For seven years, which is like decades in indie rock time, Festival Marvin has been the leading underground fest in Mexico City. Founded by Marvin magazine, the festival is the living, breathing, 3-D version of the popular alternative entertainment glossy, which is celebrating its 16th anniversary this year. Indeed, there is much to celebrate. Festival Marvin 2017, happening May 18-20, is packed with legendary headliners and up-and-comers alike — not surprisingly with a strong bent toward Latin artists.

Along with bands galore, expect visual art, stand-up comedy and film to take over the already-brimming-with-hip neighborhoods of Condesa and Roma. Tickets range from $550 pesos for a general weekend pass to $1,150 for full access. Give an ear to our suggestions and check out the schedule while you're at it.

Salón Acapulco

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Just try not to shake your culo to this. It’s unavoidable. Salón Acapulco’s techno beats can fit in pretty much any situation, from beachside palapa to Mexico City’s hottest clubs. In this case, they’ll be front and center at Festival Marvin.

When: May 20, 8 p.m.
Suggested listening: "Pomposa"



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Television’s debut album, Marquee Moon, is basically required listening for all budding indie rockers. This group emerged from the same New York scene that produced the New York Dolls and the Ramones, but way on the other side of the spectrum. Melodic, clean guitar and whimsical lyrics set this group apart, and they’re bringing their iconic, decades-old sound to headline the festival. Access to Television’s show requires an additional ticket of $350.

When: May 20, time TBA
Suggested listening: "Foxhole"


The Black Lips

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Punk lives with The Black Lips. Not so much in their classic surf-style riffs, but in their attitude. This gringo garage rock group is known for bombastic live performances that often result in bloodshed, most commonly from the members themselves. The Georgia-based band is catchy as all hell, but volatile enough to give a harder edge to the festival’s lineup. Access to this show also requires another $350 ticket.

When: May 20, 3 p.m.
Suggested listening: Live performance on KEXP


Surfistas del Sistema

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Hailing from Argentina, the group Surfistas del Sistema is a melodic, indie hit-making machine — even if the charts don’t show it. They will surely benefit from the excitable audiences in Mexico City. They describe their style as a blend of Depeche Mode, Soda Stereo, Babasónicos, Zoe and John Lennon. All sung with some Latin charm. What’s not to love?

When: May 20, time TBA
Suggested listening: "Ni Bien Ni Mal"


Orquesta 24 Cuadros

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Clashing, chaotic and utterly wonderful, Orquestra 24 Cuadros offers some of Mexico City’s finest big band meets Klezmer meets classical extravagance. With more than 10 members, the power of this orchestra cannot be denied. Expect to shake your hips and have your ears blown open.

When: May 20, midnight
Suggested listening: "Trotsky Usó Mi Baño y Lo Tapó"



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Arguably Mexico’s most forceful duo, consisting of brothers Arturo and Antonio Tranquilino. Banded since 2005, these carnales make a helluva lot of sound with just a guitar and drums. It’s part post-grunge, part noise rock, with obvious influences from traditional Mexican music. Absolutely not to be missed.

When: TBA
Suggested listening: "Quiero Venganza"


Los Mesoneros

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Full-on rock music with all the trimmings is what you can expect from beloved Venezuelan band Los Mesoneros. The group took a break for a few years, and for obvious reasons is not playing shows in its native country at the moment. There’s no doubt that Mexico City will provide them with an extremely warm bienvenido.

When: TBA
Suggested listening: "Caiga la Noche"

Note: Times for shows were still being finalized at press time. Keep up with the schedule on Festival Marvin's website

By Megan Frye

Megan Frye is a professional vagabond who swears she's danced with the dead at the pyramids. She can usually be found eating her way around Mexico City. Tweet her about the food that makes you squeal at @fryechild, or see what she’s up to on Instagram at @gypsy_fire