Sunday, July 21, 2024

Rosalía show expected to draw over 200,000 spectators to Zócalo

Mexico City officials expect at least 200,000 people to attend a free concert by Spanish musical sensation Rosalía in the Zócalo, the city’s historic main square, on Friday. 

The 12-time Latin Grammy winner, known for hits like “DESPECHÁ,” “Besos Moja2” and “BESO,” will appear on Friday April 28, the kickoff to a long May Day weekend. Admission to her concert will be free, thanks to the government of Mexico City, which will pay her appearance fee. The total cost to the city is unknown, although the booking agency Celebrity Talent International lists her US appearance fees as ranging between US $300,000 and $499,999.


Mexico City Culture Minister Claudia Curiel de Icaza told the newspaper Infobae that the city expects over 200,000 attendees. Past musical acts have drawn upward of that number to the Zócalo: Justin Bieber and Shakira both attracted 210,000, while Mexican singer Vicente Fernández drew 217,000. 

In September, the regional Mexican band Grupo Firme broke attendance records for concerts in the Zócalo, attracting 280,000 spectators, according to the Culture Ministry.

Rosalía, who is Catalán, has become an enormous success in Latin music since her 2017 debut thanks to her eclectic mix of traditional Spanish music, reggaeton and rap. She was ranked in Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 200 singers of all time earlier this year. 

Regardless of the cost of hosting the concert, it is believed that the event will bring significant benefits to businesses in downtown Mexico City. Mexico’s Chamber of Commerce for Services and Tourism president José de Jesús Rodríguez Cárdenas has said that the group expects that as much as $1 billion pesos (upwards of US $55 million) may be spent as a result of Rosalía’s appearance. 

Roger Waters concert in the Zócalo
The Zócalo has seen various free concerts over the years. Major concerts, such as the one given by Roger Waters in 2016, pictured above, have drawn over 200,000 spectators. (Wotancito/Wikimedia Commons)

Consumer spending is expected to be similar to that of major events such as Day of the Dead and the Mexican Formula 1 Grand Prix, Rodríguez added. The money will be spent across the hospitality industry, in hotels, shops and restaurants.

To handle the enormous crowds expected in the Zócalo, roads around the square will close early on Friday. Giant screens will be erected around the city’s historic center to help those unable to reach the main square enjoy the concert.

The business magazine Expansión reported that accommodations surrounding the square have been selling for as much as $3,500 pesos (US $194) per night. Hotels are fully booked, and some guests have told the outlet that their reservations were canceled without warning.

Expansion also predicted that the total number of concertgoers will exceed the 280,000 who packed in to see Mexican band Grupo Firme in September 2022.

Rosalía is not the only major draw in town this long weekend. An MLB baseball game between the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants will take place at the Alfredo Harp Helú stadium in the borough of Iztacalco. It is hoped that the big game will generate 1.8 billion pesos, in addition to the billion pesos generated by the free concert.

Rosalía’s concert begins at 8 p.m.

With reporting by Expansion and Infobae

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