La Bulla: L.A. Celebrates Lucha Libre, Art, and Culture

WITH OVER TEN YEARS in the making, La Bulla is one of the largest multicultural Lucha Libre art exhibits that Los Angeles has to offer. With live music, five fully-stocked bars, live painting, and actual Lucha Libre matches, this 21-and-over festival is a definitive art show celebrating the rambunctious and always-entertaining world of Mexican wrestling. Curator and artist Antonio Pelayo has teamed up with over 100 contributing artists to bring this lively event to Downtown’s Plaza De La Raza Cultural Center for Arts and Education. Pelayo, known for creating and curating El Velorio, one of L.A’s most distinguished events celebrating Dia De Los Muertos, is jam-packing Downtown LA with a vast gathering of musicians, artists and local and cultural supporters.

Not only is La Bulla supporting local artists and creative space Plaza De La Raza, La Bulla is teaming up with the American Diabetes Awareness organization to advocate Diabetes awareness within the Hispanic community. Pelayo was kind enough to chat with LadyClever to fill us in on how this amazing event came to be.

You’ve been putting together El Velorio since 2010. Was La Bulla something that sprouted from El Velorio’s success? 
El Velorio started from other visual artists asking me for advice on how to get exposure. I curated small events back in 2008-2009 once a month. That got to be too much work… so I decided to just produce 1 a year. El Velorio was the first big event I produced in 2010. I had about 20 artists in the exhibit, and we had about 600 people attend the first one.

After the first one, I decided that I wanted El Velorio to be a benefit, so I’ve chosen a different non-profit related to the arts to benefit every year. And it has grown from not only having emerging artists [but] to having worldwide-renowned artists participate in the exhibit like Mark Mahoney, Nikko Hurtado, Freddy Negrete, Chuey Quintanar. Mike Miller, Estevan Oriol, Eriberto Oriol, Sergio Arau, just to name a few…

La Bulla is an event that’s been in the works way before El Velorio. It’s just that the timing felt right this past year when a few sponsors wanted me to produce La Bulla, so I started organizing it right after this past year’s El Velorio. I teamed up with a good friend of mine — writer and radio host Dan Madigan. Dan wrote the foremost Lucha Libre book ever written, Mondo Lucha A Go-Go, and he worked for the WWF as a writer for years.

Also, one of my partners, Steve Guerrero, is a successful entrepreneur and event producer, so i feel like I’ve assembled a top-notch team to produce the first ever Lucha Libre event that fuses Lucha Libre, art and music.

La Bulla is collaborating with the L.A. Division of the American Diabetes Awareness Organization. Why is Diabetes an important cause to you? 
ADA wants to reach out to the Latino community, and we felt like La Bulla is a great opportunity for that… since our demographic is mostly Latino.

Why the name La Bulla? 
Bulla is my nickname given to me by my father when I was two years old. My father was a huge Lucha Libre fan… so the name came from a Japanese wrestler called Kinji Shibuya. I resembled the wrestler when i was a baby… And la bulla means ruckus, party, noise in Spanish. So I thought it fit perfectly for this event.

Why focus on Lucha Libre? 
Because Lucha Libre is one of the biggest cultural activities from Mexico — we want Lucha Libre to become bigger here in LA. And it’s an event that’s never been produced. It’s an amazing sport to watch live, and entertaining!

How did you become involved with the featured artists, and what made you choose them? 
I am friends with most of the artists, but I choose the ones that are active in the arts and doing things for the community, and the obvious one… because they are super-talented.

Any other local events we should keep on the look-out for? 
[On] July 25th I will be producing a Low Rider event at Plaza de la Raza. I do have another event in the works… but it looks like I will be producing four cultural benefit events a year.

La Bulla promises to bring live action wrestling, music and entertainment to the masses this Saturday, April 11th. Be sure to check out this local event, by purchasing tickets in advance, or $25 at the door. For more information visit the event’s website.

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