An upcoming Latinx music festival in Texas will feature some of the biggest stars in reggaeton, while raising funds for the victims of the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The lineup for Uforia Latino Mix Live, occurring on August 8 and 10, will include J Balvin and Bad Bunny, who recently released their joint album Oasis in July. According to Remezcla, the festival will be the first time that the two stars, from Colombia and Puerto Rico respectively, will perform the album live.
The news of the concerts follows a weekend of unimaginable violence in Texas and Ohio. A single gunman shot nearly 50 people at an El Paso Walmart on August 3, killing 22 people. Less than 13 hours later in Dayton, another gunman shot and killed nine people in less than 30 seconds. The motive remains unclear for the Dayton attack, but the El Paso shooter released an entire manifesto shortly before he began killing. The 21-year-old gunman wrote that he wanted to kill "hispanics", who he referred to as "invaders" and a threat to the American way of life. Presumably to accomplish this goal, he drove 11 hours across the state of Texas to El Paso, which has frequently been in the news lately because of its proximity to the U.S.–Mexican border.
The El Paso shooting has left many members of the Latinx community in the U.S. feeling under attack. Before Aug 3, President Trump regularly made speeches attacking the Latinx community, particularly immigrants from Central America and Mexico. He threatened ICE raids on immigrant families, and pushed for policies denying asylum seekers entry into the country. After the shooting, it felt to many people like his words had inspired a new level of violence.
These fears have not been lost on Univision, the company that's producing the Uforia concerts in Dallas and Houston. The president of Radio at Univision, Jesus Lara, told Remezcla that the company views the opportunity to raise funds for the shooting victims as a way to bring communities closer. Not only will concertgoers be able to donate to local organizations working with victims, viewers of the livestreams will be able to contribute as well.
“Following the tragic events in El Paso, we are honored to do our part to bring the local Latino community in Dallas and Houston together and to provide an opportunity for fans to support local organizations assisting those impacted on-site and via our first-ever livestream,” Lara said.
Bad Bunny's performance at Uforia will follow a summer full of political activism. In July, he paused his European tour so that he could take part in the protests against ousted Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Roselló. For multiple days, the rapper joined other famous Puerto Ricans like Ricky Martin and Residente and millions of citizens in calling for Roselló's resignation. Balvin, meanwhile, made history in a different way this summer; he became the first Latino headliner to perform at Lollapalooza. During his set on August 4, he brought out legendary reggaetoneros Wisin and Yandel, creating a celebration of Latinx culture in a moment of tragedy.
Balvin and Bad Bunny are slated to perform together on August 8 in Dallas, along with other Latinx superstars like Wisin y Yandel, Reik, Sech, Dalex, Play N Skillz. Balvin will perform again on August 10 in Houston, where he will be joined by Ozuna, Natti Natasha, Pedro Capo, and Sebastian Yatra. For tickets or more information on the livestream, visit the Live Nation website.