Catalina Maria Johnson

International radio broadcaster, bilingual cultural journalist, music curator

ruido fest 2

Ruido Fest! It’s been a long time in coming!

After sighing our way through years of an anemic city-produced Viva Festival that barely represented the alt-spectrum of the Latino musical universe, and then sitting through several years of no major Latin music-of-any-kind festival, all the while New York City racked up sixteen Latin Alternative Music Conferences (Our only regret that Ruido Fest is the same weekend as the LAMC, which now forces us to consider sainthood or wizardhood so we can be two places at the same time) well YEAH, we’ve got 40 acts coming to showcase nuestro punk and post punk, electronic, hip-hop, rock, psychedelia, tropicalia, reggae and more.

Ruido Fest is produced by Metronome, the producers of Riot Fest, Eduardo Calvillo, founder of Chicago’s Latin alternative radio show Rock Sin Anestesia; and Star Events, which produces street festivals and charity.

Bandas announced so far include: Cafe Tacuba, Zoe, Molotov, Kinky, Ozomatli, Enjambre, Compass: Mexican Institute of Sound + Toy Selectah, Porter, Nortec Collective: Hiperboreal, Kali Uchis, Zero Kill, Estelares, AJ Davila Y Terror Amor, Astro, Bumbac Joe, Callate Mark, Cardiel, Carmen Costa, Cumbia Machin, Dellarge, Denver, Deskartes a Kant, DJ Afro, Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orchestra, Jessy Bulbo, La Armada, La Vida Boheme, Los Aguas Aguas, Los Crema Paraiso, Los Rakas, Ma Daniela y Su Sonido Lasser, Maria y Jose, Mariel Mariel, Master Blaster Sound System, Mexican Dubweiser, Minor Shadows, Montenegro, Natalia Clavier, Pastilla, Rebel Cats, Rey Pila, Siddhartha, Silverio, Sonido Gallo Negro..

Let’s admit it, here in Chicago we suffer from more than a touch of megalomania. We like to frequently point out our biggest, best, finest, tallest, in the… city, USA, continent, world.

And now our Chicago may be putting on the best Latin Alternative Fest in the… well, O.K., U.S.A. for now. But watch out, we’ve got our eye on best in the world.

Rain or Shine, Ruido Fest is scheduled July 10-12 at Addams/Medill Park, 1301 W. 14th Street. Tickets go on sale Saturday, April 25 at 10AM CST.

In the meantime, here’s a Spotify playlist with tunes from some of the artists announced so far.

Get ready to make some ruido, Chicago-style!


Check Catalina’s Beat Latino radio show on Vocalo, Friday’s at 1pm, Sundays at 11am. Also on Itunes!


Feature photos:

Café Tacvba, Zoe, Los Rakas – Carolina Sanchez

Kali Uchis, Camilo Lara/M.I.S., Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta, La Vida Boheme – Catalina Maria Johnson

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