Here are a few things most Latin American countries have in common: great music, delicious food, beautiful women, and rumbas — parties that go from sunset to sunrise. And just in time for Colombian Independence Day, MegaRumba is inviting Colombians and all of their neighbors to celebrate their independencia.
Tony Albelo, whose organization Swarm stages the event, says it has come a long way from its inception as MegaRumba Colombia in 2014 in Bayfront Park. Back then, it presented artists such as Fonseca, Maluma, and Grupo Niche. Tickets cost $25, but parking was expensive. The following year, he took it back to where the original Colombian festival happened at Tamiami Park. Younger Colombians wanted more modern groups and lower-cost parking and admission.
Albelo also noticed an influx of other nationalities attending the events, such as Peruvians and Cubans. So he and his co-organizers decided to make the fest more inclusive and take it to its newest home, Wynwood.
"Last year, we partnered with iHeart Media's Tú 94.9, and Enrique Santos suggested we embrace all the Latin American communities, bring it to Wynwood, and make it free," Albelo says. "The tag line followed — 'Celebra tu independencia, or 'Celebrate your independence' as a Latino. Last year, it was a blowout."
This year, MegaRumba is partnering with Cuatro por Venezuela Foundation, a nonprofit providing educational, medical, and nutritional aid to Venezuelans in need. Albelo says admission is free, but those who purchase a $10 donation ticket will receive a Bud Light and an Aguardiente shot, with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to Cuatro.
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The event will also offer a performance by Danny Ocean, who's making his U.S. debut. The artist quickly rose to fame with his hit "Me Rehúso," garnering 1.1 billion views on YouTube. Also performing live will be Sofía Reyes, Locos por Juana, and other acts.
Albelo says he's excited about the event and the growth of Swarm over the years. Swarm produced about 80 events last year and expects attendance to increase at MegaRumba from 12,000 in 2017 to 15,000 this year.
"I think people will go to be in the moment [and] enjoy the day and their cultures," he says.
MegaRumba 2018. 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday, July 20, at Wynwood Marketplace, 2250 NW Second Ave., Miami. Admission is free; a donation ticket costs $10 via eventbrite.com.