Latin music festival is among the hottest radio-sponsored events in the U.S.
Hours after tickets went on sale for this year's Reventon Super Estrella concert in Los Angeles, taking place Aug. 10 at the Staples Center, all were gone by the end of the day.
The main reason the show sold out so quickly was its lineup, which includes the biggest Latin indie acts from around the world: Mexican band Café Tacvba, Argentine rock trio Los Enanitos Verdes, Chilean singer Beto Cuevas, Spanish icons Hombres G, vocalist Mikel Erentxun, Mexican glam-rock act Moderatto, electronica band Kinky and Long Beach, Calif.-born songstress Julieta Venegas.
All day long at KSSE (Super Estrella 107.1 FM), the staff was celebrating the ticket sales, continuing Reventon's reputation as one of the most successful radio-sponsored concerts in the United States.
"We felt that the core sound of the Angelino was missing," concert co-founder Nestor "Pato" Rocha says. "We wanted to celebrate a music revolution, and rock en Español was the way to go. The buzz has been phenomenal."
Super Estrella, owned by Entravision Communications, has long broadcast Latin rock and pop music, and it currently reaches about 1 million listeners, Rocha says. In 1998, the team behind the radio station decided to create a live show that might help it compete on the Southern California airwaves.
"The concept was to put together a strong enough lineup so we could sell out the show in a short period of time, hold back some tickets and give away those tickets on the air," Entravision radio division president Jeffrey A. Liberman says.
Launched in 1998 at the Universal Amphitheatre (now the Gibson) at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles, the first show featured Mexican pop singer Cristian Castro. The annual event was always meant to be an intimate party, complete with DJs, dancers and a revolving stage, resulting in an easy-flowing concert experience.
Through the years, Reventon has showcased major acts ranging from Ricky Martin to now-defunct pop act RBD. The latter group attracted more than 50,000 music fans who flocked to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the summer of 2006, where the band was introduced by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
The series has proved to be quite successful during its extensive run, even though last year's showcase - featuring the reunited band Caifanes, which broke up in the mid-'90s - was scaled down considerably. In 2010, for example, the bill featured Enrique Iglesias, Chino y Nacho and Nelly Furtado, among others, and generated more than $1 million in ticket sales, according to comments made during a company conference call in March.
Entravision has been affected by a sluggish economy, says Liberman, who oversees 49 properties spread throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and a few stations in Florida.
"Every advertiser has cut back a little bit," the executive says. "Times have been challenging, but we're dealing with it. We're working with advertisers, and - just like everybody here in the United States - we see the economy coming back slowly."