Since it began 24 years ago, Minerpalooza has become the largest, loudest and most energetic pep rally in El Paso. In honor of its Centennial year, UTEP is preparing to make Minerpalooza 2014 the “Party of the Century” on Friday, Sept.5.
“The Centennial theme to Minerpalooza can be seen in a better and bigger star lineup on the main stage,” said Jorge Vazquez, executive director of special events at UTEP. Vazquez is responsible for coordinating the talent. “Each act reflects an up-and-coming new star, just like the University is a star in the region, but the best is yet to come.”
Headlining is world-famous and platinum-selling The Cataracs. Led by producer and singer Niles “Cyranizzy” Hollowell-Dhar, The Cataracs combine a catchy mix of dance music with a lo-fi hip-hop swagger and pop elements in hit singles such as
“Roll the Dice.” Niles’ talent as producer has led to Dev’s platinum smash “In the Dark,” and the unforgettable beat of Far East Movement’s “Like a G6” featuring Dev, which became a worldwide sensation that surpassed 3 million digital sales and topped the Billboard Hot 100.
Prominent electronic dance music, hip-hop producer and disc jockey Tim Gunter also will lend his talent to Minerpalooza. Ranking sixth in Billboard’s Next Big Sound and winning Red Bull’s “Thre3style U” DJ competition, he has toured venues across the United States and performed with artists including Riff Raff, Three Six Mafia, Cash Cash and Girl Talk.
Cristina Eustace, regarded as a fresh and lively take on traditional Mexican music, also will join the Minerpalooza lineup. Eustace, a 2006 UTEP alumna, is famous for winning the fifth season of Puerto Rico’s Objetivo Fama 5, a reality singing competition akin to American Idol. She is knowm for critically acclaimed albums Mucha Mujer Para Ti, and Latin Grammy-nominated Golpes De Pecho.
Emerging R&B artist Matt U Johnson will precede Eustace. His unique style blends elements of pop, R&B, hip-hop and reggae. The music video for his latest hit single, “My Life,” was shot in El Paso.
Local funk superstars Fungi Mungle will get the party started and ensure that everyone boogies. Five of the funky Mungles are UTEP alumni: Dave Hamilton, Ramon Lechuga, brothers Gilbert and Mike Mata, and Cody Ritchey.
“I think people will be very pleased and surprised,” Vazquez said about the lineup. “We wanted to have something for everyone to enjoy.”