MERIDA, YUCATAN. Under partly cloudy skies, on an afternoon as warm and sultry as only Yucatán can be in March, the Mérida Music Festival 2014 took place on Saturday at Hacienda Dzibikak, just outside the beautiful colonial city of Mérida, Yucatán.
Over 600 attendees representing both the expatriate and local communities enjoyed the sounds of five local bands; Los Lásgori, Golden Years, Flus Boox (with well-known lead singer Mauricio Zoreda, who performs in English in a number of locations in the city), Eduardo Rodríguez, and CopyPaste featuring Maydel. Between bands, there were performances by Batucada do Fogo, and saxophonist David Dzib. Food and beverages from a number of local vendors provided much needed refreshment (perhaps not surprisingly, well chilled beers were selling very well), while the hacienda itself offered a spectacular backdrop in its beautiful gardens.
A large dance floor in front of the stage was sparsely used initially, however as the sun set, and dancing without the risk of heat exhaustion became possible, a crowd gathered, and danced through the evening until the final performers concluded.
Large covered seating areas, with waiters from the various food and beverage vendors in attendance provided shade in which to relax and enjoy the music and song, while the benefits of the hacienda infrastructure (real toilets!) were much appreciated by all.
Save the Children was the beneficiary of this year’s event, and their staff were on hand to provide information about their local activities and volunteer opportunities.
The festival is styled on the European / North American concept of an all-day music festival (rather than a concert), offering a pleasant location to enjoy with friends, good food, and drink, while also appreciating the various different styles of music performed. Richard Nichols, co-owner of the hacienda as well as one of the organizers of the event told me that the organizers are very confident that the event product is right for Mérida, and they were delighted to see increased attendance at this year’s event.
A big attraction of the event is its family friendly atmosphere; while Rock & Roll was on the menu, sex and drugs were definitely not, and from the youngest to the oldest attendee, all found a welcoming and inclusive ambiance.
It’s never too soon to start planning for next year, and in fact the organizing committee will be meeting next week to start advance planning for the 2015 festival. Following the success of the invited foreign singers at the St Patrick’s Day weekend at Hennessy’s recently, the committee is definitely considering the benefits of including foreign bands at next year’s event, which would add an extra attraction for many potential attendees.