Three weeks during the month of October every year the city of Guanajuato, Mexico, plays host to the Festival Internacional Cervantino. This festival is a cultural celebration of the arts, and is one of the most important happenings of its type in the world. Attendees can expect to see first-class theater, dance, music, visual arts, and street performances from not only Mexican artists, but artists from all over the globe as well. Previous acts include: Radiohead, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Nortec Collective, and Cafe Tacuba to name a few.
The city itself sees tens of thousands of visitors during October from all over the world, so many that, when I was there in 2001 any public bench or grassy area was the sleeping space of any enthusiastic Cervantino-goer that did not make lodging arrangements far enough in advance. I almost ended up as one myself, luckily though I had some friends who put me up.
Personally, the street performers were the biggest draw. You will see everything from clowns and mimes to graffiti artists and fire dancers. Throngs gather round to watch these creative geniuses work their crafts. Some even had regular performances in front of the Teatro Juarez where spectators fill the steps that lead to the theater’s entrance.
Getting to Guanajuato for the Cervantino Festival is quite simple. Airfare offered by airlines such as American, Continental, Mexicana, and AeroMexico will get you to Leon(airport code BJX), which is the capitol seat of the state of Guanajuato, then from there the city of Guanajuato is about a 45-minute automobile ride. Be sure to arrange your airfare and lodging well in advance so as not to be one of those literally, left out on the street.
Bonus ! Also check out these pictures from the festival.