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The Annual Jazz Festival In Playa Del Carmen

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival in Playa Del Carmen

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival

The annual Riviera Maya Jazz Festival in Playa Del Carmen has been going strong since 2003. Playa Del Carmen does not have museums but there is a lot of culture here and events like this one that bring great talent to the area. Such jazz greats like George Benson, Tower of Power, Sergio Mendez, Spyro Gira, Herbie Hancock, Celso Pina, Earth, Wind, and Fire and many more have all played at the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival.

The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival is a three day event that falls in late November every year. It is on Mamitas Beach, just north of the beach club (follow 28th Street to the beach and turn left). This is a great space for the event because it is easy to get to and you can enjoy the beach while listening to the music. There is a large stage built  every year  and it is well organized to accommodate all that want to come and see this free event.

The event is free but the area close to the stage is a small fee of 18 pesos per person. There is even a VIP area that is much less crowded and if you can manage to get into it, you should.

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival in Playa Del Carmen

Setting up for the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival


Riviera Maya Jazz Festival in Playa Del Carmen

Tips for attending the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival

If you go, get their early if you want seating and bring friends so you can take turns going to the bathroom. There are sections with fence and security tries to maintain some order to the free and open seating. It is crowded and only the people in the front sit down and the back areas is standing only.

The nightly events go for about 4-5 hours so if you are really into it, bring some beach chairs or blankets and get there early. Everyone brings some snacks and drinks (including alcohol which is tolerated)

This FREE event does bring in money to the city. It is estimated that 9,000-15,000 people attend the event nightly. While many of those people are local,  it does bring a boom to businesses in the area. Restaurants in Playa Del Carmen stay open later to accommodate the patrons and they often entice some of the customers with special jazz music playing while you eat. This event just adds to the variety of cultural events in the city and balances out the music scene from the other electronic and pop music fest that come to Playa. It also kicks off the higher season from late November through March. So if you are a resident in Playa Del Carmen or just happen to visiting during late November, check out this great free cultural event if jazz is your thing.

When is the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival in 2019?

The schedule is as follows: November 28th-30th are the tentative dates for this year. In 2019 it will be the 17th anniversary of the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival.

For other yearly events in Playa Del Carmen you can check out event calendar here.

Have you been to the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Riviera Maya Jazz Festival in Playa Del Carmen Riviera Maya Jazz Festival in Playa Del Carmen Riviera Maya Jazz Festival in Playa Del Carmen

20 Comments on The Annual Jazz Festival In Playa Del Carmen

  1. Ross Dryer // June 27, 2016 at 10:19 AM // Reply

    When will the 2016 line up or artists be published?

    • Mr.Yucatan // June 27, 2016 at 10:26 AM // Reply

      Since the Rivera Maya Jazz Festival takes place in late November, usually the lineup is announced in October. We will post it here when we know who will be here this year. Thanks for your question and for reading the site.

  2. Pamela Frames // August 1, 2016 at 10:14 PM // Reply

    We are traveling from Ohio is the United State, we book for November jazz festival, can you please tell us if the Jazz Festival is in November or was it change to December. So we can book are vacation for the right month. We still have time to change are vacation package. We where there in 2010 and had a great time and really enjoy the music on the beach and from are balcony . Thank you Pam

  3. Ross Dryer // August 5, 2016 at 1:37 PM // Reply

    If dates are unconfirmed, why does the Facebook site show the first week of December?

  4. I see the dates are for December this year. I will miss it. I don’t know why they moved the Jazz fest.

  5. Boo! I also see it for December on their Facebook page 😕 We booked the week before to be able to attend! Was really looking forward to this event for my birthday holiday!

  6. I love the Jazz Festival. I cannot make it this year so I hope you make a video.

  7. First time visit please recommend places to stay that are safe and what are average rates?

    • Mr.Yucatan // June 18, 2017 at 1:02 AM // Reply

      Hello Jan

      We have a great map of Playa and where to stay. https://everythingplayadelcarmen.com/where-to-stay-in-playa-del-carmen/ Most rates will start at $60 a night and go to $180 a night for a hotel room. If you are going to the Jazz Fest on Mamitas you might not want to stay close to 28th Street where the festival is. This street has a lot of bars and pedestrian traffic and often not that quiet. Most first time visitors like between 5th and 10th Avenue and 12th to 38th Street just for a general area to look at.

  8. How early do you have to get there in order to be able to reserve a seat?

    • To get close to the stage it is better to get there around 5pm. It is crowded since it is free. Most everyone brings a blanket to sit on.

  9. Mr.Yucatan // April 30, 2018 at 8:56 AM // Reply

    Since the Jazz Festival will be in November you can expect them to post the musicians about August.

  10. What are the dates and artist for 2018?

  11. tim vargas // March 13, 2019 at 4:19 PM // Reply

    what are the dates for 2019? and lineup?

  12. What are the dates and lineup for 2019??

  13. Charlene Nia // June 6, 2019 at 9:56 PM // Reply

    I am trying to find out the exact dates for the Jazz festival, because I have to plan for family. Thanksgiving is November 28, 2019 are you sure the starting date is November 28? I was told we will be staying at Hotel 52. Can you send me some information on that hotel; or how close is it to the festival etc.

    • Mr.Yucatan // June 6, 2019 at 10:11 PM // Reply

      The Riviera Maya Jazz festival is not the best in advertising the event well in advance. This happens with many events locally. We have only heard that date as the start fo the festival. Hotel 52 is a little far away to walk. You can google the distance to Mamitas Beach from the hotel and see. The hotel is on the edge of the central area. It is a little quieter area but you will have to walk south to go to 5th Avenue and some of the more popular areas.

  14. Aimee Byrne // August 5, 2019 at 1:57 PM // Reply

    Has anyone seen what the itinerary will be for The Riviera Jazz Festival his November. I have had a reply saying the dates will be November 29th, 30th and Dec 1st, but nothing else and I am waiting on this before I book my flights?xx

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