Rock blues and country is back for the fourth consecutive year at San Miguel de Allende, as Magic Town Music Festival organizers Carrie Cameron and Rusty Henson gear up for the March 11 concert at the old Obraje Cultural Center.
Carrie Cameron says that they are not letting up in their efforts to garner funds for Casa de los Ángeles, a day-care center for single mothers, even if in past festivals profits have not been up to expectations.
“Last year we were able to get almost $14,000, and for them everything helps,” says Carrie Cameron who runs a fashion Texas style cowboy boot shop on Aldama Street.
Still, the organizers, joined by famous Dallas-based country singer Maylee Thomas “had decided not to do this again in the form we have done it in the past,” which was a three day festival including many costly bands brought in from the United States.
“We were spending three times on musicians as we were getting in return. So this year we decided to do it one day, which will help a lot to cut down expenses, and we will bring just a few musicians from the U.S.,” Carrie Cameron told The News.
But even with a reduced number of top bands, the festival offers variety galore for all tastes in music, now backed up with several groups from Mexico City and local rock and jazz singer (of Pila Seca rock band fame) Paco Rivera as Master of Ceremonies.
“One thing that we have been wanting to do and have not been able to is to tap into the Mexican market. We’ve always had a gringo crowd but we want the Mexicans to share it with us.”
The new addition to this is Paco Rivera who has recruited bands from Mexico City, Queretaro and San Miguel de Allende (a little town that boasts a portentous amount of professional musicians).
“Altogether we have 17 bands for that one day with both indoor and outdoor concerts at the same time. We have every band donating their services, which is wonderful. And a lot of them are young, so it won’t be just a bunch of old people out there.”
Carrie laughs, as in the past three festivals the finest donors and patrons have been foreign San Miguel de Allende residents who for the most part are always willing to pitch in for a good cause while rocking and a rolling.
The crowd of San Miguel de Allende is changing, and “now I see a lot of younger people moving in with their families, though many others have moved out of town. Truth is, San Miguel is not for everybody.”
Price tickets for this year have been lowered to 500 pesos on advance buys and they’ll be 770 pesos at the door starting at 12 noon with gringo punctuality.
Previous to the Saturday festival on Thursday March 9, there will be a “kickoff party” at plush Casa Linnea up on the SMA hills which is also a fund gathering event with tickets at $100 dollars or 2,200 pesos per person. The Doug Robinson Trio (piano, bass and drums) will be in charge of the music for the party, which is a well-known music ensemble in town for its jazz performances. Besides the jazz, it includes food and hilltop views of San Miguel de Allende.
Now in its fourth season, Magic Town Music Festival is becoming a tourist attraction in its own right for San Miguel de Allende.
“We have a lot of people coming from the United States. I get calls from people asking me where to stay, all the details. San Miguel is a draw in itself.”
The proof of the pudding of that success is that “we’re right now the hottest ticket in town. We’re almost sold out and the festival is less than two weeks away.”
Some of the bands coming from the United States are Big Cat, from Austin featuring Malford Milligan, Dave Sabree, and the May Lee Thomas Band among many others.
But tickets are still available at www.magictown.org and all profits will go to Casa de los Ángeles to support the children of the single working mothers of San Miguel de Allende.