A few months back, my roommate Matt came to me with an idea. His buddy David — a mixed-martial-arts student at Chakal Mx gym in Tijuana — wanted to throw a festival. The gym would provide security, sponsors, and the location. We would arrange bands, artists, and vendors. It would be called Tijuana Rumble Fest. Matt and David showed me a few photos of Pepe’s Abandoned Factory, a six-acre outdoor industrial space near the neighborhood of Flamingos (about a ten-minute drive south of the border), and I was sold.
At first, we were partial to our friends Batwings, Innerds, and Calafia Puta, all well-versed in grassroots borderland festivals — Doña Pancha, All My Friends, and Sin Fronteras/Salsipuedes Fest, to name a few.
Tijuana locals San Pedro el Cortez and Lo Que Nunca Fue always make for a great party, so they were in. The same went for San Diego rabble-rousers Wild Wild Wets, Hot Nerds, Shiva Trash, Buddy Banter, Sleeve, Mystery Cave, and the Cardielles.
Then, invigorated by duty-free whiskey, we realized we should reach out and broaden our scope north to include empathizers from Los Angeles (Beach Party, Mothers of Gut, Habits, 100 Onces), south to Ensenada (Mad Blues, Perihelios), and east to Mexicali (Vampire Slayer, Ali Adka). It would be exactly like the can-you-dig-it scene in The Warriors, except ours would be a gathering of delegates from all corners of the Californias. Well, SoCal and Northern Baja, anyways. And it would be dirt cheap: 50 pesos or 5 bucks at the door.
We ended up with 26 ambassadors (Intrépida Orquesta de Beats, Parche de Ira, Love and the Skull, Vela Toem, Danee & Friends, and Some Kind of Lizard round out the bill) in addition to a handful of alleyway painters from San Diego, Tijuana, and Mexicali.
- Saturday, May 31, 2014, noon to 2 a.m.
Pepe’s Abandoned Factory, Tijuana
All of this must come off as heinously self-promotional, so it’s only fair to disclose that I won’t be making a penny from this endeavor. In fact, all I really care to see is friends from both sides of the border getting together over a few brews, making new connections, and having a good time. It’s what we like to do.
Tijuana Rumble Fest (tijuanarumblefest.com) is Saturday, May 31, with nonstop tunes from noon to 2 a.m. There’s a $25 presale for border pick-up/drop-off on the Rumble Bus, entry, and two beers.