ATLANTA — A beloved Latin celebration is returning to the heart of the city to bring culture and community in the form of a festival.
Margarita Rios and Randall Ruiz, both Atlanta natives, are on a mission to showcase the vibrant Latinx arts scene. Underground Atlanta, a place brimming with cherished memories from their childhood, now serves as the backdrop for Oye Fest — a celebration of Latin artists throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Their vision for Oye Fest goes beyond nostalgia.
The dynamic duo aims to dispel stereotypes and show that Latin music and art encompass a rich tapestry of diverse styles and genres.
And for them - location matters.
"My parents used to bring me to Underground Atlanta as a kid. You had the Latin festival here. So it definitely has a historic, nostalgic vibe to it," Ruiz said.
Rios said through the festival, they are quenching a thirst.
"Especially in this city, where it feels like there isn't enough events curated for Latinos by Latinos," Rios said. "It's super important to showcase the ones that are happening."
This year's theme for Oye Fest is "De Atlanta Pa' Atlanta," signifying a festival created by and for the local Latinx community.
Rios said it emphasizes the importance of representation.
"It's very important because no one knows this better than our own people," Rios said.
Since its inception in 2018, Oye Fest has grown to become an homage to the festivals of their youth and a platform to amplify the voices of Atlanta's Latinx community. The event includes panel discussions and a wide range of musical genres to challenge the misconception that Latin music is a single monolithic sound.
As Oye Fest enters a new era, Rios and Ruiz hope to bring the sights, sounds, and flavors of Latinx culture to the forefront.
"It's just really a culture festival to highlight our community and to connect our community and to allow them the space to connect and grow together," Rios said.
Oye Fest stands as a testament to the power of unity within Atlanta's Latinx community, demonstrating that together, they are stronger and can create a platform to celebrate their diverse and rich cultures.
For more information about Oye Fest and to participate in this celebration of Atlanta's Latin arts scene, visit their official website at www.oyefest.com.