©FICG/Gilberto Torres

Awesome Events and Festivals in Guadalajara [2023]

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Are you ready to check out the best events and festivals in Guadalajara?

While Guadalajara is still a little under-the-radar for most US visitors, it is a major destination for Mexican and Latin American travelers. There are a large number of festivals and the best events in Guadalajara that bring tourism to Jalisco from around the world. In addition to just tourism for pleasure, the business community and the convention center (Expo Guadalajara) have a massive draw. When you factor in the religious events, the student events, and the agricultural events Guadalajara is one of the most important destinations in the country.

One of the reasons that people love attending conferences in Guadalajara is the long list of complementary things to do in the region. The fashion industry loves the nightclub venues. The Tequila industry is a hug sponsor of the livestock festival. Every hotel anywhere near the Expo is reserved a year out for the book festival. The organizers of big events think that Guadalajara is an excellent host.

It would be really cool to plan a trip to Guadalajara to coincide with one of the major events that the city hosts.

Best Festivals in Guadalajara


Guadalajara is considered to be the fashion capital of Mexico. The largest fashion business exposition in Latin America is held at the Guadalajara Expo convention center from January 17 – 20, 2023.

Best Festivals in Guadalajara


Guadalajara was founded on February 14, 1542, and every year around Valentine’s day the Plaza de la Liberación hosts a pretty massive light show. The 14th is the best day but the decorations last about a week. This is a very Instagram-friendly event.

Best Festivals in Guadalajara

Festival Cultural de Mayo

The May Cultural Festival is one of the best events in Guadalajara because of its diverse program of theatrical performances, art exhibits, and creative exchange. It is the most important multidisciplinary art festival in Guadalajara, and in 2022 celebrated its 25h anniversary.

Best Festivals in Guadalajara

Festival Roxy GDL

Combination music and food festival that attracts some decent bands and famous Mexican chefs. Usually held towards the end of February. In 2019 the headliners were Stone Temple Pilots, Caifanes, Bush, and 311.

The event has been on hold since 2020 but there are some rumors circulating that 2023 may see the return.

Best Festivals in Guadalajara

Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara (FICG)

Outdoor movie screening at the Guadalajara Film Festival
©FICG/Gilberto Torres

In 2023 the 38th edition of the Guadalajara International Film Festival takes place from June 3 – 9.

Often regarded as the most important film festival in Latin America, the Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara has been an important event since 1986. The goal is to promote the national film industry, entertainment, and art. The state of Jalisco is growing into an important center for film production because of all the support.

There are categories for both short film and feature-length films. Awards include the Rigo Mora Award for international animation feature film, the Mezcal Award for Fiction, the Maguey Award for documentaries, and the Audience Award.

Guillermo del Toro at the Guadalajara Film Festival
©FotoFICG/Natalia Fregoso

Originally, the University of Guadalajara, in collaboration with other government organizations, put together a sample of Mexican films. The modern film festival promotes local filmmakers but also highlights an international country or region as a guest of honor. The outdoor screenings by the monuments are a cool place to watch a film.

The new films that are screened, the industry leaders, and the massive public viewing parties make this a really fun event.

Best Festivals in Guadalajara

Corona Capital Guadalajara

The Corona Capital music festival has been a huge success in Mexico City and in 2018 the festival made its debut in Guadalajara to some serious fanfare. The festival is held in May and you can find tickets on ticketmaster.com.mx.

In 2022 the headliners were the Strokes and Kings of Leon. I’m excited to see who is going to be on the lineup in 2023. I have always had a good time at these events in both Mexico City and Guadalajara.

Best Festivals in Guadalajara

Encuentro Internacional del Mariachi & Charrería

The last couple weeks of August and the first days of September host a massive international mariachi music and Mexican cowboy festival. The cowboys compete for the national Charro Championship and the best mariachis come from all over the world to perform. This is a huge party and part of what makes Jalisco famous throughout the world. This is the largest mariachi festival in the world.

There are events for the whole family held all over the state of Jalisco but the biggest galas are in Guadalajara. The official Instagram account has pictures of the events in small-town plazas and in the capital.



