"The radio doesn't play reggae down here," says tijuanense Carlos Garcia, bassist in the Astrorumberos. "The only time we get to play [in Tijuana] is when Pato Banton or Manu Chao comes down here and we get to open for them."
Garcia says his band is one of four or five reggae bands in Tijuana.
"The only other city in Mexico that has any kind of reggae scene is Mexicali. They have three bands there.... The only Spanish reggae most people in Mexico hear are from bands who are visiting from Argentina or Cuba."
Together for eight years, the Astrorumberos have yet to play in the U.S., mainly because three of the band members don't have visas. They perform Bob Marley covers in English. The lyrics found in the band's original songs, meanwhile, don't espouse much political ideology.
"We are kind of angry about racism and problems at the borders," says Garcia. "But we think the way to help is to not insult people. The politicians are always going to do what they do."
For years, San Diego reggae promoter Makeda Dread organized the annual Bob Marley Day event at the Sports Arena. Last year she was told by the Marley estate that the Bob Marley name could no longer be used by her or other promoters.
On September 22 and 23 at Rosarito Beach's Club Maya, Dread will put on a "Peter Tosh Day" festival. The Astrorumberos are one of 11 artists scheduled to perform. Israel Vibration and Eek-A-Mouse headline.