San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Maroon 5, Björk to headline Festival Imperial 2012

Maroon 5, Björk and LMFAO will headline Festival Imperial 2012, the much-hyped music festival that returns after a four-year absence. The show is set to take place March 24-25 in the Autódromo La Guácima racetrack in Alajuela, northwest of San José.

Gustavo Pacheco, of organizers Florida Ice & Farm Co. (FIFCO), announced the lineup Tuesday morning at the Hotel Crowne Plaza Corobicí in San José. Other highlights include: The Flaming Lips, Thievery Corporation, Cypress Hill, Moby, Skrillex, TV on the Radio, Gogol Bordello, Major Lazer, Manchester Orchestra, La Mala Rodríguez and Ximena Sariñana.

Ten national bands will also play the event; eight have been selected so far. Presale of two-day passes began Tuesday at midnight on the Cerveza Imperial ® Facebook page, at a special price of ₡50,000 ($100), but the 1,000 tickets sold out in six hours, organizers said. A new batch went on sale and sold out in two hours. Regularly priced two-day passes cost ₡55,000 ($110) through Single day passes will cost ₡35,000 ($70). One-day passes will go on sale in two weeks when the festival schedule and bus routes are announced.

The impressive list of international acts seemed to fulfill the high expectations for the concert, which in the past has bought musicians like Sting and the Smashing Pumpkins.

“We can do a festival in Costa Rica at the level of the best in the world,” said Carlos Cañas, marketing manger for FIFCO.

La Mala Rodriguez

Latin Grammy-winning hip-hop singer La Mala Rodríguez, from Spain, will bring her rhythms to Costa Rica at the end of March.


Organizers expect 30,000 people per day at the festival, and are coordinating public transportation and security services for the event. According to Cornejo, public bus companies will offer service from Cartago, San José, Heredia and Alajuela. Train service will also be available during both days of the festival. Each day will feature 12 hours of music.

The festival features two alternating main stages, announced Gustavo Cornejo, manager for the Imperial brand. One will start up as a concert finishes on the other stage. A third stage will play electronica music throughout the festival. C3 will produce the concert; the company has some impressive producer credentials, including U.S. festivals like Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits and shows in Brazil and Chile.

“We understood that if we wanted big names in our festival’s lineup, we had to have a big name as a producing company. Through C3 we were able to contact some of the international bands that will be joining us,” Cornejo said.

 For the first time, the festival will use the entire 30-hectare area inside the La Guácima racetrack for stages, parking spaces, bus stops and refreshment areas. Parking will accommodate 5,000 vehicles, and FIFCO will launch a campaign on social network to encourage people to carpool.

“We will transform La Guácima in a way that it will give all visitors the full festival experience from the moment they arrive. Everything will be more spacious and more comfortable,” Pacheco said.

The all-ages festival will also have non-musical attractions, including an arts and crafts market and souvenir stands. 

In 2006, the first year of the festival, FIFCO, Costa Rica’s largest food and beverage producer, brought Sting and Jamiroquai. Two years later, the Smashing Pumpkins, Duran Duran, Seal and Enrique Iglesias headlined the event.

The festival’s official website is at

The Lineup

Maroon 5, Björk, LMFAO, Thievery Corporation, Cypress Hill, Moby, Gogol Bordello, The Flaming Lips, Skrillex, TV on the Radio, Major Lazer, Manchester Orchestra, Felix Martin and Al Doyle, La Mala Rodríguez, Ximena Sariñana, A-Trak, *Akasha, *Sonámbulo, *424, Bomba Estéreo, Porter Robinson, *Huba & Silica, *Zopilot, *The Great Wilderness, *Color Noise, *Patiño Quintana, Cage the Elephant

*Costa Rican artist

Comments are closed.