Unofficially launching the summer, day one of the music festival in Chicago had it all: old-school perreo with Chencho, girl-power with the ever-so fierce Ivy Queen and even a passionate speech from Chicago’s new mayor, Brandon Johnson.
“As long as I’m mayor of Chicago, Sueños will always exist,” the newly-elected leader said in front of a euphoric crowd.
The exclusively all-Latin Sueños is taking place in the city’s Grant Park on Memorial Day Weekend (May 27-28). From the founders of Mexico’s Baja Beach Fest, Sueños made its debut in 2022 with headlining acts J Balvin, Ozuna, and Farruko. Returning acts include Puerto Rican rapper Myke Towers, Dominican dembow purveyor El Alfa, as well as reggaeton pioneers Wisin & Yandel.
“We’re thrilled to be coming back to Chicago for our second annual Sueños festival,” Aaron Ampudia and Chris Den Uijl, co-founders of Sueños, previously told Billboard Español. “Last year was such a moment, you could feel the energy and excitement from fans no matter where you were at in the festival. It just felt like we were meant to be there, celebrating Latin music and culture with Chicago’s thriving Latino community — and this year we’re bringing even more.”
For a second year in a row, Wisin & Yandel — or best known as “El Dúo de la Historia” — helped close out the fest. The Puerto Rican hitmakers took fans down memory lane performing all the reggaeton hits such as “Abusadora,” “El Teléfono” and “Pam Pam,” to name a few.
Check out Saturday’s best moments below.
Gera MX Brings Out Fresh Talent
Mexican rapper wasn’t only thankful for being invited to be part of the lineup of this year’s Sueños Music Festival, he also paid it forward inviting emerging artists to join him onstage. “I’m just a Mexican guy who is following his dreams as a rapper. Saludos to my mom who came to see me,” he said mid-set. The “Botella Tras Botella” artist brought out up-and-comers Samantha Barrón and Zarri.
Ivy’s Stage Prowess
“Women rule here,” she confidently said stepping onstage dressed in red from head to toe. And she kept the girl power throughout her set speaking to women directly and singing, of course, the anthems that have soundtracked generation after generation — including “Que Lloren” and “Quiero Bailar.” “I see you out there girl, you’re looking good,” she told one fan. “Who came here alone? You know, sometimes its better to be alone than in bad company,” Ivy said before singing her version of Bad Bunny’s “Yo Perreo Sola.” That was before she had technical issues and couldn’t finish singing one of her songs, and she had the best reaction. “They’re going to have to take me arrested because I’m not leaving this stage. How dare they want me to end my set when we had these issues?” Alas, she stepped off the stage but not without handing white and red roses out to her fans.
“Sueños Will Always Exist”
The newly-elected mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson, took the stage to give festival goers a passionate and heartfelt message. “I’m so glad to be the 57th mayor of the city of Chicago and let me tell you that you’re all kicking off the summer the right way. This is how we do it in Chicago. There is no better place to be than the city of Chicago and Sueños. As long as I’m the mayor of Chicago, Sueños will always exist. Let’s go DJ, let’s do it the right way. Let’s party like it’s 2023. God bless you, Sueños, enjoy. Love you all!”
Ivy Queen was one of the first urbano OGs to take the stage and following her, Chencho Corleone, Arcángel and El Alfa took centerstage during back-to-back eclectic sets. It was a trip down memory lane with Chencho, who was the first out of the three men but he opened with the chart-topping hit “Me Porto Bonito” (without Bad Bunny). He then sang some Plan B’s greatest hits including “Candy,” “Guatauba,” “Si No Le Contesto,” “Fanática Sensual” and “Mi Vecinita.”
Then it was Arcángel’s turn to also sing his most memorable collabs such as “Diles,” “La Jumpa” and “Sigues Con El.” He also sang solo songs, including “Ganas De Ti” and “Pa Que La Pases Bien.”
El Alfa, who returned to Sueños after performing in 2022, was hands down one of the most energetic performances of the day. He kicked off his set with a nostalgic 2008 video where he talked about plotting his international takeover. He then went on to perform “La Mamá de la Mamá,” “La Romana,” “4K,” “PAM” and “Suave.”
Green Over Feid
Even before you entered festival grounds, you could already spot all the green as people trekked to Grant Park, where the festival was taking place. Some wore green hats, others were in green shorts. The hard core fans wore green from top to bottom in support of the artist they were there to see, Feid. “Thank you so much to all who came wearing green,” the Colombian hitmaker — who performed right before Wisin & Yandel closed day one — told his zealous fans. “And thanks to those who brought the Colombian flag, too.” Feid, who couldn’t stop smiling from ear to ear after seeing all the green, performed all the hits. He opened with “Castigo,” then went on to sing “Classy 101,” “Hey Mor,” “La Inocente,” “Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo,” “Normal,” “Mojando Asientos” and “Chorrito Pa’ Las Animas.”
El Dúo de la Historia
Wisin & Yandel returned to Sueños, after performing in 2022, on Saturday (May 27) to close out day one of this year’s festival. The Puerto Rican duo’s set was epic, as expected, with Wisin reflecting on how momentous the event was. “Years ago, it was impossible to do [a festival] like this. Now, we’re so proud to see all of our flags from Latin America. We know you’re all here to have a good time.” And so they gave fans a good time singing all the oldies but goodies — from “Noche de Sexo” to “El Teléfono,” “Sexy Movimiento” and “Abusadora.” Toward the end of the one-hour set, Feid returned to the stage to sing his collaboration with Yandel, “Yandel 150.”
“It’s an honor to be here,” Yandel told their fans. “Thanks for always supporting us.” And with that, day one of Sueños was a wrap.