Calibash, the multi-artist show that’s produced and presented by SBS Entertainment, is the best-known urban Latin festival in the United States, and perhaps, the best-known Latin fest in the country.
Staged every year at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and for the past three years also in Las Vegas, Calibash has since its inception reflected and set trends, hosting acts like Chris Brown, Jennifer Lopez and Justin Bieber alongside Latin names like J Balvin, Enrique Iglesias and Nicky Jam.
Now, after being sidelined in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Calibash will return to the Staples Center in January 2022 to celebrate its quinceañera, Billboard has learned. And for the first time ever, this will be a three-day show (January 14-16), headlined by Ozuna (January 14), Daddy Yankee (January 15) and J Balvin (January 16) along with a roster of superstars.
Also performing are Wisin & Yandel, Myke Towers, Becky G, Sech and Natanael Cano (on Day 1); Natti Natasha, Manuel Turizo, Rauw Alejandro, Lunay and Kali Uchis (Day 2); and Nicky Jam, Black Eyed Peas, Jhay Cortez, Justin Quiles and Nío García (Day 3). Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. June 1 on asx.com.
“There’s nothing like it,” says Alessandra Alarcón, president of SBS Entertainment, the live event arm of SBS, which also owns the SBS radio network and TV station La Mega. “We’re activating the entirety of LA Live. We’ll have an outdoor stage with performances by local and up and coming artists, and inside, for the first time, we’ll have three completely different talent lineups.”
When Calibash was first held 15 years ago in Los Angeles, it was the first multi-artist Latin urban show to bring together multiple A-talents under the same umbrella and in the same evening. The show was an immediate success, and for years, sold out the Staples Center, attracting between 14,000 and 15,000 fans a night. It grew to two days, and most recently, to two locations, with a Calibash also taking place in Las Vegas after the Los Angeles event.
For 2022, “because there’s such a need to see live performances, we decided to go with a different format,” says Alarcón.
Fans will be able to buy single night tickets, two-night tickets or “festival” passes for all three nights.
Prices will range from $45 for the cheapest seat to $1,000 for a top VIP seat (which grants access averaging $150 per night and $600 for a three-day pass). Aside from ticket sales, SBS also sells merchandise and of course sponsorships, both for the indoor and outdoor portions of the fest.
Calibash has always benefitted from its curation, which is consistently on point in terms of mass appeal, and from the support it gets from SBS’ powerful radio stations, and increasingly, streaming app LaMusica, which also produces daily music content and is headed by Alessandra Alarcón’s sibling, Bianca Alarcón.
“There isn’t one platform that funnels all-Latin music content. That’s what La Musica is,” says Bianca Alarcón. When it comes to SBS’ properties, “instead of just an announcement, we create a suite of content around it.”
Although the Calibash announcement is SBS’ first major live concert announcement post-pandemic, the company is producing other major live shows before year’s end. They will soon announce Mega Mezcla in New York and Miami Bash in Miami, both hosted by popular DJ and recording artist Alex Sensation. There are also plans to bring back Día Nacional de la Banda, and to continue the “En Privado” (In Private) and “Mi Casa es Su Casa” intimate shows, which were launched during the pandemic.
As for Calibash, there are also plans underway to take it on the road beyond Vegas.
“It’s a huge brand, especially in the West Coast,” says Alessandra Alarcón. “Maybe it will become the Latin Coachella.”