You can park for free at the Alamodome's Lot B until 3 p.m. ($10 afterwards). There are two buses leaving to and from the Convention Center every 15-20 minutes. "It's been slow since 8:15 am, but I hear there's a lot of people walking," said the bus driver at 1 p.m. Saturday, when there were less than 60 cars at the Alamodome. Later on that night, sources told the Current that "between 5,000 and 10,000 tickets were sold" at the Alamodome show Saturday night, even though it looked as if that figure was closer to 5,000.
Once at the Convention Center, the Quintanilla family was being interviewed by People en Español's Isis Sauceda in front of an almost packed room. When Sauceda asked Marcela Quintanilla (Selena's mom), to talk about some intimate memories with Selena, Marcela choked and passed the mic to her son A.B. "It's very hard for my mom to be here today," he said.
I was expecting more people at both the free events at the Convention Center and at the Alamodome, but the atmosphere in both places was great. At the Convention Center, the only thing you couldn't get for free was the actual magazine (if you pay a 25-issue $25 subscription, you get a "free" magazine and a "free" tote bag; otherwise, you get nada).
Boxer Miguel Cotto, YouTube sensation Matt Hunter, and reguetonero Tito El Bambino signing autographs, and A.B. Quintanilla and Kumbia King/All Starz took place of the Saturday free events. During The Kings' performance, 68-year-old great grandmother Eva Jiménez (a Monterrey native who has lived in SA for 40 years) stole the show by getting onstage and dancing chúntaro style with A.B. Quintanilla.
Daddy Yankee closed the show on Saturday and Luis Miguel will be wrapping things up Sunday night. On Saturday, the "King of Reggaetón" retained his crown in spite of the best efforts of Tito "El Bambino," who brought a full band but was pulverized by DY, who only came with a DJ and a few dancers.
The evening also had a fine set by 3BallMTY, a forgettable one by El Cata (which the crowd ate nonetheless), a crowd-pleasing set by reigning Best New Artist Latin Grammy winner Sie7e, and the best performance of the night: a rousing concert by Puerto Rican merengue-pop star Olga Tañón. She stopped the show, literally, after the first song (it was hard to hear her orchestra). "No one deserves to have sound as horrible as this, so I'm not going to resume until they fix it," she said. "If they asked me to come onstage [before they were ready], it's their problem." Too bad, because the sound had been great up until that point and was finally fixed from her second song on.
Sunday night's the big night: Luis Miguel will be launching his tour with a two-hour-plus show, according to organizers. I'd be surprised if the event is not sold-out. But ticket sales aside, in terms of sound (for the most part), production values, and overall fun, judging by its first day the first People en Español Festival has been a success.
Stay tuned for more updates. — Enrique Lopetegui