Wednesday,
April 23

 
CULTURE

Funding the wrong festival


Bandoneón master and Buenos Aires native Hector de Curto performed at the 2011 International Accordion Festival.Bandoneón master and Buenos Aires native Hector de Curto performed at the 2011 International Accordion Festival.San Antonio lost one music festival and gained another this year.

The loss: The International Accordion Festival, a homegrown, family friendly annual event that expertly finds interrelationships between South Texas conjunto, Louisiana zydeco, and Eastern European folk music. The Accordion Festival has drawn up to 25,000 people a year, treated its bands well, and asked for little (between $20,000 and $30,000) in the way of financial help from the City of San Antonio.

The gain: The People en Español (PESP) Festival, a slick, shiny, look-at-me event put on by New York promoters, which got a $500,000 commitment of financial support from the city, charged people up to $300 to see the likes of Luis Miguel and Daddy Yankee, provided no paying gigs for San Antonio artists, and, for all the hype, drew a two-day concert audience of only about 15,000.

At the risk of overstatement, it’s a bit like trading an original of Picasso’s “Three Musicians” for a black velvet Elvis.


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