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Beach town’s community guitar festival seeking pledges

Zihuatanejo’s International Guitar Festival, tentatively scheduled this year from March 2-9, showcases guitar music of all genres and is an incredible achievement for a small group of volunteers with no corporate sponsors or big budgets. 

But maintaining the world-class quality provides a financial challenge. This year the festival has initiated Kickstarter, a pre-festival fund-raising drive to cover the cost of the performers’ airfares. (Musicians and community sponsors offer their talents and services free or at huge discounts, so transportation is a major cost.)

Kickstarter pledges can be made until January 23.   How well the drive goes will help determine the length of the festival and the number of international artists that will appear. 

All pledges of one dollar or more will ensure that person’s name is included on the “Thanks” page of the festival website: A 100-dollar pledge brings free entrance and a range of privileges at events and shows.  To learn about all the incentives and levels of support available, check the above website.

The festival is usually about a week long and draws audiences from across Mexico and abroad.  This is not a monster summer festival that attracts 100,000 people but a community event with concerts, gala dinners and more intimate club and bar shows.

Typically, bar and gala dinner venues host 100 to 200 people and concerts up to 500.  In total, the festival draws about 3,000 people who revel in the great music and the beauty of the area. 

Each year brings new applicants who want to perform.  One of the most difficult aspects of the event is trying to select from among the large number of superb artists who want to join in.  

In its first decade, the festival brought more than 100 international musicians to Zihuatanejo, from Spain, Brazil, Japan, South Africa, Poland, Russia, England, Ireland, Germany, Turkey, Canada, the United States and Mexico.   Participating artists have included winners of some of the industry’s highest honors, including Grammys, Country Music Awards and MTV awards.


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