Business

Ozuna, J Balvin and Anuel AA Sell Out Baja Beach Fest 2021 in Rosarito, Mexico

Ozuna
Pablo Diaz

Ozuna

The three-day event is the first Latin festival to sell out during the pandemic.

A Latin and Reggaeton festival in Northern Baja is giving hope to festival promoters following a strong sell out.

Earlier today, organizers of the Baja Beach Fest announced that they had sold all available tickets for the festival -- slated to run Aug. 13-15, 2021 -- in its first year as an expanded three-day event. In total, 35,000 three-day passes starting at $329 were sold in about four weeks thanks to a strong lineup headlined by OzunaAnuel AA and J Balvin. That makes it one of the first sellouts of a 2021 festival during the pandemic.

Launched in 2018 by Aaron Ampudia and Chris Den Uijl and held at Papas and Beer in Rosarito, Mexico -- a small beach town located just an hour's drive south of San Diego -- Baja Beach Fest drew 15,000 attendees in its first year. Besides celebrating Latin music and culture, the festival was created to help boost tourism in the coastal areas of Baja California, which had once been a popular destination for vacationers, retirees and real estate investors. That changed in 2009 following a major economic recession and what Ampudia described in a 2018 interview with Billboard as a "sensationalized media frenzy" over coverage of cartel violence.

City leaders in Baja have long wanted to put past battles between the warring cartels and  military troops controlled by former president Felipe Calderon behind them.

In an Aug. 6 briefing, the U.S. State Department encourages visitors to exercise caution when traveling to Baja but places no restrictions on travel to Ensenada, Rosarito, and Tijuana. A citizen's group reports that issues with violence persist, but Ampudia told Billboard in 2018 that the tourist area around the festival site was safe and has the support of local officials.

In 1983, Ampudia's parents created Papas and Beer, a beachside club and cantina that embraced its wild reputation as the ultimate adult playground. The space flourished in the '80s and '90s but, by the mid 2010s, struggled to attract patrons who had tired of the night club scene. Ampudia, who went to school in San Diego, began busing friends across the border for shows.

Uijl and Ampudia have also been hired by Mexican promoter Ocesa to book events, including Mexico City's annual Flow Fest, one of the largest reggaeton and trap festivals in the world.

This year's Baja Beach Fest also includes Karol G, SechFarruko, Becky G and more. See the full lineup below and visit bajabeachfest.com for further information.

Courtesy Photo