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Pershing Square Comes Alive At The 1st Annual Los Angeles Cumbia Festival



Colombian Artist Yeison Landero
Colombian Artist Yeison Landero

Vesper PR – Los Angeles CA, July 2023 – What can only be considered the climax of Cumbia Fever’s 7 year anniversary celebrations, on Sunday, July 2, 2023 over 4,000 music lovers packed Pershing Square for the birth of the Los Angeles Cumbia Festival. The success of this first annual event is sure to secure the partnership between Pershing Square and the Cumbia Fever DJs who curated the music for the free public celebration of the global pulse of cumbia. 

The packed Pershing Square was a declaration of relevancy of cumbia in our city, making the statement that cumbia deserves space in our parks, public spaces and premiere performance venues. People of all ages, ethnicities, and cultures, representing a phenomenal swath of the LA community, danced the night away to cumbia legend Vilma Diaz, the pioneers of Mexican cumbia/sonidero Grupo Soñador, and the future of Colombian cumbia, young vocalist Yeison Landero, who had the crowd cheering “Landero vive,” dispelling the myth that cumbia is the music of our grandparents and long gone artists.

Cumbia Legend Vilma Diaz
Cumbia Legend Vilma Diaz

Usually relegated to the margins of music venues in Los Angeles, due to corporate venue ticketing policies, cumbia music has thrived on an underground level with evangelists like the Cumbia Fever DJs consistently presenting a premium face to the genre with their weekly Thursday night cumbia parties. Their phenomenal past seven years of success has been the definitive proof that an audience for cumbia exists. The Los Angeles Cumbia Festival was an earth shattering proof of concept; that when positioned in first class performance spaces, these bands command large crowds with spending power. 

There were people as young as twenty one as well as people in their sixties and seventies dancing throughout the day and well into late evening. Couples, singles, and groups of friends, many speaking Spanish, but also many bilingual and non-Spanish speaking people were found at the event. The audience was a wonderfully diverse multicultural L.A. crowd. Latinos, Anglos, African Americans, AAPI, bi-racial and members of the LGBTQIA+1 community all got together under the cumbia flag to dance harmoniously, with not one incident to report other than people having a great time! 

Mexican Cumbia Grupo Soñador
Mexican Cumbia Grupo Soñador

“This was a massive inclusion moment that no one saw coming, not even us.” Says Ricky Garay of Cumbia Fever and producer of the Los Angeles Cumbia Festival. 

Garay continues. “Our real work at Cumbia Fever is in creating safe spaces for our community, places where anyone feels welcome, and you can bring your parents/elders if you would like. That family friendly setting was important for me because my earliest memories of cumbia are of songs playing in the background of family gatherings. Sunday gave us the opportunity to not only honor cumbia, but to also honor our entire city in a way that never really had been done before, it was special and it was humbling.”

After doing Cumbia Fever for seven years Garay knew that LA needed its own Cumbia festival, but not even he could have imagined the turnout in its first year. 

“Personally I have been to hundreds of very large live music shows, but I have never ever seen the entire crowd dancing nonstop in every available space at Pershing Square. I keep reliving the day and rewatching the videos. I am just so deeply grateful to everyone who came out and especially to the LA City Department of Parks and Rec which was so supportive of our concept.”- Ricky Garay producer of Cumbia Fever and Los Angeles Cumbia Festival 

Los Angeles Cumbia Festival 2023
Cumbia Fever – Los Angeles Cumbia Festival 2023
About Cumbia Fever

Cumbia Fever is a Mucho Studios production created by Mucho founder Ricky Garay. Conceptually, Cumbia Fever is a weekly, Global Cumbia dance party, featuring the resident Cumbia Fever DJs/Producers: Rayes, Ricky Guapo, Palomo, Pump Police and Soulcab. These legendary DJs take guests on a global and time travelling tour of the Cumbia genre, under the guise of a dance party at a nightclub.  Cumbia Fever started as a live music event at the King King in Hollywood in 2015, but when the King King closed, they transitioned to downtown L.A. hot spot, La Cita Bar and have been there for seven years, every Thursday.

Over the past seven years they have travelled the country DJing in different cities, produced larger weekend events and most notably produced a Remix EP for multi Grammy award winning L.A. based group, La Santa Cecilia. Aside from producing the first annual Los Angeles Cumbia Festival on July 2nd, 2023 this summer, Cumbia Fever is set to release their first three original songs , produced for use in the upcoming PBS short film “El Paisa”. To be released under their newly minted record label, MUCHO RECORDS.  

About Pershing Square

Pershing Square is operated by the Department of Recreation and Parks and is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles at 532 S Olive Street.

Content Source: Vesper PR

Founder, Editor and Webmaster for Latin Jazz Network and World Music Report. Danilo is a passionate and committed communicator with a sensibility for the arts whose hometown is Toronto, Canada.

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