Cypress Hill and Cuco bring a new vibe to Ruido Fest

After a reduced season, Ruido Fest will bring the noise to maximum volume Friday through Sunday at Union Park.

Founded in 2015, the annual alternative Latin rock festival will feature nearly 50 bands performing on three stages, as well as other related attractions. Ruido means ‘noise’ in English, and there will be plenty of musical exuberance from headliners such as Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Maldita Vecindad, Babasónicos, Carla Morrison, Cuco and Cypress Hill.

Due to the pandemic, Ruido has grown to 30 acts on two stages in 2021.

“Last year, there was still uncertainty in the market. Many bands couldn’t get travel visas, so cutting back was a better approach,” said Max Wagner, co-founder of Ruido Fest and owner of Metronome Chicago (which features Ruido, along with Riot Fest Presents). “Now that things are getting back to normal a bit, we’ve been able to grow again.”

Two milestones this year are Ruido’s first hip-hop headliner, Cypress Hill, who helped start the rap boom in the early 90s, and the first American-born headliner, l singer-songwriter Cuco.

“We’ve always featured all Latin styles, from rock to reggaeton,” Wagner said. “Cypress Hill hasn’t toured much in Chicago, and 90s hip-hop is definitely having a moment right now. Ruido has been mostly rock in the past, but this year there’s a big hip-hop component citing Mexican rapper C-Kan, Mexican-American duo Browns Crew and Colombian hip-hop group ChocQuibTown alum Goyo.

Cuco also represents a significant change.

“When Ruido started, there was no proper American-born headliner,” Wagner said. “However, country and Latin music has evolved, and we want to change with it.”

Another goal Ruido organizers are hoping to achieve is landing a headliner in Chicago.

“Having a third leg allows us to book more local acts,” he said. “We want to showcase more local talent because there are a lot of great bands coming out of Chicago. If we’re not trying to develop the scene here, then we’re not doing our job.

Although Ruido Fest takes place the same weekend as Latin superstar Bad Bunny’s Soldier Field concert, and this summer has brought two urban Latin festivals to Chicago, Wagner isn’t worried.

“I’m hosting more festivals and concerts,” he said. “It means the scene is growing. I don’t see it as competition for customers. The more events, the better.

Regarding Bad Bunny’s divisive gig, Wagner said, “Did Live Nation [the concert’s promoter, along with CMN] check with someone? He laughed and added, “It’s Chicago, a million things happen every weekend.” With more of the industry saying we’re going to Chicago, it helps grow the scene. It also opens up more options for the consumer.

Wagner’s goal remains to make Ruido “the best he can be”. In addition to music, “lucha libre [Mexican-style wrestling] is back, with freebies, cool products and great food vendors,” he said. “Each year Ruido has grown a bit. We want the experience to go beyond the groups, while keeping it as safe, clean and inviting as possible.

Among the bands at Ruido 2022:


Singer Adrian Dargelos of Babasonicos performs during day three of the 2010 Coachella Valley Music & Art Festival. Dargelos and the rest of Babasonicos headline Friday night at Ruido Fest.

6 p.m., Ed Maverick (Noise Stage): Just 21 and already a Latin Grammy winner, the Mexican singer-songwriter saw his career take off when his music went viral on Spotify.

7:45 p.m., Babasónicos (Noise Stage): With 11 studio records spanning three decades, Babasónicos describes their mission as “being in charge of destabilizing Argentine rock from the very heart of the beast.”

8:30 p.m., Nortec Collective (Fiesta Stage): Fusing techno/electronica with Mexican folk genres such as norteño and banda, the band is a cooperative of musicians, DJs and producers. The Ruido show will feature original members Bostich and Fussible.

8:45 p.m. Cuco (Ruido Stage): A leader in the DIY “bedroom pop” genre, the native of Hawthorne, Calif., born as Omar Banos, composes and sings in Spanish and English. His latest album is “Fantasy Gateway”, released last month.


4:45 p.m., Doorman (Ruido Stage): Hailing from Guadalajara, Mexico, the band has been at the forefront of the Latin indie rock/electronica/experimental music movement since 2004.

6:15 p.m., Siddhartha (Ruido Stage): From Mexico (and named after Hermann Hesse’s novel), this is the solo project of Jorge González Ibarra, former drummer for alt-Latin rockers Zoé.

7 p.m., Carla Morrison (Noise Stage): The three-time Latin Grammy-winning Mexican singer-songwriter calls his latest record, ‘El Renacimiento’ (2022), ‘a love letter to himself’ after a hiatus from two years triggered by personal setbacks.

8 p.m., Cadillac Los Fabulosos (Ruido Stage): Hailing from Argentina, the ska-rock band often described as “Latin America’s Rolling Stones” returns to Ruido for the first time since 2016.

9 p.m., Silverio (Fiesta Stage): Known for his showmanship and flamboyant lucha libre outfit, the Mexican rocker is a Ruido favorite, appearing at every event since 2015.


Sen Dog and the rest of Cypress Hill headline Ruido Fest on Sunday night.

Sen Dog and the rest of Cypress Hill headline Ruido Fest on Sunday night.

5 p.m., Hello Seahorse! (Ruido Stage): Based in Mexico City, the Latin pop-rock group is celebrating the 10th anniversary of their acclaimed album “Arunima”.

5:45 p.m., Ely Guerra (Noise Stage): A pioneer of the Mexican indie-rock movement, Guerra released her first record in 1992. She describes her latest, “Zion” (2019), as “a personal journey through my many different voices.”

7:30 p.m., Maldita Vecindad (Noise Stage): Founded in 1985, Mexico’s veteran ska-rock band is on tour after co-founder Eulalio “Sax” Cervantes died of complications from COVID-19 last year.

8:30 p.m., Cypress Hill (Ruido Stage): The SoCal-based hip-hop group, one of the first to rap in Spanish and best known for their breakthrough 1993 hit “Insane in the Brain,” has just released their 10th studio record, “Back in Black” (2022).

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