The most striking thing I witnessed when first covering Mexico City’s Corona Capital in 2015 was the rabid fanfare. Even during the festival’s first couple of hours for performances by what one might refer to as “baby bands,” massive crowds of super-fans singing along to every word descended on each stage. The scenes were inspiring — a result of many artists’ relatively rare tour routes coming through Latin America and in some cases, for the first time.
That trend has persisted into the present with audiences at this year’s edition — headlined by Arcade Fire, Blur, and The Cure and held Nov. 17-19 at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez — going absolutely wild during the majority of sets from 88 bands playing across five stages. Spread out among a capacity of roughly 80,000 people per day (Mexico’s largest festival in history), these moments positioned the event as one of the country’s most significant reunions between music fans and artists since the conclusion of Covid lockdowns.
Such statistics bestow Corona Capital with the status of a crucial cultural occurrence, perhaps only slightly hampered by the fact that it’s now the most expensive festival in the world with 2023 general admission three-day passes topping out at upwards of $700 (about 12,600 pesos), meaning that attendance is ostensibly reserved for primarily affluent audiences. That said, drastic plunges in after-market ticket prices increased affordability, allowing for more widespread music-fueled catharsis among artists’ Mexico City debuts and long-awaited performances alike.
Read on for a list and images of the weekend’s standouts who fall into one of those two categories, followed by a full festival photo gallery.
Yard Act (Mexico debut), Friday on the Corona stage:
The Walkmen (first Mexico appearance in 11 years), Friday on the Corona stage:
Sampa the Great (Mexico debut), Friday in the Viva Tent:
Pulp (first Mexico appearance in 11 years), who debuted new song “Background Noise,” Friday on the Vans stage:
Kasabian (first Mexico appearance since 2017), Saturday on the Corona Stage:
Kim Petras (Mexico debut), Saturday on the Vans stage:
Fever Ray (Mexico debut), Saturday in the Viva Tent:
Blur (first Mexico appearance since 2015), Saturday on the Corona stage:
Feist (first Mexico appearance since 2017), Sunday on the Vans stage:
Sleater-Kinney (first Mexico appearance since 2015, at Corona Capital), Sunday on the Vans stage:
The Cure doesn’t fall into either category as they tour Latin America frequently (they last performed in Mexico City in 2019), but they deserve an accolade for the largest audience of the festival by far, nearly drawing the entirety of the festival’s capacity for their epic two-and-a-half-hour long, 28-song set Sunday on the Corona stage:
Check out the rest of our Corona Capital 2023 exclusive photos below.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.