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L.A.'s Calibash Moves to January After iHeartMedia Introduces Fiesta Latina

Calibash 2013
Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

Sky Blu performs during Calibash 2013 at Staples Center on September 14, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. 

SBS' fest will avoid competing with iHeartMedia's new L.A. event.

SBS Entertainment will move its annual Calibash mega concert to Jan. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The move comes several days after iHeartMedia announced that its first-ever Latin mega concert, the iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina, would take place Nov. 22 -- the same day Calibash was set to take place -- at the Forum in Los Angeles.

iHeartMedia Announces First Latin Festival

While SBS Entertainment -- the event promotion arm of powerful Latin radio network SBS -- initially seemed prepared to stay its course with the Nov. 22 Calibash date, in the end, they decided it wasn’t worth it to cannibalize the show.

“Calibash has been the most consistently successful Latin show at the Staples Center,” said SBS Entertainment svp Lucas Piña, noting the show sells out every year, bringing between 14,000 to 15,000 people. “Now, we’re going back to our original date, which was January.”

Calibash was launched seven years ago when reggaetón and Latin urban music became visible genres of Latin music. Since then, the festival, promoted by SBS Los Angeles stations Mega 96.3 FM (KXOL) and La Raza 97.9 FM, has become the most visible live platform for the genre and has also been aggressive in bringing in mainstream acts.

Last year’s show featured Chris Brown as headliner along with Latin names like Tito El Bambino, Prince Royce, Leslie Grace and Sky Blu from LMFAO.

This year, Calibash had already set its Nov. 22 -- but hadn’t announced it -- when news leaked out that iHeartMedia was planning to launch its first-ever Latin music show. It would take place in Los Angeles, also on Nov. 22, at the Forum.

Still, executives at SBS said they wouldn't move their show.

Then, last week, iHeartMedia formally announced its iHeartRadio Fiest Latina with big names that include Ricky Martin and Daddy Yankee and even regional Mexican acts like Roberto Tapia. Today, SBS formally said it would shift its date to Jan. 24.

“Really, we welcome all events in the marketplace that promote Latin music,” said Piña. “It helps the market and the music grow.”

IHeartMedia does not have Spanish-language stations in Los Angeles. But beginning last week, it launched a four-week nationwide promotion to give fans the opportunity to win a trip to the festival. The promotion will run on iHeartMedia’s Spanish language stations and on key iHeartRadio markets.

This is good news for many Latin acts that seek mainstream listeners. In fact, Yankee’s new single, “This Is Not a Love Song,” is an English track.

IHeartRadio Fiesta Latina is co-produced with Live Nation. Tickets go on sale Oct. 11.


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