The Two Sides of TriTone Latin Music Festival's Downsized Ambitions

The TriTone Latin Music and Arts Festival is set to kick off a month from today, starting on October 19 in Chino. As interested would-be festival goers have definitely taken notice, the lineup of talent has slimmed down considerably from when it was originally announced. Back then, TriTone boasted an assembled roster of artists uniting three key eras of rock en español and Latin Alternative music crossing generations and borders.

Even better, it was all set to take place at Prado Regional Park in mid-October, avoiding Coachella-style commutes and sizzling temperatures. As great as it all had sounded, the first-time festival flirted with ambitious overreach starting out as a three-day weekend event with no single-day passes available for a niche musical genre still trying to find its place in Southern California. More bands were promised, though, but as TriTone nears, many of big name draws have disappeared. What happened?

"Essentially we had to downsize the whole show to keep it alive," says Rick Ortega of BRC Entertainment. "A lot of the bands have decided to not participate anymore because of the length of time we took to get all of our things in order and when we were finally able to move forward with our bands they either already rescheduled...or they just lost faith in the show."

The first night is now a free showcase of DJs from Mexico and Los Angeles. On Saturday, bilingual songstress Ximena Sariñana will headline backed by Ceci Bastida. TriTone's strongest bill is its Sunday closer with El Tri, Ozomatli, Poncho Sanchez, Conjunto Nueva Ola, and Inspector all in the mix. Gone altogether from the entire weekend, though, are acts like Carla Morrison, Zoé, Los Bunkers and La Santa Cecilia.

"I can assure you now we are stronger than ever," Ortega still contends while openly admitting to mistakes. "We were fortunate enough to have held on to the bands that we have to still create a great experience for any fan of Latin music." Festival organizers blamed poor ticket sales and failure to secure advertising time on Super Estrella radio in an Al Borde article last month for the changes. Now, weekend passes are a thing of a past as Saturday's show is priced at $15 and Sunday's lineup will cost concertgoers $25.

There's two sides to the TriTone story, however, where blame goes beyond Super Estrella and poor ticket sales. "MX LIVE Entertainment was contacted to do talent buying for the festival," says Saul Garcia of the Santa Ana-based booking agency. "However, BRC defaulted on their scheduled deposits and are in breach of contract. Taking into account that many of the terms originally promised were not being kept, artists were forced to cancel participation."

The exodus of MX LIVE associated acts has set up a weekend of rivaling rock en español and Latin Alternative shows. "Fortunately, we were able to place Zoé, Fobia and Los Bunkers for once in lifetime bill for two OC dates," Garcia tells the Weekly in answering the popular question of where the bands had gone.

The three groups will take the stage the very same weekend as the TriTone Festival performing October 19 at the City National Grove of Anaheim and again on October 21 at the Observatory in Santa Ana.

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Are we ever getting our refund back?


i purchased two tickets back in july, total i paid 251.00 dlls I Want my refund RICK ORTEGA im not interested in this event. i filled a complaint with my bank in early september and this weekend i received two tickets I DO NOT WANT TO GO.I WANT MY REFUND.can someone help me/ where can i go or who to talk to about this? my email is


So the bands were forced to leave because the promoters didn't deposit the amount due on time? Ha! These are just a bunch of broke people trying to make money out of this event, they were never willing to INVEST, they had no money nor experience or even HONESTY to begin with. They were trying to pay the bands with the ticket sales, they didn't sell and now they're keeping our money. They're saying we'll get refunds but completely ignore our phone calls and emails. A bunch of thieves they are. I will never attend an event by BRC Ent, not unless I'm willing to give them my money for absolutely nothing in return.


You should call this for what it is. This is not so much about a genre or any particular artists not drawing, if not much more so overreaching errors by a novice promoter.  Blame the promoter and their novice errors, not the genres they were targeting as that would be more accurate.


There have been way too many successful concerts and events over the last 20 years of these different types of bands to say its a genre still trying to find its niche in Southern California . From the Troubadour to the Hollywood Bowl with stops at the Gibson Ampitheatre and Staples Center. there have quite a few memorable evenings of music right here in Southern California.


There were 3 different bookers for this festival that I know about, all left at different times saying not so pleasent things about the promoters.  Not exactly the right ingredients for a big festival.  I would also ask SuperEstrella about that non support before I throw them under the bus.  Also, with all due respect to Al Borde, they can dedicate every issue all year long to the festival and they would still not move the needle that much in regards to ticket sales.   If that was their two ways of reaching the public, it just shows continued misunderstandings of the market.


We appreciate and applaud anyone that comes in and tries to do something interesting and well done, but not when it does not work out and blame is shifted everywhere else than where it should be dedicated - fully within.

gabrielsanroman topcommenter

 @Nacionalista The scene is ready for a music festival to be sure. Musician friends, fans and myself all shared a common thought when TriTone first announced its arrival, though  -- was three days and weekend passes too much, too soon? It would have been a good litmus test. Unlike Al Borde, this piece sought out and quoted one booking agency and answered a key question as to where certain bands had gone.


There's more to come, stay tuned!

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