La Batalla Festival Promo

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Garage-surf rockers Santoros are making their triumphant return at the Glass House in Pomona, and they’re playing with a huge lineup of their friends. Music Editor Carter Moon chatted with Santoros’ agent John Lares from Cielo Talent Agency, who’s organizing the La Batalla Festival.

To start things off, if you could just tell me a little about the festival and how it came to be . . . this is the first year of the festival, right?

Yeah, this is the first year. I started working Santoros in December of 2016. In our first few meetings, we discussed our plans for 2017. We needed a huge event to kickstart the year. That’s where the original idea of a festival came. How La Batalla came to be was that we were trying to theme it around a holiday, and we didn’t want to wait too long, so Cinco de Mayo was the first holiday that came to mind. We started theming things around [that], and tying that in with the Mexican-American war, and battling for [Santoros’] musical success; battling just in general to make it in the music industry . . . a universal theme every musician experiences . . . the idea was to host a huge event followed by a tour.

And where will they be touring?

I can’t exactly say just yet . . .

And how did you get the rest of this line up?

First we reached out to Santoros’ good friends, Adult Books, Colleen Green, and Billy Changer. From there we asked Wild Wing and So Many Wizards . . . so once we had the full line up, we pitched the lineup to seven or eight headliners, and Tijuana Panthers were the ones that worked best with us.

It’s cool that the festival is all ages, was that always the plan?

Not really, the Glass House is an all ages venue, it’s rare that they have 21-and-over events, so we decided to keep it that way.

Of all the local festivals, why is this the one people should come to?

The fact that four bands are performing unreleased material. The entire venue is going to look like a fiesta, the stage is going to be covered in piñatas and desert stage props, it’s not going to look like a typical stage with lights; we put a lot of thought and effort into the production. Santoros are performing new music here for the first time, So Many Wizards just released an album in April, and they haven’t played that at all. This will be the first event where they play that album. Moon Ensemble, one of the opening bands, has two singles they haven’t released yet. So a lot of these bands are playing brand new, unreleased music for the first time. Tickets are $20 to see nine bands, plus four bands at the after party for free.

Tickets are still available for the festival here. You can also look forward to more coverage of the festival here on Crossfader.

Carter Moon grew up in the desolate Evangelic capital of the world and responded by developing a taste in counter culture, which eventually bloomed into a love for filmmaking and screenwriting. Carter has average opinions on most things, but will defend them adamantly and loudly until no one else wants to bother speaking up. He runs Crossfader's podcast, IN THE CROSSHAIRS.

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