The Backstreet Boys are performing at Moon Palace Cancun this December. // © 2017 Palace Resorts
Feature image (above): A beach party underway at Grand Oasis Cancun // © 2017 Oasis Hotels and Resorts
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For some travelers, a star-studded night in Mexico may mean nothing more than sitting on the beach after dark. But, increasingly, it could also also refer to enjoying big-name concerts and other live performances, as hotels and other venues continue to up the ante with year-round spectacles.
The area around Cancun is by far the leading Mexico beach resort destination when it comes to offering large-scale live entertainment. Palace Resorts, in particular lures travelers with marquee-worthy names. Moon Palace Cancun, in fact, is wrapping up its year of live performances with two performances by the Backstreet Boys on Dec. 29 and 30. All five members — Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, AJ McLean and Kevin Richardson — will be on stage at the 140,000-square-foot Moon Palace Arena. Ticket prices range from $89 to $459.
From Dec. 22, 2017, through Jan. 3, 2018, the arena is also hosting a show called “The Illusionists 2.0,” which features the talents of seven illusionists.
Other performance-friendly hotel brands in the area include Sandos Cancun Lifestyle Resort, where live music is part of its “Rhythm Experience,” and Oasis Hotels and Resorts, which hosts live musical performers in various venues, including ElectrOasis Beach. One of the company’s main venues, the recently expanded Oasis Arena at Grand Oasis Cancun, is home to the annual Oasis Jazz U event, which this year hosted by Jazz performers Esperanza Spalding and Marcus Miller. In addition, the Oasis Arena hosts four weekly shows that are free for hotel guests: Wonderland, Viva Mexico, Cabaret Latino and Cuban Explosion Night.
Fans of Cirque du Soleil, the fantastical Canadian-based acrobatic performance group, should head to the Riviera Maya, where “Cirque du Soleil: Joya” — the first resident show in Mexico — is featured at Vidanta Riviera Maya. Vidanta’s Cirque-related appeal will grow in 2019, when a new theme park will open at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta in the Riviera Nayarit.
Travelers seeking an intimate musical experience might consider checking into Hotel El Ganzo in Los Cabos, where a Fall Concert Series is part of its artist-in-residence program. A lineup of musicians have signed up for stays that last about a week, allowing guests to actually meet them and enjoy the products of their talents in the hotel’s own recording studio. At the end of each stay, guests enjoy a free live concert on the rooftop. Colombian singer-songwriter Elsa Carvajal will perform Nov. 17, and Brooklyn synth-pop duo, Great Good Fine Okay, will complete the series on Dec. 16.
A variety of large, non-hotel venues also host live entertainment in Mexico’s larger destinations. Forum Mundo Imperial, in Acapulco, hosts live music, dance and theater year-round, with well-known performers such as the Gipsy Kings and the Amalia Hernandez folklore ballet in November.
It’s no surprise that big-name acts are a regular feature in the nation’s largest metropolis, Mexico City. Vendors such as Ticketmaster are often the most reliable source of information at the city’s top venues, which include the Auditorio Nacional (National Auditorium), where Arcade Fire takes the stage in late November; Foro Sol, where The Killers will perform in April 2018; and the Palacio de los Deportes (Sports Palace), where Sam Smith sings in July 2018.
A potentially big selling point for music lovers heading to Mexico is the price. The cost of a concert ticket in Mexico is often a fraction of what fans pay in the United States. Budget-friendly concerts can make the idea of combining vacation and live entertainment music to your clients’ ears.