The hottest genre on the charts is the hottest genre on the road. In the panel called The Rise of Mexican Touring, held on Monday (Oct. 2), Fuerza Regida’s frontman Jesús Ortiz Paz and Latin Nation’s Hans Schafer (svp of Latin touring) and Jorge García (global promoter of tours) talk how to book, market and sell out Mexican music shows, moderated by Billboard Latin’s senior writer, Griselda Flores.
In the midst of his ambitious tour Otra Peda (meaning Another Drunken Party), the Fuerza Regida lead singer shares his experience from starting out performing at flyer parties six years ago to now selling out American arenas and stadiums across the nation. Meanwhile Schafer and García spoke about how they’ve been helping amplify, within the live music space, the música mexicana movement internationally.
In many candid moments, Jesús, who also goes by JOP, shared how Otra Peda was conceived. “I was my own Live Nation. I was the waiter, the one who charged you for your beers, and sing,” he said. “I would throw my own flyer parties, it was like 20 to 50 people, then 50 to 100. Now we’re doing this on a greater scale. [Since the beginning of our shows] people got extra drunk, that’s where Otra Peda came from.”
“Several years ago, taking these [música mexicana] bands to the club it made sense. Years before you were lucky to sell 2,000 to 3,000 tickets,” recalls García. “Now this generation of Latinos are growing up [with the genre]. The same kind of people that buy the Drake tickets, buy the Fuerza Regida tickets.”
“We are American so we have that flow, we started dressing different, and took Mexican music to the next level,” says Jesús about connecting with this new generation of Latinos. “Back in the day, you had to lower the music; we were shy that we liked regional Mexican, you had to change it to hip-hop. We love the legends, John Sebastian, Luis Mi, Vicente Fernández, but that was all tío‘s music. We made it cool,” he adds and the audience chuckles.
Flores’ asks about the steps to get a club act to an arena level. “It can’t feel forced. You’re just trying to tighten that bond that they have with their fans,” explains Schafer. “Nothing can be cookie cutter, everything that we do starts with inception, what is this tour about, Otra Peda…developing ideas and the concepts you’re doing with the tour.”
Jesús recalls a time in his career with Fuerza Regida that he had to stop the 10 freeway in L.A., and perform in front of the traffic, with the venue serving as a backdrop. That led to the band selling out the show at the time.
The discussion surrounding Mexican music is about going global, reaching as far as Australia and New Zealand. Schafer elaborates on how European countries have warmly embraced this movement, with both the Latino demographic and new non-Latino fans developing a fondness for the Mexican style.
But now that it’s reaching unprecedented heights, “There needs to be greater representation because it’s going to keep growing,” adds Schafer. “We have the responsibility in the industry to set the tone with the space that it deserves.”
Celebrated for more than 30 years, the 2023 edition of Latin Music Week includes a Superstar Q&A with Shakira; the Legends on Legends chat with Chencho Corleone and Vico C; Making the Hit Live! with Carin León and Pedro Capó; a panel with RBD’s Christian Chávez, Christopher von Uckermann, and Maite Perroni; Superstar Songwriter discussion with Edgar Barrera and Keityn, among many other panels, Q&As and workshops. See the ultimate Latin Music Week guide here. This year’s Latin Music Week, taking place Oct. 2-6, also includes showcases by Peso Pluma, Mike Bahía and Greeicy, DannyLux and Fonseca, to name a few. Check out the dates and times for the showcases throughout the week here.
Official partners of the 2023 Billboard Latin Music Week include AT&T, Cheetos, CN Bank, Delta Air Lines, Lexus, Netflix, Michelob ULTRA and Smirnoff.
Latin Music Week coincides with the 2023 Billboard Latin Music Awards ceremony, which will broadcast live from the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla., on Thursday (Oct. 5) and will air on Telemundo. It will also broadcast simultaneously on Universo, Peacock, the Telemundo App, and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean on Telemundo Internacional.
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