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In the wake of post-9/11 terrormania and, later, a barrage of cartel violence, the flash and boom of Tijuana’s historic tourism corridor along Avenida Revolución faded to murmurs.

In early 2009, a trendy bar and venue called La Mezcalera opened up a half block off of the “Revo” on Calle Sexta.

Catering to local tastes in lieu of tourist traffic, La Mezcalera paved the way for a rebirth of Tijuana’s nightlife on “La Sexta,” where other venues such as Moustache Bar and La Chupitertia soon followed suit.

“The culture in Tijuana is changing both in the music and the art world,” Club Purple promoter Miss Lady D told The Reader in 2011.

“We don’t see tons of 18-year-olds anymore in Revolución, getting drunk and acting stupid. The air of the nightlife is more mature and obscure now. There has been a lot of press lately about the Tijuana scene, and people in the U.S. are starting to be more intrigued and less frightened with our city. They come here to escape the über-hipster camera following sometimes-predictable crowds. The feel you get when you’re here can be a little European, and that can be very refreshing and exciting for many Americans.”

“The Tijuana nightlife has not only changed, but it has grown with the locals and the tourists,” says Astronauta Jackson of Tijuana darkwave duo Dancing Strangers.

“We fought the drug war by partying, meaning we stopped being afraid of what was happening. We wanted to stop being our own hostages, so we started going out. People started creating their own events or bringing them from San Diego, in the case of Club Purple, which is open to the 18-and-up crowd and goes late. Several influential and artistic Americans living south of the border have helped kill the stereotype of drugs and gunshots, which has opened up more American minds to stepping foot into this amazing, vibrant city that in the past has only been a myth and a bad reputation.”

La Mezcalera celebrates four years of Sexta, fun, and rock & roll on Saturday, January 26 starting at 6 p.m.

In the bar:

Tribal gurachero (yep, Mexican pointy boot music) ringleader Yelram Selectah:

Here’s some footage I took of Yelram at Tijuana’s All My Friends music festival last November:

Astronauta Jackson

Pek Pek

and Rafa Dro

In the backroom, La Mi-ja:


Hot Lunch

Martin Rocha

Le Faux

Luis Vega

And on the patio:

Maurice de la Falaise

Ivy Satana

Chica Cometa

Says Jackson: “This new Tijuana is full of youth, style, talent, and good vibes.”

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