Review of Vamos Festival at St George’s Hall
Day of the Dead came to Liverpool in true Spanish fashion on Saturday with the vibrant ¡VAMOS! Festival boasting live music, tasty street food and boozy drinks at St George’s Hall.
The annual celebration of all things Mexican, which has called Newcastle home for the last decade, opened its doors to revelers at 6:30 pm with a wide variety of food, art, music, entertainment and – best of all – tequila!
The event – which came to Liverpool for the first time this year – kicked off with hundreds of people dressed in full Calavera makeup in the hopes of beating Mexico in breaking the world record for the most number of Catrines and Catrinas in the same place at the same time.
Although the attempt was unsuccessful, the spirit of the event was definitely not broken – a mass piñata smash followed with children and adults both taking a turn at smashing the life-sized Latina doll.
A lap around the event, held in a one of St George’s spectacular main halls, took visitors into the heart of Mexico with stalls of traditional Latin food (chili and chocolate over rice for £5 – cheap and delicious!) goods, sweets and Mexican décor lining the walls.
A wrestling cage and bandstand were the main points of entertainment for guests with Mexican DJs, Mariachi bands, and four very theatrical Mexican wrestlers entertaining guests all night.
Emma Foxall, director at Monkey Mind Productions, who has teamed up with ¡VAMOS! in bringing the event to Liverpool said, “It was a fabulous alternative to the regular Halloween celebrations that generally go on in the UK.”
And was she ever right!
The Day of the Dead celebration brought something new to Liverpool that hasn’t been seen in that scale before. The food was great, the entertainers were entertaining and the guests were involved. Best of all, it brought Latin culture to the city in a way that everyone could appreciate and get involved.
So will ¡VAMOS! be returning to Merseyside for a 2nd year? It’s not been officially announced, but I sure hope so.
By Jennifer Browne