As I've blogged before, every year a group of friends and I organize the Warren Morrow Latin Music Festival. We like to call it the WMLMF, or #WMLMF for the savvier among us.
It started as a concert in 2012 and grew into a festival in 2016 when we broke the bank (our little bank) bringing a Grammy-winning band, La Santa Cecilia as a headliner. It was their first time playing in this city and we hope they will be back.
This year we brought QUITAPENAS, which translates to take away your worries. The group had performed in neighboring states but never in ours, so we were proud once again to host a unique band to the lineup.
On all accounts, minus a few hiccups, the event was a success. The venue looked beautiful and river and skyline backdrops were amazing. The weather cooperated and the crowds came. It was the largest we've had since the inaugural year.
It was made possible by a small but mighty group of dedicated volunteers who believed in the event and in the legacy it preserves.
These events are always bittersweet. On one hand, it revives me to feel the positive energy and love that's been shown since the event started. On the other, it is painful to be fully happy putting so much work into an event that Warren would love, yet will not be part of. Every year I think it will be my last year, and every year I can't walk away. Aside from the positive impact such a celebration has on sharing culture through music, I stay because I have built a family through these volunteers who give so selflessly of their time and talents, just as Warren did when he was alive. It is more than a labor of love to us and it shows in how much time and sacrifice we put into the festival.
|The Crew that makes WMLMF possible|
Highlights of this year's festival included:
- Warren's parents dancing to nearly every song while making new friends
- The 2017 t-shirt designed by a 14-year-old high school student
- A bilingual radio commercial
- Being featured on a local television station
- Ticket searches throughout the city
- A stellar lineup
- More advance ticket sales than ever before
- Seeing my family enjoy themselves
- The feeling of survival and accomplishment when the event was over and we had another peaceful, beautiful festival to look back on
- All the hands and hearts that came together to make it happen