Roger Clyne's Circus Mexicus Promises Beer, Music, and an Escape From the Heat

Categories: Interview

Photo courtesy of The Ace Agency
Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers

It's time to grab your passport and head down to Mexico to kick off your summer.

Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers are continuing the annual tradition of Circus Mexicus in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. The group is coming off a small U.S. tour and will head south of the Arizona border for the festival from June 5-8.

With the successful release of The Independent this past April, debuting at No. 7 on the iTunes Rock Chart, Circus Mexicus couldn't come at a better time.

Circus Mexicus started after Clyne's band The Refreshments broke up and The Peacemakers formed. Clyne said he was never able to get the right people behind it, which resulted in him getting the festival started independently.

"I just went down in a van and started knocking on cantina doors," Clyne tells New Times. "I found a sympathetic cantina owner who said, 'I don't have a stage, but I'll run extension chords up to the roof.' So we picked a date and I put out an announcement on the emerging Internet to our fan base. We went down there in the van, set up on the roof, and the soundcheck turned into the actual set.That was our first Circus Mexicus, and I believe it was in 1999."

Since its inception, the festival's attendance has gone from 175 people to around 4,000, with attendees from 32 states and seven countries. Formerly a bi-annual event, Clyne found that the turnout in spring was greater than in the fall, leading the fall cycle to be shelved for a short time.

Clyne describes the event as a gathering of family.

"People get to relax, you don't have to really worry about a schedule. There's bands playing all the time everywhere down there. I think it's just become a lot of fun. It's a place where the United States and Mexico come together and they basically open their arms to all of us and do everything they can to make sure that we all are safe and have a good time. It's become one big, happy family."

Clyne says the artist lineup is started well in advance. Typically, booking begins one or two weeks after the festival ends, giving Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers some time to wind down from their party.

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