Mexico City: A city for events, concerts and festivals

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Life itself is an event to be celebrated in Mexico, so it’s no wonder the city is host to thousands of events each year and the number of outstanding venues means there is always something happening somewhere in the city.  Here’s my guide to a few of the best: 

Every week, every day, something is going on in the city. International artists come to come to perform in 100,000-people venues, 2015 will see the city host the Gran Prix, and I guarantee there are smaller live concerts happening in different theatres, bars and restaurants as you read this entry. Event venues include large stadiums, auditoriums, racetracks, horse tracks, concert halls, if you can imagine it, this multifaceted city has it.

From small intimate performances at the uber cool Auditorio Blackberry to three day festivals featuring major international acts like the Glastonbury-inspired Corona Capital, visitors can take their pick of hundreds of top international musical acts, theatrical hits, art exhibitions and world class sporting events that include Mexico City on their tours each year.

So, a visit to the city just wouldn’t be complete without spending at least one evening at a concert, performance or sporting event, and if you follow my tips and do some research before you come, you might just be able to catch some of them while you are here.

A good all-rounder to check out is the Auditorio Nacional, one of Mexico City’s main concert and performance venues holding all kinds of events in the main auditorium, and in the smaller Lunario next door. Holding up to 10,000 people, the Auditorium has won various awards for best concert venue in the world.  Opera performances are transmitted live from the New York MET here and it has hosted Elton John, Madame Butterfly, Placido Domingo, Depeche Mode…  The list goes on.  Lana Del Rey played there just last month and it’s also were REM played their last concert.

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http://www.asociacionaires.com/es/academicos.php

Football fans will not want to miss the Estadio Azteca football stadium; official home stadium of the Mexican professional football club Club America and the Mexico national football team’s official national stadium.  With an official capacity of 105,000, it is the largest stadium in Mexico, the fourth-largest stadium in the American continent, and the sixth-largest in the world.

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The stadium has held some great concerts as well as football matches, with U2, Elton John, Lenny Kravitz and more performing here.

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Check Ticketmaster for tickets well in advance, especially if you hope to catch a Club América game.

I’ve recently got to attend the following events:

Gibson GuitarTown 

Gibson GuitarTown Project is an international community arts project that brings together the art and music worlds in participating cities.  Frequently drawing inspiration from the local music scene, local and nationally acclaimed visual artists customise 10-foot tall fiberglass Gibson Les Paul replicas which are then displayed around the city providing the perfect backdrop for the obligatory peace sign and devil horns photos.

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As you can see in this week’s video post, I got to go to the launch night held in the grounds of the pretty Casa del Lago located within Bosque Chapultepec.  I’ve never been inside the park at night and thought it a fantastic venue for a concert.  The view of the fountain lit up in the middle of Chapultepec Lake was gorgeous as I sat sipping mezcal amongst leather-clad rockers ☺

I spotted a couple of members of four-time Latin Grammy award winners Molotov (they sing in both Spanish and English and I highly recommend you listen to them).

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I’ve now added headliners of the night, Mexican garage rockers Los Infiernos to my playlist having seen the shapes they had people throwing throughout the night.

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Mexico City is the first Latin American city to host this internationally acclaimed event.  You can see the guitars on display along Reforma Avenue between the Angel of Independence statue and the Diana the Huntress fountain until November 30th 2014.

Carrera Panamericana

The Panamerican car race is a one week, 2,000 mile, border-to-border sports car race across Mexico’s open roads.  From 1950 to 1954 it was considered the most dangerous race of any type in the world and was cancelled following the 1955 Le Mans disaster.

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Umberto Maglioli of Italy, winner of the fifth and final Carrera Panamericana, in a Ferrari 375 Plus. Photo by www.livemint.com

Reinstated in 1988, the race offers both novices and professionals the unique opportunity to drive at top speeds on public highways through stunning Mexican landscapes, while experiencing Mexico’s famed hospitality in various cities along the way.  It is the last open, top-speed road race of its kind in the world.

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I was surprisingly excited about being at the start line of this event, even though it meant getting up at 5am on a Sunday morning!  Driving fascinates me.  I don’t have a car here in Mexico City.  I go everywhere by ecobici.  And even though I’m glad I don’t contribute to the pollution, I have to admit that I really miss driving.  Driving along long, traffic-free roads in Ireland, relaxed and happy, singing along to Paul Simon and smiling at baby lambs in the fields.  Back home, driving was my time to unwind.    Mexico City taxi drivers laugh hysterically when I tell them how much I miss that.  I don’t think there could be a more polar opposite to that image than driving in Mexico City.  However I do love the idea of cruising along Mexico’s open roads from one side of the country to the other.  Just imagine the scenery!

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The vintage cars were fantastic and I got chat to many of the drivers as they made their last minute preparations before setting off.

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Participants come from all over the world and Christy and Michael Shoemaker (actual real name!) were kind enough to take a few minutes out to speak to me for my video post.  They were so excited about being in Mexico and were clearly loving every second of their adventure.

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See my tips section for more information on the race.

Vive Latino

Earlier in the year, I got to attend Vive Latino, an annual rock music festival that takes place between April and May each year in Foro Sol, Mexico City.  This three day event receives 70,000 daily visitors and features top acts from both the English- and Spanish-speaking worlds.  The genres aren’t strictly limited to rock and recent editions have included The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Underworld, Arcade Fire, Nine Inch Nails, Calle 13 and Cut Copy amongst others, as well as some great national and Latin American bands.

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I have to admit I yearn for the kind of music festivals we have back home with camping and random happenings; everyone’s caked in mud, and it’s all peace and love and fairy lights.  With Vive Latino you go home at the end of each night but they do their best to try and recreate a genuine festival atmosphere.

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Don’t forget to check my tips section for more information on Mexico City events.