Phoenix Hosts First-Ever Latina Indie Music Festival

The Funky Latina Fest BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of The Funky Latina.

Over the past weekend, Phoenix was the scene of the state’s — and probably the country’s — first Latina indie music festival. Organized by Elyssa “The Funky Latina” Bustamante, a local music blogger and event producer, the “The Funky Latina” festival is another phenomenon moving from social media to the big stage.

“I started a segment on Instagram Live called, ‘Let’s hear it.’ And so every other week, I interview a Latinx artist on Instagram Live, and we talk about community, culture, and music and how all of that collides,” Bustamante told Fronteras Desk. “And a recurring theme I kept hearing in these interviews was that they love their music, they love being Latino artists, but Latino artists are not being invited to festivals, and if they are, they’re at the bottom of the bill. And so, after hearing that, like several times in several interviews, I decided I’m not going to wait around for someone to invite us to the table. Let’s build our own festival.”

Her blog “The Funky Latina,” a platform with MySpace vibes that gladdens our melancholic hearts, became Funky Latina Productions, a company dedicated to increasing Latino representation in the music industry. Bustamante has produced private and large-scale events for various corporate, non-profit, educational, and political clients.

But this past weekend, Bustamante launched the first Latino indie music festival. “A Night of Paz, Love & Funk” was held at the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix and featured local and California indie artists.

Undoubtedly, “The Funky Latina” has become a voice and platform for Latin musical talent.