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Mexico: R.E.M. guitarist's benefit will have Todos Santos rocking

December 25, 2012|By Rosemary McClure
  • Wailing guitars on the patio at Hotel California during the 2011 Todos Santos Music Festival in Baja, Mexico.
Wailing guitars on the patio at Hotel California during the 2011 Todos Santos… (Vivian Johnson )

The once dusty, quiet streets of Baja Mexico’s Todos Santos, now undergoing a mini building boom, will rock for 10 days next month when former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck stages the second annual Todos Santos Music Festival.

The Jan. 10-26 music event, a benefit for the community, will feature eight days of music on the patio of the Hotel California and two special concerts in the town plaza, scheduled for Jan. 19 and 26, both Saturday nights.

Todos Santos is a small coastal town on the Pacific side of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, about an hour's drive north of Cabo San Lucas.

Buck says he helped organize the first concert last year because he was “looking for something new to do once my band R.E.M. had decided to call it a day.” He said the event raised funds for the Palapa Society, which provides educational after-school programs for local children.

“It brought so much to this area, a place I now consider my second home,” said Buck, who in conjunction with the Hotel California decided to make it an annual event.

The lineup features an eclectic array of musicians ranging from industry legends to emerging local talent. Among the confirmed acts:

  • British singer-songwriter and guitarist Robyn Hitchcock
  • Rock industry supergroup Steve Wynn and the Baseball Project
  • American rock band Scott McCaughey’s the Minus 5
  • Singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo
  • '90s alt-rock group the Posies
  • Indie rock artist Joseph Arthur
  • Chuck Prophet’s Mission Express
  • Mexican indie-pop group Torreblanca

Other performers include modern surf-rock band the Twin Tones, the Elected, Kev’n Kinney, Jon Langford and Ken Stringfellow. Shows will start every evening at 8.

“This festival is the most fun I’ve ever had playing music at an amazing location with some of my favorite musicians,” Buck said. “It is an incredibly entertaining way to raise funds and share a diversity of musical talent.”

General admission tickets for the Hotel California shows are $2; VIP tickets are $65; Town Plaza tickets are free general admission; $15 reserved bleacher seating.  

More information is available on the website.  

Hotel specials are available, including an event at Rancho Pescadero, which will host a private concert and dinner with Ken Stringfellow, front man for the Posies, on Jan. 16. Rancho Pescadero is one of the sponsors of the music festival.  

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