New ‘Taco Fest’ Takes Over Maverick Festival’s April Spot at La Villita

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The Maverick Music Festival attracted hundreds of attendees to the La Villita stages. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone

Kathryn Boyd-Batstone / Rivard Report

The Maverick Music Festival has taken place at La Villita during the second week of April since its inception in 2013.

The future of the 5-year-old Maverick Music Festival is uncertain after a new event, “Taco Fest: Music y Mas,” was scheduled at La Villita for the second weekend in April.

Since its start in 2013, the Maverick has run at La Villita on the second weekend in April, but no formal announcement has been made of the music festival’s demise or its rescheduling. San Antonio-based Galaxy Presents LLC organizes both Taco Fest and the Maverick, according to Krystal Jones, film and music commissioner of the City’s Arts & Culture Department.

Jones said she had recently contacted Faith Radle, an event producer for Galaxy Presents and an organizer of both festivals, to see if dates for the Maverick festival had been set yet. “They’re working on dates. That’s all I know right now,” Jones said, noting that the possibility still exists for the Maverick to be rescheduled.

“The organizing team behind Maverick Music Festival is not ready to make any announcements about 2018,” Radle, also a spokeswoman for Taco Fest, told the Rivard Report on Friday. “Just because the event is not happening in April does not mean it is not happening.”

A planned $1.2 million expansion of the two-day music festival – related to official Tricentennial celebrations – fell through when the Tricentennial Commission withdrew from the agreement in June 2017.

No further details about the future of the Maverick festival were offered by organizers Radle or Blayne Tucker.

Co-organizer Aaron Zimmerman, vice president of programming and marketing for the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, a festival co-owner, would not offer further details Monday beyond confirming that the festival would not take place in April 2018, and that no change in festival management or ownership has occurred.

The Maverick festival’s social media presence and web homepage have not been updated since last year’s festival, which organizers said attracted about 18,000 people and featured nearly 40 different acts.

An event on the scale of the Maverick festival requires at least a year of advance planning and booking, according to Jeannette Muniz, host of KRTU’s “Live and Local” program and a music events promoter with 10 years experience in the field.

Muniz said that though it would be “very unfortunate, absolutely” to lose the Maverick festival, its organizers are “very, very smart people” who “want the best for the city.”

Noting that the same group that ran past Maverick festivals has now organized Taco Fest, she said, “It’s hard to go wrong when you have tacos involved. I’ll be there for sure.”

Billed as “the ONLY locally grown, indie, live music alternative” on its Facebook page, the Maverick festival’s apparent successor—at least in date and location—the April 14 Taco Fest also will feature local music, including Femina-X, Santiago Jimenez Jr., Bombasta, Piñata Protest, Girl In a Coma, and others. 

Jim Mendiola, creative director of Taco Fest, said that since the Feb. 21 announcement of the festival, “the response we’ve received … has been amazing,” and “reflects a recognition of the San Anto onda we are trying to create.”

Taco Fest was planned as “an event that reflects San Antonio’s unique expression of Mexican American culture,” Mendiola wrote in an e-mail to the Rivard Report, and “is truly a homegrown music and food festival made by locals, and designed to be enjoyed by everyone.”

Taco Fest is a ticketed event, and advance tickets can be purchased here.

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