El Paso’s International Mariachi Festival is a brand new event, begun in September 2010. It is a celebration not only of Mariachi music, but also of the common cultural legacy shared by Mexico and the Southwestern United States. As the center of El Paso’s cultural life for a week in September, the Festival is also a major catalyst to the city’s tourism industry and the revitalization of its downtown area.
The Festival takes place over several days in late summer, attracting performing groups from all over the region and throughout Mexico, as well as students and lovers of the music seeking a deeper immersion in the world of folkloric music and dance. Workshops and classes in Mariachi and other forms take place all festival long, with students from beginner to advanced perfecting their technique and performing alongside the Festival’s featured artists. Highlighted groups perform at the Festival’s final concert, and have opportunities to perform at later dates, with the El Paso Youth Symphony Orchestra.
El Paso International Mariachi Festival Information
- Venues: Camino Real Hotel (101 South El Paso Street); Plaza Theatre (125 Pioneer Plaza)
- Public Transportation: Excellent (a short walk from several buses at Oregon Street/Mills Avenue and Oregon Street/Texas Avenue)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good at both venues
- Performances/Programs: Plaza Garibaldi showcase features eight mariachi groups and five dance studios. Main event (Mariachi Extravaganza) includes performances by several major mariachi groups, as well as all workshop participants
- Ticket Prices: Daytime admission $12; Evening admission $15–$55; day-of purchases add $5 to individual ticket price.