If you follow Patrick Garcia — South Texas College English instructor, local concert promoter and creative mind behind alternative art fest Galax Z Fair — on social media, you’ve witnessed his awareness of Latino and pop culture.
Whether he’s driving around with a Donald Trump piñata (which he’s guaranteed will make an appearance at his inaugural two-day, Chicano-infused fest, AQUínceañera) or expressing his desire to extend an invitation to Ann Coulter (who’s made recent headlines promoting “Adios, America!,” a book critical of immigration policy), Garcia has a knack for mashing Hispanic issues with entertainment to create something culturally relevant.
And it was in this spirit that AQUíneañera was born.
“Regarding the name and theme, I love where I’m from and I love the border community. I’m on a relentless fight to make people really appreciate the place,” the Brownsville native said.
Including a play on the word “aqui” is a celebration of this place, Garcia said.
“You can move to Austin or New York and someone can say, ‘that’s so Valley,’ and that’s a cool thing,” Garcia said. “People don’t realize that their cultural identities come from places. How can we combine the cultural element with the alternative element?”
Garcia plotted AQUíneañera — an outdoor music event that avoided the punishing summer heat by taking place at night — and felt confident in the idea of a Latino-centric fest when he booked Downtown Boys.
“This is what we need. They’re on a national scale. The Hispanic, Spanish-speaking narrative is now breaking the national consciousness with some of these artists,” Garcia said. “They want to come back.”
Downtown Boys, who “might just be the most relevant band in America,” according to Paper Magazine, will drive 14 hours after their El Paso performance to make the show.
“They made a humongous impression on the local, Hispanic punk community because their singer sings in Spanish and it’s politically charged. They were 100 percent down,” Garcia said. “They’re a hugely popular band right now. They’re perfect. They’re the reason I thought I could do this. As long as I have them on board, I feel good.”
This is not going to one of those festivals with…
Read more at The McAllen Monitor.