Friday, December 1, 2023

Come for the music, stay for the beach is theme of rock and blues fest

You can begin 2020 with a blast at the third annual Tequila Blues and Rock Explosion in Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, in January.

Now expanded to two weekends, the music festival will rock Ixtapa on January 10-12 and Zihuatanejo on the 17th to the 19th.

In a shift from previous festivals, this year’s lineup includes a broader offering of musical styles, with rock, jazz, country and reggae mixed in with the traditional blues and blues rock.

Festival creator Bob Rempel is hoping the event’s marketing theme — “Come for the music, stay for the beaches” — will attract more people than ever before.

“We’ve tried to tell everyone connected and interested in growth for Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo . . . that these kinds of events are tourism magnets that many tourism-focused communities in Mexico are hoping to develop or acquire to give them an edge to attract visitors,” said Rempel.

The two-weekend lineup features a total of 20 performers from Canada, Mexico and the United States, including two hometown acts from Zihuatanejo: teenage guitar prodigy Vicente Contreras and reggae group Zihuatlan Vibration.

Among the stand-out tributes on the lineup are the ZZ Top Experience Show presented by Canadians Geoff and Chris Dahl. They will also present their Blues Brothers Experience, which they have performed all over the world.

Music legends Johnny Cash and Stevie Ray Vaughn will be revived in the tribute by Canadian Charlie Jacobson, and classic tunes by Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin and AC-DC will be presented by the award-winning band Tangerine from Mexico City.

But the festival will also feature lots of original music as well. Melodi Ryan of Toronto, Ontario, will play songs from her first album of folk-rock originals, and vocalist and saxophonist Evelyn Rubio of Houston, Texas, will play her original blues and jazz.

Other notable Mexican acts include the blues four-piece band Fonzeca CPP Group from Monterrey and blues harmonica master Isidoro Negrete Reynoso of Mexico City with his band Máquina de Blues.

Proceeds from the festival go to local charities that support children and the rescue of street animals. Rempel has raised over 120,000 pesos for charity since 2018 by organizing this and other music events.

He said his events can generate so much money for charity because they attract “the kind of visitors with higher levels of spending that will really benefit a community in the highly competitive and somewhat stagnant tourism environment that currently exists in Mexico.”

Tickets can be bought on the festival website.

Mexico News Daily

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