*** Donde esta mi gente?! That seems to be the question being asked concerning the lack of Latino or Spanish-language acts in the Free Press Summer Fest lineup this year. Aside from the outstanding Gio Chamba, there were no other Latin acts in this year's selections. Yes, I know DJ/producers Hiram (Treviño) and George West (Vik Montemayor) are of Mexican origin, and as much as I appreciate them and their music, there's definitely room for more. Colombian guitarist/singer/songwriter Juanes and Mexican rockeros Zoé turned in passionate and well-received performances at last year's ACL Music Festival, as did Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux and LA-based Ozomatli. Los Rakas would most certainly contribute their Spanglish reggaeton sound to the festival, just like they did at this year's Coachella.
In the past, FPSF has booked Los Skarnales, Los Amigos Invisibles, DJ Gracie Chavez (solo), and Bombón with much success. I just hope the festival can see that there's room for Latinos on next year's bill and beyond. How about Cafe Tacuba, Molotov, La Mala Rodriguez, La Santa Cecilia and Kinky, or a new acts like 3BallMty Kap G, MILKMAN, Kali Uchis? Do you realize how amazing a Toy Selectah + Peligrosa + Bombón dance party would sound? Or hell, just book Carlos Santana and I can die a happy camper. (MARCO TORRES)
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*** Take the good things from this year — letting chairs in, free water seemingly everywhere, misting tents, putting the stages closer together — and see how they can be applied to their regular home. We accept the fact the festival is not going to move from the hottest part of the year, but this year felt the most like we all weren't trying to survive the heat death of the universe. (CORY GARCIA)
*** It's just a random idea, but maybe take a page from Houston’s Whatever Festival and Bonaroo and toss in some comedians to perform: Gabe Bravo, Dale Chessman, etc. What do you think? (JACK GORMAN)
*** Can a girl get a beer koozie anywhere? It was my fault for forgetting my beer koozie the first day of the fest, and even more my fault for repeating this mistake on Day 2. So yeah, I take responsibility for being a dumbass. But seriously, no one was giving out koozies anywhere?!? Apparently the FPSF merch booths were selling a few for way too much coin, but otherwise I was beyond surprised that none of the vendors were passing any out for free and that more vendors didn't have some for sale. Considering how sinfully hot it was (and always is), more koozies next year for the win. (SELENA DIERINGER)
*** As convenient as NRG Park turned out to be, I would welcome a return to Eleanor Tinsley Park next summer. From the righteous skyline view to the natural theater seating to the blessed, merciful GRASS, it's much nicer to sweat down along the Bayou. I suspect that the Pegstar team might be tempted to make the change of scenery permanent, but partying on asphalt in June isn't something I think I'd enjoy doing every year, no matter how many purple drankaritas you're slinging. (NATHAN SMITH)