Baja Beach Fest’s Aaron Ampudia and Chris Den Uijl Talk Founding Story, Industry Pressures and More
The fourth annual Baja Beach Festival kicked off on Friday, August 12, 2022 in Rosarito, Mexico with anticipated performances through the weekend from Daddy Yankee, Maluma, Wisin y Yandel and many more. Baja Beach Fest has become a yearly celebration for Latin culture and reggaeton music, and a musical event that many Latinos, whether living in Latin America or the United States, can call their own.
With many celebrities, influencers, and festival-goers in attendance, Baja Beach Fest provides an experience that you would not want to miss with two weekends of ongoing partying on the beach.
Aaron Ampudia and Chris Den Uijl, the founders of Baja Beach Fest, sit down in this interview to discuss how they expanded the festival from 2018 to the wildly successful event that it is today, and the footprint it leaves behind on the ever growing Latin music scene that has exploded in the past few years.
How did the idea of Baja Beach Fest come about?
Aaron: It all started when Chris and I started working together at my family’s venue around 2016. We saw that there wasn’t a festival for Latin Americans to call their own. We did a survey on the Papas & Beer channels, and the fans wanted a reggaeton weekend. I told Chris and he was like we have to do this. It came about super quick and we did it within three months with having nothing – no name or web site. That’s how it started.
Chris: Off of what Aaron said, we had been doing events for years together at Papas & Beer, which is a 4,000-capacity venue on the beach in Rosarito. Primarily, our audience was Mexican Americans driving over the border for a weekend adventure. We got overwhelming feedback about reggaeton and people wanted that weekend. As we really looked at the market as a whole, we saw a really interesting opportunity for us to take all our efforts inside of the venue and bring it out onto the beach. The idea was to really celebrate that Latin culture, and bring to life the beach/island vibes of Reggaeton.
Within 4 years, you have transformed Baja Beach Fest to one of the biggest Reggaeton and Latin music festival in the world. Do you feel any kind of pressure with this title?
Aaron: I don’t think there’s any pressure with that title. It inspires us and gives us fuel to keep on doing what we have been doing for the past four years, which is upping the experience, making the talent so special, and the curation of the festival. It makes me want to do bigger and better things at Baja Beach Fest.
Chris: We have never been big on titles. To us, the most important thing is the fans, and like Aaron said, creating an unforgettable experience for everyone who attends the festival. We are just grateful to have a small part in such an amazing cultural phenomenon that is happening with the culture and the genre right now.