Despite controversy early this week, Mexican star Peso Pluma will indeed perform at the 2024 Viña del Mar International Festival as previously announced. His participation was confirmed in an official press release sent by festival organizers on Thursday night (Jan. 11).
“Following the controversy generated in reference to Peso Pluma’s participation in the upcoming edition of the festival, organizers of Viña del Mar International Festival state the festival will not censure or discriminate,” read the release; a festival representative also confirmed to Billboard that Pluma’s performance will go on as scheduled.
The “controversy” the press release refers to is a letter written by René Lues, a Viña del Mar council member, to Viña Mayor Macarena Ripamonti Serrano, asking to cancel Peso Pluma’s performance at the festival during the last week of February. In the letter — published in several media outlets in Chile — Lues says a column written by scholar Alberto Mayol made him, “reflect very much about the music and lyrics of the so-called corridos tumbados, where artists explicitly exult the violence and confrontations of organized crime and corruption, drug dealing and drug cartels: all this together with the ostentation and ambition for money, jewelry, luxury, cars, guns, a life that particularly seduces young people into believing they can easily and quickly achieve everything by ignoring the law.”
It continued, “It’s the so-called narco culture that artists like Peso Pluma put a sound to and validate from their place of great privilege. For this reason, and despite the fame of this musician, considered one of the most popular in the music industry, and his millions of followers, I believe it’s not appropriate to use the channels, resources and public spaces to promote this genre of music and songs linked to drug dealers […] Drug dealing is the biggest tragedy we have in Chile and Viña del Mar and it’s the generator of all forms of delinquency that today overwhelm our country and city.”
However, festival organizers resisted the call to take Peso Pluma out of the lineup, explaining in their statement that, “The biggest Latin festival in the world celebrates the diversity of all artists who step on this stage. Music is universal and describes different realities.”
The release also ticked-off Pluma’s many recent achievements, including winning Artist of the year at the Billboard Latin Music Awards in October. “Viña del Mar also recognizes new musical genres and is expecting a successful close to its six nights where music and talent from different artists will continue to be the pillar of the biggest Latin music festival in the world,” organizers said.
The Vina del Mar International Festival will take place from February 25 through March first in Viña del Mar, Chile. The festival — the longest-running in the Spanish-speaking world — will feature Peso Pluma as its closing act.
See the full lineup here. Headlining performances will stream live on Billboard.com in the U.S.
Powered by Billboard.