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Ruido Fest 2023 Canceled

Written by on July 3, 2023

Pictured above: The crowd at Union Park for Ruido Fest 2021. Aug. 20-22, 2021, by Élfego Becerra.

Organizers pulled the plug on this year’s festival, originally set to be at the Chicagoland Fairgrounds in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood August 19 and 20.

El Shirota en una de las presentaciones más explosivas de Ruido Fest. Ruido Fest 2021, by Élfego Becerra

Organizers of Ruido Fest, Chicago’s annual Latin music festival, announced the festival’s cancellation Monday via cross-platform social media posts. The statement noted tickets will be refunded as soon as possible.

“We explored every option we could think of to continue on with this year’s fest, and while the cancellation is heartbreaking for us, it is what is necessary now for us to continue our mission,” the statement read, which was posted to Instagram just before noon on July 3.

Festival organizers declined to make any further statements at this time. The Little Village Chamber of Commerce was contacted for comment and did not respond at the time of publication.

The festival, which has been held since 2015, was set to be headlined by Kali Uchis, and its lineup included Loyal Lobos, Juanes, Sabrina Claudio, Silverio and more, plus several local artists including Santrio and Favelas.

“While we are saddened by this news, we completely understand the immense responsibility and commitment that goes into organizing an event of this magnitude,” Favelas expressed in a statement to Vocalo. “We would like to express our gratitude for considering us as part of the festival lineup. We hope that in the future, when circumstances allow, we will have the opportunity to participate in Ruido Fest and connect with our passionate fans.”

Many would-be attendees expressed their sadness with the festival’s cancellation via Twitter on Monday, including Antonio “ADO” Díaz Oliva, bilingual editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

“I’m very sad because I wanted to see Los Bunkers … I grew up with Los Bunkers in Chile, and to see them in Chi-town was one of the highlights of my summer,” Oliva stated to Vocalo. “If you are Spanish-speaking, or bilingual, and live in Chicago, and if you like not only the classic genres of LatAm music, Ruido was probably your festival … Chicago was one of the few cities in the USA with a music festival that represented different layers of that alterlatinidad.”

RELATED: Antonio Díaz Oliva Connects Latinidad Academia With ‘Campus’

Oliva summed up the cultural significance of Ruido Fest, noting their mission to give bilingual and Latinx artists a space to showcase their work on a large scale.

“In terms of language, Ruido was very important,” he continued. “A platform for bands that use Spanish. A platform to connect different latinidades. A platform for young firsts or second generations of Latinx that decided to use Spanish to sing … [In The United States,] a culture that is mostly monolingual and adverse to pop music and culture that’s not in English — that was very important. Who will make this kind of ruido now?”

Rocío Santos of Domingos En Vocalo, who has covered Ruido Fest since its inception, tweeted about how this year’s lineup featured the festival’s first female headliner, Kali Uchis, and only repeated one artist from previous lineups.

“So many things to reflect on from this cancelation,” her tweet read. “Hasta la próxima, Ruido.”

RELATED: Pa’l Ruido Fest: Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Elis Paprika, Cuco, Immasoul & More…

Organizers have not confirmed whether the festival will happen next year, but encouraged fans of Ruido to attend their “Ruido Presents” concerts and events around the city. The next “Ruido Presents” performance will showcase Little Jesus at Bottom Lounge on July 13.

“We intend to be a part of Chicago’s latin music scene in the present and the future, and we will be reaching out to you with new events soon,” Ruido’s statement concluded. “See you at the next show.”

Written by Morgan Ciocca

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