Canadian artist Mac DeMarco played popular songs from his catalogue like “Ode to Viceroy” and “Reflection Chamber” on the Blue Stage to a large group of fans. Once his set was over, the people quickly turned into doom metal enthusiasts when the guitar riffs of San Jose, California band Sleep started playing on the adjacent platform, the Black Stage.
“With NRMAL, it has a point that’s really important, which is [bringing] music that normally doesn’t come here [to Mexico City] – artists who normally don’t come. They’re not new artists, but new to the city,”
Art director for NRMAL Festival Alfonso Muriedas said the show is about bringing something new to the city.
“With NRMAL, it has a point that’s really important, which is [bringing] music that normally doesn’t come here [to Mexico City] – artists who normally don’t come. They’re not new artists, but new to the city,” Muriedas said.
NRMAL Festival had its first sold- out show on Saturday, March 3 at the Deportivo Lomas Altas field in Mexico City, Mexico.
The festival’s main event featured acts from across the globe. A total of 22 bands from North America, the Caribbean Islands, Europe and Asia played for 12 hours in front of more than 8,000 fans.
“It’s the first time that it got to be this big,” Muriedas said the day after the main event. “So, there are certainly things that we need to correct that don’t present themselves at the point of operation, but for us it was a grand edition. Up until today, it feels like the best so far.”
One group that had a lot of history was Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto from Colombia. Originally formed in 1940, the group played different styles of music for the two events associated with the festival.
On Saturday, the musicians played live with the group Dub de Gaita, which is a new take on a traditional sound. In Dub de Gaita, Llorona Records producer Diego Gómez and British producer Adrian Sherwood collaborate to mix traditional cumbia and dub music.
Francia Rocha is a fan and peer of the gaiteros who traveled to Mexico City from Bogotá, Colombia on a business trip. Rocha said that the new music is involving younger generations of people, but it’s also key to maintain the traditional format.
“There are various regions in Colombia that interpret the gaitas, which is important,” Rocha said. “They have distinct air to the way they play, more African, some more indigenous. It’s really good.”
For the closing event on Sunday, March 4, the group played original music as Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto.
John Fuentes Ramos plays the male gaita for the group and said they had a spectacular night.
“The project has had success in it’s reception by the public, and we didn’t think it was going to be received that well last night [Saturday, March 3]. It was a good night for us, Los Gaiteros,” Fuentes said.
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