HOUSTON (HNN) – Tejano music enthusiasts (TME) have announced a major protest and march to take place on Saturday, February 28, at 10:00 a.m. at the City Hall Reflection Pond. The protest is being organized by José Vega, William Morris and Melissa Flores, creators of a “Houston Rodeo Protest” Facebook page, with more than hundreds of people and students, including Tejano/Conjunto artists, musicians and known singers planning to attend. The protest was organized against the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) Board/Executive Committee, who decided not to include Tejano music at their major arena venue for the March 3 to 22 event.
The major TME protest, which coincides with the HLSR Saturday’s parade in Houston has become Ground Zero for the resurgence of Tejano music at the HLSR event.
Tejanos and Tejano music enthusiasts are taking a stand and are speaking out against the HLSR discriminatory decision not to show case Tejano music in its main venue.
Over the weekend, Oscar de la Rosa, the lead singer for La Mafia band made news after a video circulated on the social networks targeting the HLSR for not including Tejano music at the major arena. De la Rosa had a few words to say to the HLSR, “…F_ck Them…I feel that there is some f_cking asshole there that is so anti-Tejano, you know what I’m saying…” The ear catching remarks were made by De la Rosa at the El Dorado St. Valentine’s Day dance that drew an over capacity crowd and lines of fans outside trying to get into the dance.
In 1991, La Mafia was featured at the HLSR major event arena and broke the audience attendence record drawing more than 55,000 fans. In the last seven years, the HLSR has failed to add a Tejano headliner in the major or main stage at the arena resulting in criticism and protests. The HLSR allows Tejano music on the side because it doesn’t attract revenue, but Tejanos attending the 19-day event and Cook-off do spend money at the event and do support funding for student scholarships, but the HLSR discriminates against the very people (Tejanos) it depends to generate funding.
The HLSR released a statement that they do include Spanish language or Mexican bands, but failed to mention that Tejano/Conjunto music was actually excluded from the main concert event arena once again.
The protest is generating support from Tejanos and Tejano music enthusiasts in the tri-county area and is spreading to other parts of Texas as well. The organizers of the protest say, that they are now working to contact sponsors of the HLSR to let them know that as consumers of their products, they shouldn’t be discriminated by the same group (HLSR) that they sponsor.
The protest supporters are also concentrating in boycotting the HLSR pre-party Houston Rodeo Cook-off, which runs from February 26 thru the 28. If most of the Tejano participants at the Rodeo Cook-off boycott the event, it will cause a major economic loss and setback for the HLSR.
The HLSR controversy even resulted with Univision 45 news commentator Laura Sierra to say, like Tejano music is no longer popular, como quien dice “La musica Tejana ya no pega.” Well, Sierra missed the crowd at El Dorado indicating que Tejano music si pega (Tejano music is alive and kicking)!