Mala Luna hits home run in third year as top music festival in San Antonio

The forecast told of clear and sunny skies all weekend, but actually Mala Luna was overcast with cannabis clouds at the start of its third year in the Alamo City.

From dust intertwined with clouds of smoke and San Antonio youth collectively dispersed, Mala Luna promised and delivered another solid music festival presence, a polished and refined experience.

Cell phones shot up to the sky and Snapchat screens lit up the evening (go figure) both nights at Mala Luna Music Festival, eerily reminiscent of the lighters of yesteryear.

The first night was packed festival-goers dancing, laying around, hanging with close friends, and enjoying an evening of unison for heavy hitters including Lil Baby, Becky G, Nicky Jam, Tyler, The Creator, and the wild Cardi B. Young Thug, Lil Pump, and 2 Chainz capped off the festival on Sunday closing out the day with eclectic sets.

Walking through the field reminded me that we were in San Antonio and not in any other city experiencing a major music festival. San Antonio might have finally found a good music festival that should cement itself as the festival in the Fall that people can look forward to.

Instantly, a pattern was seen throughout Saturday and Sunday. If you paid close enough attention, you’d see people prancing around trying to conceal their crude use of narcotics to elevate their experience, to parents with children in Halloween costumes trying to hold onto the last bits of their youth. It was endearing.

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One common theme was apparent though and it was that music brought everyone together regardless of age. The BPMs of the music ranged from house and dance to R&B and rap. People got swept off their feet with no regard to their surroundings. Magical.

My feet hopped off the ground both nights because throughout my high school career into college and into my professional life, the music and its generational gaps had grown and followed along with what I listened to.

The older generation of millennials who grew up with Tyler, The Creator were seen swaying and packing themselves like sardines against the front stage Saturday, while the younger crowds sang along and rapped to the up-and-coming generation of performers including high-profile rapper, Cardi B.

Cardi B’s DJ announced her second to last song of the evening while Cardi loudly proclaiming, “N***a I’m tired,” to a crowd in unison laughing loudly. She continued like a champion alongside her back up dancers singing loudly and dancing in front a massive crowd of thousands.

As lewd and crude as you would expect, Cardi did not mince words when saying that she enjoyed the food of the city. To cap her San Antonio debut, she ended her set with “Bodak Yellow” and started a massive karaoke concert in the audience.

Before Cardi ended the evening, Tyler, The Creator delivered one solid set despite having been involved in an accident recently on Oct. 25 that crushed his Tesla.

The accident did not hinder the rapper from California as he stormed the stage while his long-time friends Jasper and Taco were on the side managing his backing tracks and hyping up the crowd. Tyler on more than one occasion asked the audience to wild out on his behalf so he could vicariously be as energetic as possible by channeling the audience’s energy (myself included singing along and dancing and jousting around like a maniac). He played classics off his WOLF album and also off of Cherry Bomb and his most recent album Scum F**K Flower Boy.

In 2017, temperatures dropped, and it was colder when heavy hitters Migos and Lil Wayne rocked their respective stages. It was damn cold that year, this year, patrons comfortably sang along and were treated to some sweet temps all night.

To digress, Mala Luna Music Festival did the one thing it sought to separate itself from last year, and that was drawing a larger crowd, doing it better, and providing two full nights of world-class music and enough beer to hold some of us over.

Walking in between each stage after each performance was a fun disarray due to the heavy amounts of guests that ran to get the best spot to catch the next act. It was almost a stampede, even in the VIP section.

In their third year, Mala Luna Music Festival continued its merit into providing another music festival for San Antonio. Many have come and gone, and there are those that are being announced.

While Austin has a reputation for being the forefront of music and many successful music festivals, Mala Music Festival inches one step closer to getting San Antonio into the world of music festivals and being a true provider of entertainment.

If you missed out on Mala Luna this year there is always next year where the expectation lies to knock it out of the park again.

This article was originally published for News 4 San Antonio. 

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