By: Fredwill Hernandez
Anticipation was set high as attendees started to arrive early for the inaugural L Festival (Feria Cultural Latinoamericana), a two-day family festival where music, food, and art came together, held in partnership between Universal Latin Music Entertainment and Chicago based concert promoters CMN (Cárdenas Marketing Network), sponsored by Bud Light, Pepsi, Verizon, Tidal, 22 MundoMax, Jose Cuervo, City National Bank, State Farm, Tadin, Aero Mexico, D’ussé, El Mercadito Tour, Orgullosa, Veronica’s Insurance, Toyota Fest, and Clamato, among others, which kicked off on Sat. – Oct 24, at the Orange County Fair & Event Center.
The carnival themed Latin festival was the first of its kind having musical acts perform simultaneously on four stages covering all taste of music from Regional Mexican, Tropical to Urban, and even EDM.
Ignacio Val, the opening act at the main Universal stage was eager to set things off with his infectious pop/rock. During his electrifying performance the singer who hails from Bolivia, dedicated a song to his deceased parents, (on a coincidental date of his mothers birthday) and to God, before debuting his new single “No Me Interrumpas La Fe,” (“Don’t Interrupt My Faith”) penned by Multiplatinum Latin Grammy-winning songwriter Ximena Muñoz, Andres Torres (who played with the artist during his performance), and Val, in a collaborative effort.
In between artist performances attendees had the opportunity to visit three of the zones placed strategically on the fair grounds. Among them was the Bud Light lounge with plush furniture, neon lights, and the Bud Light models greeting attendees as they made their way in; there was also a VIP cigar puffing lounge presented by D’ussé Cognac; and a Food Truck section that offered great cuisine from all over Latin America and beyond, including tacos, arepas, paletas, kogi barbeque, and more.
Festival sponsors kept attendees engaged, among them was Procter & Gamble’s Orgullosa who gave predominately ladies an opportunity to like their facebook page and Freshen Up with their products that included Secret, Cover Girl, Oil of Olay, and Scope.
Pepsi, who also had strong presence at the event gave some randomly selected attendees who up loaded their photos of the festival an opportunity to upgrade their festival tickets to VIP, it also surprised festival goers by arranging meet and greets (for photos) with the artists performing.
Part of what made the festival unique was the impressive Art Expo presented by sponsor 22 MundoMax, produced by (Highland Park’s) non-profit Avenue 50 Studios and curated by its director Kathy Gallegos. www.avenue50studio.org
The expo showcased art by David Bottello, Eric Almanza, Isabel Martinez, J. Michael Walker, Jose Ramirez, Louis Jacinto, Melly Trochez, Sergio Teran, Ramon Ramirez, Raoul de la Sota, Wenceslau Quiroz, and Pola Lopez, who was present and at the beginning of the festival started an 8’ x 8’ live mural painting.
The Hollywood Times caught up with Lopez to find out how she felt showcasing her work at the festival, to learn more about her paintings, and the live mural she was painting.
“I am a visual artist and I have a studio next to the Avenue 50 Gallery in Highland Park, and the gallery was invited this year to put on a massive exhibition of Chicano, Mexican [o] Latino art here at the pavilion during the L Festival,” eloquently expressed Lopez, as she walked me through some of her paintings beings exhibited. “I think is great to get exposure here in Orange County as far as the art, the turnout has been great, I have met some wonderful people, and I am very happy to be here painting my 8 foot by 8 foot mural live.”
Among other artists who were on the bill and performed was the young and charismatic Jesus Mendoza known artistically as “El Rayo de Oro,” Proyecto X, La Santa Cecilia, Los Angeles Azules, David Bisbal, Enrique Iglesias, and Julian Alvarez.
Before hitting the stage Alvarez did a photo and Q & A (Questions and Answers) session with the press and answered questions regarding a possible collaboration or production session with young Leonardo Aguilar (Pepe’s son), and explained how he felt being part of the L Festival.
“Yes, it’s true I received a phone call from Pepe Aguilar expressing how his son Leonardo really likes my style and music, and we discussed the possibility of a collaboration between us or me producing four songs for his son,” expressed Alvarez, before eloquently expressing he was honored to be among the acts performing at the inaugural L Festival. “After we perform I can come back and let you know how the crowd reacted to our performance being that we are headlining and closing off the first day of this magnificent festival.”