By RICARDO CASTILLO
Do real rockers ever retire?
The answer is a resounding no, and the 2018 San Miguel de Allende Magic Town Music Festival, held last March 10, was living proof of that.
Attending the fundraiser for the Centro Infantil de los Ángeles at Plaza Arvino – famous for its giant goose – “the biggest in the world” says owner and creator Arvin Kaganovich – were over 600 fans, who paid to hear and dance to live music by five different immortal rock bands, most of which are composed of retirees now living in San Miguel de Allende, a longtime Mexican Magic Town.
Rockers may not retire, but, alas, the Magic Town Music Festival may do just that, as Carrie Cameron, one of its chief organizers, announced that “this the last one we will be organizing.”
The reason for the event’s impending demise is simple: Cameron and her companion Rusty Henson are ready to retire, and as long they keep organizing this fest, they just won’t be able to do it.
“We want to travel; we want to go to the beach,” she explained to Pulse News Mexico, with some regret but full-scale resolution in her voice.
“Organizing this festival takes a long time, and a lot of work” even if it was only once a year for five consecutive ones.
“We’ve tried hard at making it the best and make the most money for the beneficiaries, the children at the Centro Infantil de los Ángeles,” she added.
“It’s not easy to be a benefactor in Mexico, not at all, and in fact most of our sponsors are from the United States.”
In this year’s rendition of the Magic Town Music Festival, Cameron and Henson opted to downsize compared to the previous four years.
The festival in 2017 ran for two days, with 17 different performing bands.
This year, there were only five groups and the concert lasted for a full afternoon from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“We didn’t start the process as we did last year and there was a big difference in terms of saving money and headaches,” Cameron said.
“There’s a big difference between having a two-day event compared to a one-day event. In reality, we raised as much money in one day as we had in two before.”
Nonetheless, the approximately $15,000 that the festival yielded from entry fees and side fundraisers such as the bidding for a donated painting (which netted $1,000 by itself) added up at the end of the day. Last year we raised $10,000.”
One constant of the five festivals was the presence of Dallas-based country-rock singer Maylee Thomas and her band, “The Texas Bad Ass Boys,” who were a delight every time.
Cameron says their friendship goes back for many years to when they used to do benefit performances together in the United States.
The SMA Magic Town Music Festival constituted a sort of continuity of what they were doing before, she said.
In all performances the Maylee Thomas band not only performed for free, but paid for their own air transportation to Mexico.
In retiring from the organization, Cameron says “we really hope someone comes along and take it over.”
After five straight years, the festival has already built up significant momentum and placed San Miguel de Allende on the international rock concerts map.
Still, whether it will continue remains to be seen as Cameron and Henson prepare to relax, sit back and start really doing what actually brought them to San Miguel de Allende in the first place: retiring.
Still, Cameron is busy with her custom-fit cowboy boots factory and store on Aldama Street, so it won’t really be retirement, but taking it easier and try to find less hectic ways of producing money for their favorite charity, the Centro Infantil de los Ángeles daycare center, which looks after approximately 100 preschool children daily while their single mothers are out making a living for themselves.