Downtown Albuquerque was packed on Saturday for the 2nd annual SOMOS ABQ celebration. The celebration kept to its core values of sustainability and highlighted aspects of the local community.
As soon as attendees walked through the gates, they were greeted with a wood-frame tunnel draped with dyed blue and green fabric that led them right into the first vendor of the marketplace.
White vendor tents lined the eight-block celebration down Central Avenue, decorated with whimsical interactive art installations sticking close to the concept of sustainability.
The marketplace had different types of vendors from clothing and art, to technology and goods from local farms.
At every intersection between 3rd Street. to 6th Street. there were performances and interactive art that attendees gathered around to see between the musical acts. At the intersection of 5th Street and Central Avenue, aerial and circus arts were performed by AirDance NM. Performers on stilts towered over guests as their eye-catching outfits lit up with multi-colored lights.
On one corner was rainbow-colored yarn art that created a web-like appearance that visitors could manipulate to change the overall look of the piece. On the opposite side of the street streamers made out of recycled plastic bags hung from light poles. The sidewalks were lined with different art pieces that were made to be interactive as well.
The intersection of 4th Street and Central Avenue served as a performance space for local Albuquerque talent including a group performance by Baila Baila, a dance studio specializing in Ballet Folklorico (Traditional Mexican Folk Dance).
After attendees wandered through the marketplace and local shops that border Central, they could go off in three different directions to the three music stages: rock, hip-hop and electronic. Throughout the evening, local acts took the stage, but as the sun went down the headliners took over.
“SOMOS is a great festival because it brings people that like different music styles together, and a lot of festivals don’t do that,” said UNM student Alejandria Gallegos. “My favorite part was definitely the EDM stage, because that’s my favorite type of music.”
Hip-hop recording artist Jay Electronica held an intimate show, performing in a small sea of his fans that rapped the lyrics along with him. Andrew McMahon performed in front of a larger crowd, drawing people of all ages to his rock set. NGHTMRE drew the biggest crowd to the largest stage of the celebration, taking over most of the parking lot at 7th Street and Central Avenue.
Bordering the dance stage were different types of food trucks and one of the four beer gardens featuring local craft beer. Although attendees had to stay inside the garden to enjoy their beverage, they still had a clear view of the performers on the dance stage.
NGHTMRE’s fans danced to his set as pyrotechnics lit up the stage and confetti cannons blasted off streams of different colored paper. The night ended with a confetti filled sky after NGHTMRE’s hour and a half set.
“For my first time at SOMOS I had a great time,” Gallegos said. “It was even more than I expected it to be. I’m just excited for next year!”
Shayla Cunico is the culture editor for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @ShaylaCunico.