Bridge: Ocean to Ocean Highway YUMA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
COVID-19 Coverage

Two-day "Rock Fiesta" In Arizona Gathers Latin Rock Legends


Yuma-An Arizona town famous for its rock and gem expo is preparing to host a different kind of rock show.

Quartzsite is a small town about two hours west of Phoenix.

Each year it hosts an annual Rock, Gem & Mineral show that draws people from around the world. This week a different kind of rock is the draw--Latin rock.

KAWC's Stephanie Sanchez reports on the first ever Quartzsite "Rock Fiesta," a two-day Latin music festival that organizers hope will become a new local tradition.

Event organizer Hal Davidson nicknamed this weekend's Rock Fiesta the "Coachella" of Latin rock.

"Thirteen and a half hours of rock in your face with no breaks for two days in a row," Davidson said.

The Desert Gardens Showgrounds in Quartzsite will have two stages hosting 19 performances by Latin rock headliners like Caifanes, Cafe Tacuba and El Tri. Fans can start settling in the campgrounds Thursday for the two day event.

Davidson looked at venues for the Rock Fiesta in Texas, New Mexico and Las Vegas, Nevada, but he was intrigued by the small town of Quartzsite.

But would 4,000 local residents and thousand of RV living retirees be up for a three day Latin rock show?

"We may have 50,000 Mexicans jumping up and down, screaming, drinking beer," Davidson said. "Do you realize that? Is that OK? Can we bring that? They said yes, bring it."

One group that will get people jumping is a band that combines heavy metal with mariachi music, Metalachi. The five half-brothers grew up in Los Angeles and have invented a new style of music.

"You actually see people do mosh pits and head bang to mariachi," Metalachi's trumpet player, "El Cucuy" said.

Davidson has organized events for decades and says there's no Spanish rock festival for Latinos in America. He hopes the unique Quartzsite location will attract fans.

"It's a piece of desert. You're on the moon here," Davidson said "You're putting a festival on the moon."

Metalachi opens up the Quartzsite Rock Fiesta Friday morning. Check if your favorite band is on the line-up at

The two-day rock festival aims to be the 'Coachella' of Latin Rock in Quartzsite.