition of Pachanga Fest, the Latin music festival scheduled to take place Saturday, May 10 at Fiesta Gardens, will feature a broad range of talent from enormously successful L.A.-based rockers La Santa Cecilia to colorful Venezuelan alt-rockers La Vida Bohème.

Pachanga founder Rich Garza describes the festival as an annual “state of the union for Latin music.”

“It’s mainstream meets alternative with cumbia as kind of the bridge between the two,” Garza explained on Thursday morning. Artists like popular up-and comer Gaby Moreno and Latin rock superstar Julieta Venegas have broad mainstream appeal, while artists like Mexican rock-fusion band El Gran Silencio and Mexican female rapper Niña Dioz take the festival in a more experimental direction. Cumbia, the highly danceable rhythm that Garza describes as “the backbone of Latin American music” will be represented by Sonido San Francisco and Brooklyn-based powerhouse Chicha Libre.

This year Pachanga is trying to step up the food offerings both in the main festival area and in the VIP section. They’re also building on some of the art installations that proved to be popular for photos last year and adding more of those to the festival.

The festival which expanded to two days in 2012, will scale back to a single-day event this year. Garza says the motivation to cut back was “to concentrate on putting together a more focused show as we explore plans to expand outside of Austin.”

Tickets this year are also starting at a lower price point. General admission tickets will be $33, but a limited number of “Pachanga Ganga” $26 tickets will go on sale February 21 at 10 a.m. A separate pass for access to festival VIP area will go on sale in March. More information.