Remembering Avándaro, a watershed moment in Mexican rock history
Today on World Cafe, as part of our programming for Hispanic Heritage Month, we dive into a slice of music history by way of Mexico.
It begins with a moment of tragedy in Mexico City that, among many sociopolitical consequences, heralded a crackdown on rock music in the country. In the fall of 1968, college students in the capital were protesting government spending on the Summer Olympics, which were set to kick off in 10 days, when Mexican armed forces started firing into the crowd.
The massacre in the city’s Tlatelolco neighborhood was a cataclysmic turning point in a larger youth movement pushing back against el PRI, Mexico’s authoritative ruling party at the time, and rock music was a big source of empowerment for young Mexicans.
All of this energy culminated in the iconic Avándaro, a music festival that’s been compared to Woodstock in the United States in terms of its impact on the course of rock music in Mexico. Since this is a story best heard, we recommend you tune in to the audio player above to hear the entire story.