Best Festivals in Guadalajara

Coordenada Music Festival

In mid-October, the Tecate Coordenada music festival makes its way to Guadalajara. This is the longest-running live music festival and a local favorite. In recent years, it has been held in the Parque Trasloma near the Plaza del Sol Mall and out at the Vicente Fernandez Arena on the freeway to Chapala.

Best Festivals in Guadalajara

De La Viña a la Copa

This is Guadalajara’s longest-running and largest wine festival. The interest in wine has absolutely exploded in the last couple of years and events like this one are part of the reason why. For about $700 pesos you can taste hundreds of different wines from across the globe. The event is held at a venue space on the second floor of Plaza Andares. You will run into a lot of the wine industry personalities of Guadalajara at this event.

Best Festivals in Guadalajara

Expo Ganadera

livestock festival in Guadalajara

Most of the month of October hosts the farm animal festival. Ranching is big business in the State of Jalisco and this fair brings ranchers from all over the country. Obviously, the food is spectacular and I find it interesting to see what kind of animals are being raised in Mexico. During the day the atmosphere is family-oriented with petting zoos and games but at night there is a lot of alcohol and banda music.

Best Festivals in Guadalajara

Fiestas de Octubre

October is the month-long Guadalajara celebration when the fair comes to town. The Fiestas de Octubre run concurrently with the Expo Ganadera but in different locations. The fair is rides, games of skill, and concerts. There is also a huge section of vendors selling junk made in China.

Even more popular than the rides is the month-long concert series a palenque venue. Ironically, the palenque in Guadalajara (AKA Benito Juárez Auditorium) is where they hold the cock fights during the day.

Best Festivals in Guadalajara

Festival de la Cerveza Guadalajara

Billed as the most important beer festival, the Guadalajara beer festival has grown into a massive event. There are over 200 brands from all over the world.

In recent years it has been held outside the Chivas Stadium.

Best Festivals in Guadalajara

Dia de Muertos en Tlaquepaque

The best festivals in Guadalajara

From the 1st to the 4th of November downtown Tlaquepaque is decorated for Day of the Dead. There are altars, face painting, parades, concerts, and lots of art. This is one of the more family-friendly events.

Best Festivals in Guadalajara


If you are in Guadalajara anytime around Day of the Dead, you have to visit Calaverandia. Calaverandia is the first theme park dedicated to the traditions associated with Day of the Dead. It is a family-oriented adventure park that even grown-ups will love. There are light shows, traditional foods, rides, and theater presentations related to the holiday. If you enjoyed the movie Coco, you will absolutely love Calaverandia.

Best Festivals in Guadalajara

FeVino El Festival del Vino Mexicano

Mexican wine is really hot right now. There is a massive sense of pride in the Mexican wine industry. The Fevino Wine Festival is all about Mexican wine. Usually held in the Parque Trasloma near the Plaza del Sol Mall. Look for the festival in mid to late November.

Best Festivals in Guadalajara

Feria Internacional del Libro (FIL)

Book signing with Chef Nico Mejia at the Guadalajara Book Fair
Book signing with Chef Nico Mejia at the Guadalajara International Book Fair

In late November and early December, Latin America’s most important book festival happens in Guadalajara. The used to be more for publishers but the University of Guadalajara has turned this into one of Guadalajara’s most treasured events. There are massive crowds every day to see author talks, concerts and of course buy lots of books.

Authors from many different languages come to promote their work. The book fair is a cultural event of great importance for the government of Jalisco. Each year there is a different guest country of honor that receives gallantry and some fancy dinners.

Best Festivals in Guadalajara


Navidalia is a wintertime amusement park that is kind of a cross between the winter markets in Europe and Tlalpujahua, Michoacan. There are music and theater presentations and everything is decorated to evoke a fairy tale feeling. It is a great option for the kids.

Some Final Thoughts on the Best Festivals in Guadalajara

Visiting a festival or event is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Guadalajara. It would be really cool to keep them in mind while planning your trip to Guadalajara. There is so much going on that you can find some interesting entertainment activities just about all year long. However, the best time to visit would be in the fall when you are guaranteed to find an interesting festival.

Welcome to Guadalajara, have a nice trip. 

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