Baja Beach Fest returns to the Papas and Beer resort in Rosarito this weekend with a headliner list highlighting the fast growing Latin trap and reggaeton music scene with breakout stars Ozuna, Bad Bunny and J Balvin. Cardi B had to drop off the lineup with Nicky Jam and Becky G filling in her place.
Launched by Chris Den Uijl and Aaron Ampudia in 2018, the two-day festival quickly sold out after its lineup was announced this uear, a testimate to the strength of what the pair call “musica urbana” or just “urbano” — Spanish for urban music. Last year’s Baja Beach Fest drew 15,000 attendees to the small beach town less than an hours drive across the border from San Diego.
“We’re trying to bring the music of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean to the beach,” Den Uiji tells Billboard. “Baja Beach fest is a really immersive experience from the second fans arrive. We do a complete takeover of the entire town with different venues and after parties.”
Besides celebrating Latin music and culture, Baja Beach Fest pays homage to Rosarito and is part of a larger economic turnaround for Baja California, which has seen tourism numbers shrink in recent years following the 2009 recession and what Ampudia describes as “sensationalized media frenzy about cartel violence” as several organized crime groups fought for territory along the U.S. border.