This week, a sold-out crowd gathered in Aspen, Colorado for the Latinx House’s inaugural Raizado Festival, a three-day event filled with music, art exhibitions, film screenings, panel discussions, and more. Planned as an opportunity to highlight issues and achievements in the Latino community — particularly in an area known for events that attract white, wealthy elites — the festival included headlining performances by massive names in the Latin music industry, including Mexican star Belinda and the rising regional singer-songwriter Lupita Infante.
Both artists were drawn to the festival’s mission of uplifting Latinos across the country, especially after the mass shooting in Uvalde and the number of lives lost in the community due to Covid-19. Infante brought the mariachi group Campanas de America onstage with her when she performed on Wednesday. She has known the group for several years, and many of them helped record her Grammy-nominated album La Serenata. Campanas de America were among nearly 50 mariachi musicians who visited Uvalde in June to sing and honor the lives lost during the tragedy.
“Mariachi is a crucial part of celebrating every life event in our culture. From baptisms, confirmations, weddings, parties, and even funerals, mariachi is the common component that enhances the spirit of these moments,” Infante tells Rolling Stone. “Campanas understands the significance of the music and culture that they represent, and they do a beautiful job at supporting our community even amidst the worst of tragedies.”
She adds: “I grew up loving and deeply appreciating everything that makes Mexican music special. I have made paying tribute to the greats — including my own family — a central theme throughout both my recorded and live performances. So many Mexican and other Latinx people work here in Aspen and are such an integral part of the community, but not everyone knows about their contributions.”
On Wednesday, Belinda took the stage and sang some of her favorite songs, including “Contigo en la Distancia” and “Sal de Mi Piel.” “My goal was to get everyone reveling in the joy and passion that we as Latinx people live for,” she tells Rolling Stone. “We are such an incredible, diverse, and celebratory community and I definitely want to make sure everyone feels that at Raizado Festival.”
“To have a festival created to be a celebration of the Latinx community’s power, culture, truth, and history is something incredibly rare,” Belinda continues. “I’m thrilled to perform some of my favorite songs for an amazing group of attendees made up of artists like me, cultural enthusiasts, and community members of all backgrounds from all across the U.S. and Latin America.”
The festival, which kicked off on Aug. 30, featured hosts Annie Gonzalez (Gentefied, Vida, Shameless), Julissa Calderon (Gentefied, With Love, Buzzfeed’s Pero Like), and Mauro Castillo (Encanto, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”). U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper and Representative Joaquin Castro were among several politicians who made appearances.