Another year has passed, and Carne Asada Fest is back for its annual festival celebrating Latin culture and showcasing rising talent from all over Texas! This year some of the standout skills included artists in various genres from reggaeton to regional Mexican music to Latin EDM. Not only is Carne Asada Fest known for its curated set of on-stage talent, but they have also created a reputation for finding some of the tastiest food vendors from the DFW metroplex.
To kick the evening off, I opted to try some of the delicious street tacos from some vendors outside the main stage area; soon after, we caught some great performances by Steve Garcia and Gabriela Martinez. If Steve Garcia sounds familiar, it’s because we covered him at Carne Asada Fest last year. Though he is still in the beginning stages of his musical career, Garcia has increased the stage value of his performance over the years. This year, Garcia had graphics and dynamic lighting, very well-choreographed with his setlist making his performance much more memorable. Following Steve, we got to see a bit from Jenny B, a San Antonio native who covered some of the most culturally important tracks by Selena Quintanilla. Hearing someone that is anywhere close to the original was something that filled me with excitement as seeing Selena live could never happen.
After some great performances from familiar artists, we got a taste of some new talent in the form of Ren Galera; a Mexican American reggaeton artist who brought the heat by having a dance crew accompany her on stage. At the same time, she performed some of her newly released tracks, such as “Ay Que Pena,” which seemed very comparable to hits put out by artists such as Natti Natasha, Karol G, and Becky G. Following came the first highlight of the night. Yossy, a recurring act at Carne Asada, made an explosive entrance kicked off by some visuals from her new song “Chica Mala.” Seeing artists like Yossy grow and become more comfortable with live performances is common within Carne Asada. They serve to platform many acts who may not be able to headline a much bigger festival and ultimately helps them reach success.
At around 6 pm, we peaked at some headliners through a meet and greet hosted by MC Magic, a Mexican-born American R&B artist who rose to prominence during the early 2000s with songs such as “Pretty Girl,” “Sexy Lady,” and “All My Life.” Once he could perform, a huge crowd formed around the stage, with many soulfully reciting the words to all his songs. Magic’s performance was the highlight of my night, as he got the patrons involved with every aspect of his set. At the end of his performance, Magic called on a young fan eager to meet the artist and ultimately brought them to sing a few of his acapella songs.
Carne Asada is slowly but surely becoming a staple event to visit every year. Their commitment to showcasing local talent and supporting the venue they occupy shows that Dallas is a very diverse city with all types of individuals seeking a festival to enjoy a lovely Sunday afternoon. After being a guest at two consecutive Carne Asada Festivals, I will make the trip down to Lamar for the foreseeable future to support the community around Dallas.