It is still months away, but Eclectico Music Fest is gearing up for January in Jocotepec again. I say gearing up because the Facebook Posts and the videos are already circulating. (see my story in Lakeside News January 12 about the last festival https://bit.ly/3Q0rAxM).
The Eclectico Music Fest is not quite your usual festival. The organizers bring in headliners, of course, but also mid-level artists and very good local bands. Plus, they organize the schedule so that artists can talk together and play together – from the national level players, like Vampiro last year, to highly talented local bands that are just beginning to rise above the noise. The result is exciting. There are sets, but there is also a sort of an ongoing jam session. The headliners play their sets like in any festival, but the members then join the other bands, other band members join them, they bring on friends and mix it up.
The organizers also mix up genres – Rock in Espanol, ska, pop, country, regional Mexican music, and tributes. The audience ranges from babes in arms to abuelas and abuelos (grandparents), and is on the last night of a multiday celebration of Jocotepec’ s patron Saint so pretty much every demographic of the 40,000 population town is there.
One of the other aspects of the Eclectico Music Fest is that the promoters include the public in the selection of the local bands. Locals can vote for local bands. This fives local bands not only the opportunity for more local exposure, but the opportunity to meet top level artists and producers who can, if they like, help boost their careers. And it gives them bragging rights.
Since there are a few months to go before the Eclectico Music, it will be some time before a big push for local bands is evident, but I would like to propose a local band that has found traction nationally – Mary’s Island. The four-piece Ajijic-based band has over 120,000 streams on Spotify and over 1000 monthly listeners – they have made the initial threshold of traction in the music world – 100,000 streams and 1000 a month listeners on the world’s largest music platform. And they are also on iTunes and Apple Music. We will see if they hit the next milestones – 1 million streams and 10,000 monthly listeners, but at the rate they are going and releasing new songs, I think they will.
They have also crossed another milestone, professionally produced scripted videos, especially for their most recent song, Away From Paris. Many bands put up edited videos of live performances or even good homemade scripted stories of themselves, but scripting, acting, shooting and editing a professionally produced well scripted video for a song is another level, and Mary’s Island’s latest effort – directed by band leader Fernadra Parra – has been done beautifully, building on the band’s experience making their previous video for the song “23”.
So, Mary’s Island has the musical chops, the growing audience, the video collection, the original songs to rise above the noise of 60,000 songs a day posted to Spotify. They are going about it the right way – building a strong local audience with covers and original songs, working very hard, playing every chance they get, entering contests like the one at the C3 Upstairs in Guadalajara, and promoting with merchandise. And they are bilingual, so they can crossover easily to the big market in the US. An ideal choice for the Eclectic Music Fest.
When I get voting details, I will post them here. In the meantime, check out Mary’s Island on Spotify and YouTube. Patrick O’Heffernan
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