The three-day event is the first Latin festival to sell out during the pandemic.
A Latin and Reggaeton festival in South Baja is giving hope to festival promoters following a strong sell out.
Earlier today, organizers of the Baja Beach Fest announced that they had sold all available tickets for the festival — slated to run Aug. 13-15, 2021 — in its first year as an expanded three-day event. In total, 35,000 three-day passes starting at $329 were sold in about four weeks thanks to a strong lineup headlined by Ozuna, Anuel AA and J Balvin. That makes it one of the first sellouts of a 2021 festival during the pandemic.
Launched in 2018 by Aaron Ampudia and Chris Den Uijl and held at Papas and Beer in Rosarito, Mexico — a small beach town located just an hour’s drive south of San Diego — Baja Beach Fest drew 15,000 attendees in its first year. Besides celebrating Latin music and culture, the festival was created to help boost tourism in the coastal areas of Baja California, which had once been a popular destination for vacationers, retirees and real estate investors. That changed in 2009 following a major economic recession and what Ampudia described in a 2018 interview with Billboard as a “sensationalized media frenzy” over violence between the warring Sinaloa and Tijuana cartels as well as thousands of soldiers and federal police deployed by former president Felipe Calderon.
Today, the beach still struggles with violence — a report by Citizen Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice found that Rosarito Beach still has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country — but Ampudia told Billboard in 2018 that the tourist area around the festival site was safe and has the support of local officials.
In 1983, Ampudia’s parents created Papas and Beer, a beachside club and cantina that embraced its wild reputation as the ultimate adult playground. The space flourished in the ’80s and ’90s but, by the mid 2010s, struggled to attract patrons who had tired of the night club scene. Ampudia, who went to school in San Diego, began busing friends across the border for shows.
Uij and Ampudia have also been hired by Mexican promoter Ocesa to book events, including Mexico City’s annual Flow Fest, one of the largest reggaeton and trap festivals in the world.