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Neon Desert Music Festival doubles the fun
File Photo
The Neon Desert festival will be held May 24-25. Over 30,000 have attended this event and is expected to increase this year as a result of the addition of hip-hop to the line-up. Check out line-up visit at (Above) Molotov’s lead guitarist,Tito Fuentes.

Previously a one-day event, the fourth-annual Neon Desert Music Festival has been expanded to two days, due mainly to El Paso’s growth and natural progress, said Zach Paul, press and media director for the festival.

“This is the first year we have extended the festival from one to two days due to popular demand,” Paul said. “We’re ready to grow and give the fans more entertainment.”

This year’s festival will take place on Memorial Day weekend, May 24-25, in downtown El Paso. Organizers also announced that hip-hop will be added to the lineup.

According to a festival map, two stages will be available this year around Cleveland Square Park due to ongoing renovation of San Jacinto Plaza. Previous years saw four stages.

“Going from one day to two is fantastic for the event and for downtown—it will afford even more people the opportunity to enjoy the festival’s downtown location and allow folks to explore more of downtown that weekend,” said Veronica Soto executive director Downtown Management District of El Paso said.

Aaron Perdue, freshman art major, said that it’s always a wonderful experience to attend the festival and is excited about the extending of the festival because it will bring out a larger group of music lovers.

“I’ve enjoyed being out in the street in crowds of people who shared my excitement. As soon as everybody saw the sun starting to go down, there was dancing on the streets, lights on the stage and Wolfgang Garnter mixing,” Perdue said.  “All I can say was even though it wasn’t my favorite type of music, the vibe was amazing.”

neondesert_01WEBSlightly outpacing last year’s total of 19 main acts, the festival will be featuring about 11-12 bands each day, plus the annual silent disco, and will have everything from Latin alternative, electro-pop, rock, indie, EDM and hip hop.

“Hip-hop is such a touchy subject for some, but for others, it was a great idea to finally add in hip-hop to the line-up,” Perdue said.

Paul said that the festival’s location was perfectly timed to highlight downtown’s revitalization.

“It will be a good way to celebrate our culture and experience something new for those who have not gone to the event,” Paul said.

“The NDMF not only brings El Paso together, but also plays a vital role in the upbringing of the new Downtown project. It brings diversity and culture to the Sun City.”

Perdue said that the festival is vital to bring the community together.

“The music vibe, the sights, everybody feels and looks great, it’s an overall good time,” Perdue said.

Soto said that the festival will play a role in the revitalization because it will target a larger audience, including those who are from out of town and people who haven’t had a chance to really experience Downtown.

“It will prove that Downtown is a fun venue and offers a memory-making experience,” Soto said. “The fact that this kind of signature event is hosted Downtown opens up possibilities for additional events and additional investments, so it helps create a place that everyone can enjoy.”

In the future, Soto hopes the NDMFl will be extended to more days such as the San Antonio Fiesta, which first started as a one-day festival and is now currently a month-long celebration.

“This Fiesta has helped make San Antonio into a convention center mecca,” Soto said. “It may be that Neon Desert has the same kind of effect in El Paso over the long term.”

Ashley Muñoz may be reached at [email protected].

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Neon Desert Music Festival doubles the fun