The Uforia Music Festival crowd went wild for Ludacris. (Rafael Orellana/Living Out Loud LA)
Ever since its announcement, Univision Radio’s 2014 Uforia Music Festival appeared to be headed for a successful run. And indeed it was.
The sold-out fest, which took place at Exposition Park near the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Coliseum, featured a diverse set of performers that included Grammy-winning rapper Kid Cudi, rappers Ludacris and Nelly, as well as regional Mexican music icons La Arrolladora Banda El Limón and El Dasa, Latin Grammy-winning pop act Camila and Grammy-nominated DJ/producer Dirty South. The festival also featured sets from Colombian urban rapper and singer J Balvin, Los Angeles’ Becky G, Kid Ink, Sage the Gemini and newcomers J Quiles, Luis Coronel, Pedro Capó and Jason Cerda.
The nine-hour event consisted of two stages, many food trucks, beer gardens and tons of activities for all ages.
Uforia Music Festival was originally dubbed H2O, but after two stints at L.A. State Historic Park, the fest moved to Exposition Park and Univision Radio even changed its name. Sources close to the situation said that Univision Radio did not make a profit in 2012. It was not immediately confirmed if a profit was made in 2013, but it appears that this year the entity was on the right path to a significant financial gain.
Uforia Music Festival targets both the Latin-American and the African-American communities, as well as all lovers of Latin and hip-hop/rap music.
“With the growth of today’s bilingual community, Univision Radio created the Uforia Music Festival, the first bicultural music festival in Los Angeles, which celebrates Latin culture and its diverse taste in music,” representatives said in a prepared statement.
Though the afternoon was hot and somewhat humid, the fans poured into the venue as soon as doors opened. From 3 p.m. to 4:20 p.m., up-and-coming acts J Quiles, Luis Coronel, Becky G, Pedro Capo and Jason Cerda took charge of the stages, impressing with their energetic sounds, regional Mexican influences, hip-hop and pop flows.
Sage the Gemini continued before St. Louis’ own Nelly hit the scene. Nelly enthralled the thousands of fans in attendance. Hit after hit, the rapper performed “Country Grammar,” “Ride wit Me” and “Hot In Herre.” He closed the set with “Just a Dream,” a track everyone seemed to love and hold close to them. The song turned out to be a rather emotional four minutes, due especially to its inspirational lyrics.
El Dasa, a relative newcomer that has elevated his career within months, pleased the Latinos in the audience. J Balvin soon followed, and he provided a boost of energy with his infectious tunes like “6 a.m.,” “Tranquila” and “Yo Te Lo Dije.”
Kid Ink, who showed up late and didn’t offer an explanation, was also another crowd pleaser. Camila, as expected, offered a romantic segment for Latin pop fans.
One act that truly impressed the entire time was La Arrolladora Banda El Limón, who had people from all ethnic groups dancing to their upbeat tunes. It was an interesting performance that I wouldn’t have imagined would be so good.
Despite trouble with the sound system, Dirty South captivated with this EDM repertoire. He was one of the many surprises of the night. Everyone danced and acted as if they were at an EDM fest, which are always filled with luminous and extravagant atmosphere.
Uforia Music Festival saved the best two acts for last: Ludacris and Kid Cudi. Ludacris, as a matter of fact, had everyone go wild for him. He even performed his classic hits (those he used to establish himself as a rapper before becoming a highly likeable movie star) “Area Codes,” “Act A Fool,” “Move Bitch,” “What’s Your Fantasy?” “Ho,” “Stand Up,” “Southern Hospitality” and “Money Maker.”
Once Kid Cudi delivered his live repertoire, many fans had exited the vicinity. But thousands still remained and saw him tear it down during his 60-minute set.