THE AXE CEREMONIA FESTIVAL 2023 IS COMING!
Brace yourself for an epic weekend – The Axe x Ceremonia Festival is back for a two-day packed event on April 1st and 2nd featuring your favorite artists killing the stage including: Travis Scott, La Goony Chonga, Willow Smith and Rosalia, to name a few. We chatted with the founder of Ceremonia Festival, Diego Jiménez , on his vision of what makes a great festival, his linup and future plans for bringing the biggest talents to the stage for a cultural celebration.
Festival Dates are April 1st and 2nd – To Purchase Tickets: www.axeceremonia.com
Mexico is biggest country for music streaming, how are you tapping into that with all that you do?
I mean we use the metrics and sometimes that helps programing but there are so many artists that have insane numbers that don’t sell tickets because they dont give the time to come and win the audience. Mexico has an incredible fan base but you have to come and play for them, it’s a very loyal audience. A lot of hip hop artists , for example, have no interest in exploring the market and prefer to stay in the markets they already have a fan base and when they try to come probably it’s too late or the fees they get in other countries are unplayable here. I think if you are an artist and you take the streaming services into your advantage – this is a great market to break. You can have a long lasting career in music.
What makes a good music festival?
Community. That the people that live in the city where the festival is happening see it as it’s own. We try to bring more and more creatives every year to use this platform to reach a bigger audience (if that’s what they are after).
Coachella vs Axe Ceremonia – whats the difference?
First of all, Coachella is older than us, they have created one of the strongest festivals brands in the world. California is a compleatly different economy than Mexico City, but besides that – I think we both have created an identity that is directed to different audiences. We have shared lots of artists in the past but I think we are very different experiences. I respect them a lot, everyone that throws a festival, especially at their scale, is so much work, so many variables, so many difficulties. An inmense team that have to allign to create something that won’t be repeted ever again in the same way. I think we just focus in creating the spaces we think our cities need and we define our values and ideas around that.
What we love about the festival is inclusion of so many queer artist example Arca last year and Tokischa this year plus many more. Tell us about this.
When we started the festival we where trying to bring artists that where doing something different that normally wouldn’t come to our city. We where younger and the conversations 10 years ago where so different than now- then around year 3 or 4 we stopped and said we really don’t stand for anything. We felt we where doing an “Advanced” Music Festival but it was only about bringing artists – so we sat down and started to auto-criticize ourselves.There was not really diversity in our lineups, we just brought hip hop acts that probably other festivals where not bringing. Festivals in my perspective have to bring much more to the table than just artists to an event, so our first main change was like, we have zero representation of queer culture, our disparity between male & Female/Queer artists was a big. We started working on that. Then we where like we want to talk about youth culture, where is our approach to activism, where is the space for changing ideas, so we started a program called Ceremonia Social and we did big alliances with non profit groups, now the UN jumped into our program and we have been working with them for 3 years through Monse castera who has helped me so much in really make all our ideas happen and not just be a marketing speech.
Another change we made this year is that we have had queer artists in all stages! they where mainly in the Traición stage, the queer stage, and then we realized we where also limiting them to a space. So this year we decided to change that and even bring hetero acts to the queer tent and stop limiting things to labels, even when we still want to celebrare that culture in that space we want to celebrate all type of peoples and comunities all over the festival. We also started a program 3 years ago where started trainings for Security personel, cleaning teams, bar people, production personel, everyone that is involved in the festival to take a course of how to treat everyone the same way and respect ideology, gender identities, etc. An example, if a trans man wants to go to the “male” restroom they should be allowed. we also added non-binary restrooms. At the begining of these trainings we had a lot of apathy from the people attending., this year we did it in a big auditorium, different sessions and the involvement of the staff has grown so much, they make more and more questions and their interest have grown from 0 to 100. Obviously its a difficult task with so many people involved but we have seen the change and that makes us very proud, our team still make mistakes but our protocols of how to act to those mistakes have been improving. For us it is super important to create a safe space at a large scale. Most of social discussions start in clubs, there’s a lot of politics surrounding music and nightlife. Culture has changed so many people’s minds so we want to use our space to open conversations.
Will you ever bring Ceremonia to USA if so we need to collaborate jajajaja
We have never thought about it to be honest. Maybe one day! But I think Mexico City gives Axe Ceremonia a lot of it’s personality!
But we love to collaborate so….. hopefully one day we can do something together. What can we expect from this year fest?
It’s the first time we do two days, we turn 10 years old. We have new spaces, new collaborators, we even now have an open mic stage that Momoroom created. We have amazing performance art curated by Pepx Romero. I think the best lineup we have ever had, lots of intersting new acts that will blow people’s minds! Hopefully haha. If you sum up “CEREMONIA” in one word what is means, it would mean to be a community.
What song do you have on repeat at the moment?
Hahaha it’s an old song from Bobby Pulido called ‘Desvelado’ – I hear it almost everytime I come back home from a party. I was also listening a lot to lil Kim Hardcore album a lot.
What is next for music scene in Cdmx and what party should we never miss?
There’s a lot of acts happening, not all from Mexico City but from our lineup. Eme Malafe for me one of the most exiting acts in Mexico City right now. Junior H show I think will be one of the most celebrated acts of the festival. El Malilla from the new scene is blowing up. Tayhana is Argentina but I think you can’t talk about the sound of Mexico City’s underground scene without mentioning her. She’s having a huge moment she produced Cuuuute from Rosalía’s Motomami, she’s in Black Panther 2 Sound Track. I think she’s a gem! Zizzy, Yoshi, Fodeqush – I mean from start to end there’s so many amazing mexican acts. Julieta Venegas one of the biggest Icons of this country. Traicion stage lineup is fire!!
This years acts include:
To purchase tickets visit https://axeceremonia.com/