"It's very hard to get Balboa Park between Memorial Day and Labor Day," says Benny Garcia, a promoter based in Orange County. For two years he's been seeking approval from the city to let him use Balboa Park for a Caribbean-flavored all-age concert.
"When you are from out of town, it takes a lot of time to put together the right staff." Garcia says he has done a lot of events in L.A. and Orange Counties. Recently he was able to secure a part of the park adjacent to Park Boulevard for a September 25 Caribbean music fest called Un Solo Pueblo.
Garcia says he expects 4000 people to attend; he needs 2500 to meet his $75,000 break-even point.
"We are flying in everybody," he says, referring to reggaeton artists Principal (Panama) and Trebol Clan (Puerto Rico) and merengue band Fulanito (New York). Also appearing are L.A.-based Cuban band Guama and salsa artists Chino Espinoza from L.A.
"This is our first show in San Diego," says Garcia, who notes that 4th & B and the Del Mar Fairgrounds will put on reggaeton shows this year. "Next year we want to do a show at the Embarcadero for the Puerto Rican community." He estimates there are 20,000 Puerto Rican locals.
Although the flyer shows Principal flashing a hand sign, Garcia says, "This is a family event. This concert has nothing to do with gangs."
Tickets for Un Solo Pueblo Festival are $25 in advance for adults, $30 day of show. For information, see habanapromotions.com.