This chapter analyzes the significance of the Latino cultural festival in relation to the production of southern latinidad, while also examining how festivals are essential to the process through which Charlotte's Latina/o musicians forge global connections with visiting musicians and promoters. It provides a behind-the-scenes look at how Latino festivals are organized as well as the relationship between organizers and corporate sponsors, and it explains how these global connections allow musicians to “jump scales” and create opportunities for their bands to tour or to advance other creative projects such as filmmaking. This chapter also critically examines how festivals at times produce a distorted and inaccurate picture of latinidad, while paying close attention to the structural and organizational limitations that influence this presentation. In addition, festivals contribute to a broader process of the commercialization and marketing of Latino identity, in what might be termed, “Latin Music, Inc.”
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