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Fear The Dragon: An Exclusive Interview With DRAGON ROJO METAL FEST Promoter/Booking Agent ISRAEL PELAYO

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Monday, November 14, 2022 @ 11:04 AM

"Tijuana has been known for years as the biggest party city in the West, in many aspects it still is and we wish to make it the biggest metal city in Mexico."

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Interview By Benjamin Niebla II “Lord of PR”

Mexico is known for their love of metal music and loyal rabid fans of all genres and sub-genres. Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico is situated immediately south of San Diego, one of the finest cities in California and the United States. Both cities have been known to host rock & metal concerts going back decades.

With all the new emphasis in bringing rock & metal bands into Tijuana, why would you not answer the call from the true metal fans in the area and establish and continue to build an underground metal festival empire in one of the world’s most travelled US / Mexico border city areas?

The 2nd annual Dragon Rojo Metal Fest will take place on November 19 and 20, 2022 at the Explanada del Estadio Chevron in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. A pre-party concert will be held on Friday, November 18, at the Dragon Rojo Bar in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. The lineup for the pre-party includes: Holy Dio, The Unholy, Venemous, Astaral Azif, Argonica, DJ Katon (Hirax) - Spinning metal vinyl.

The lineup for the Dragon Rojo Metal Fest includes Dying Fetus (Co—Headliner day 1), Ross The Boss (Co-Headliner day 1), Riot V (Co-Headliner day 2), Tim "Ripper" Owens (Co-Headliner day 2), The Three Tremors (featuring Ripper Owens, Sean Peck and Harry Conklin), Cage, Cenotaph, Blood Feast, Hirax, Khafra, Cemican, Silver Talon, Thanatology, Swarm of Serpents, Introtyl, Healing Harm, Brutal Squirt, El Escuadron Ataque Tormento, Sylvania, Anarchus, Last Breath, The Unholy, Plazma, Yeos, Feed The Vulture, Restos Mortales, Lurking Terror, Deux Machina, Alchemy, Coatl, Slaytanic, Visceral Carnage, Dead Man's Joke, Disposable Heroes, Mutant Beans, Hafid Hernandez, Sun of These Days, Mean Machine, Alvath.

We had the chance to speak with Israel Pelayo, a member of the Dragon Rojo Metal Fest promoter team and booking agent who brings up to speed on the new rising festival catering to the true metal masses.

KNAC.COM: What event(s) led to the creation of the Dragon Rojo Metal Fest in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico?

PELAYO: The festival was created as an extension of the Dragon Rojo Rock Bar in Tijuana, the city's only Rock / Metal bar. Owners Danny and Mario reached out to me to assist in creating the festival and mainly help with band bookings.

KNAC.COM: What were the short-term and long-term goals of the fairly new yearly gathering?

PELAYO: I think our initial thought was to have an international festival worthy of our city as Tijuana has been largely ignored as a metal destination for many years by touring bands. Seeing the success and great response from fans and bands alike in 2021 gave us the push to grow the festival into what we have organized for 2022. We plan to grow and hopefully become the best metal festival in Northwestern Mexico.

KNAC.COM: 2022 is the 2nd year of the festival existence. What have been the major challenges of putting on such a large metal fest in Mexico?

PELAYO: I think the biggest challenge has been changing to a new location and expanding the size of the festival. We went from having 1 stage last year to having 3 stages this year and doubling the amount of bands. So the logistics are a major challenge, but luckily we have managed everything accordingly.

KNAC.COM: How big is the metal scene in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico?

PELAYO: Tijuana has a fairly large Metal scene, in the last 10 years it has grown exponentially. The scene is a bit fragmented in my opinion so we'd like to think that our fest will help in bridging the gap between the different genres.

KNAC.COM: How safe is the city of Tijuana for metal fans coming to attend the festival from other cities in Mexico and the United States?

PELAYO: Tijuana has a lot of problems when it comes to safety, mainly due to drug dealers and that type of business and only in certain areas of the city. For the most part these things are few and far between when it involves tourists. Normally if you come to enjoy the music and have a few beers you will have the best time. I always tell my friends "if you don’t do it in your town and it's illegal, don’t do it in TJ either". There's certain parts in the US where you don’t want to find yourself at night or trying to score dope, same in Tijuana.

KNAC.COM: What are some of the highlights of the debut festival in 2021?

PELAYO: We were lucky enough to be able to host KRISIUN and NERVOSA for their only Mexico gigs of 2021, so we were very happy about that. The comradery that we saw between fans and the family atmosphere we witnessed was really something we are proud of. We were the only international metal festival in Latin America in 2021, so were very proud of that too.

KNAC.COM: What bands are on your wish list for future festival editions?

PELAYO: I think we have several, but at least on my end I would love to have more European death bands at our fest. Bands like DISMEMBER and BENEDICTION. Maybe a band like HELLOWEEN as well.

KNAC.COM: Why do metal fans need to attend the 2022 Dragon Rojo Metal Fest?

PELAYO: Tijuana has been known for years as the biggest party city in the West, in many aspects it still is and we wish to make it the biggest metal city in Mexico. This year’s edition offers a killer line up of all genres of metal, craft beer and fine food. It’s a 100% family experience for all ages and a welcoming inclusive vibe that can only be found here in Mexico.

Website: https://www.dragonrojometalfest.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dragonrojometalfest
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dragonrojometalfest/

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