October is traditionally the busiest month for big events in Los Cabos, not surprising when you consider that it’s the month that kicks off the area’s high tourist season. That turned out not to be the case last year, when fallout from Hurricane Odile—the airport did not reopen until Oct. 8, and many hotels were closed for repairs and renovations—forced delays, cancellations, or changes of venue for some high-profile happenings, most notably the Cabo Comedy Festival and Sammy Hagar’s birthday bashes. But this year, things look to be back to normal, with a full slate of signature events promising comedy, music, culture, and sport.
Editors Note: This post was written in 2015. The current dates may not be correct.
Here’s a look at the highlights:
The Cabo Comedy Festival premiered in October 2013, with some of the world’s funniest English and Spanish speaking comedians performing in nightclub venues around Cabo San Lucas. In the wake of Odile in 2014, the festival was first delayed, and finally cancelled. But it returns this year, Sep. 30–Oct. 4, with an even bigger and better roster of stand-ups. In addition to headliners like Ben Gleib, Ahmed Ahmed, Cisco, Rene Franco, and Paul Rodriguez, festival attendees can also catch the latest crop of aspiring stars in the 2015 Jack Rollins Breakthrough Talent Competition. Venues are expected to include Baja Junkie, Desperado’s, and Hard Rock Café, with part of the proceeds going to help local youth and family-oriented charities.
Sammy Hagar’s Birthday Bash celebrations are a staple of the October events calendar, drawing loyal “Redheads” from around the world for a series of concerts at legendary local nightclub Cabo Wabo Cantina. Due to Odile, last year’s concerts were eventually moved to Las Vegas–and dubbed The Belated Birthday Bash–with the former Van Halen and Montrose frontman eventually returning to Los Cabos to do a free show on New Year’s Eve. This year, the traditional format returns, with an all-star cast of guest musicians (including Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham, and Vic Johnson) joining Sammy onstage during concerts on Oct. 7, 9, 11, and 13. General admission tickets, as always, are sold out, with dinner show tickets (same show, but dinner included) for sale on a first-come, first-serve basis at the cantina on selected dates (noon on October 6 for shows on the 7 and 9, and noon on Oct. 10 for shows on the 11 and 13). Dinner show tickets are $90 U.S., and the limit is two.
The first Los Cabos Green Fest was held in March 2014 on Médano Beach, with attendees treated to an array of eco-friendly activities, from sport and spirituality to musical performances on a stage powered by energy generating pedal bikes. This year, the event has been moved to Oct. 9–11, and will take place on beautiful Playa Chileno in the tourist corridor that connects cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Workshops and conferences on environmental awareness and sustainability issues will again be offered, as will yoga and outdoor activities like an eco-trail run, beach soccer, and stand-up paddle boarding. Musical guests include Moenia, DJ Capri, Savoir Adore, Red Wolf, Alex Midi, Marv Ellis, and Sol Seed. A battle of the bands is also on tap.
Local culture will also be on display in Cabo San Lucas on Oct. 18, when the Land’s End city celebrates St. Luke in its annual patron saint festival (fiesta patronal). The highlight of Fiesta de Cabo San Lucas is a colorful parade down Marina Boulevard, the city’s main thoroughfare. Music, dancing and food vendors are also featured.
The Los Cabos Green Fest isn’t the only event that moved from Spring to Fall.
IRONMAN Los Cabos also made the calendar jump, moving to Oct. 25, and adding a new event: a 70.3, or half-triathlon. The main event requires 2.4 miles of swimming off Playa Palmilla, a 112-mile bike ride back and forth along the coastal corridor, followed by a full marathon length 26.2-mile run that concludes in front of City Hall in San José del Cabo. It’s exhausting to even write about, but ironmen (and ironwomen) will not only be competing for pride and bragging rights, but cash, prizes, and one of 40 qualifying slots available for the 2016 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The new 70.3 event will be held on the same day, and will offer 30 qualifying age group slots for the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.
Torturous tests aside, the primary October occupation for visiting sportsmen is fishing. October brings three of the area’s premier big-game sportfishing competitions, including Bisbee’s Black and Blue, the world’s richest fishing tournament. The Los Cabos Billfish Tournament is the first up, from Oct. 13–17, with visiting anglers looking to reel in the biggest blue, black, and striped marlin, or tuna, dorado, and wahoo. The gala kickoff party and concluding awards banquet will be held at Playa Grande, with boats eligible to leave from either the Cabo San Lucas Marina or Puerto Los Cabos. Base entry is $5,000 U.S. per team (1–6 anglers), with additional pay-ins for daily jackpots.
Bisbee’s Los Cabos Offshore, commonly known as “Little Bisbee’s, follows October 19 – 22, 2017. Bisbee’s has been holding fishing tournaments in Los Cabos since 1981, and has always been held in high esteem locally. But after refusing to move or even delay their tournaments post Hurricane Odile, Bisbee’s helped jump start tourism again, donated 250,000 to the Los Cabos Hurricane Relief Fund, and earned the everlasting respect of recovering residents. The Los Cabos Offshore charity tournament dates to 2002, and is something of a laid-back precursor to the big event–the Black and Blue, or “Big Bisbee’s”–with cash prizes awarded to the teams with the three biggest qualifying fish in the game and billfish categories, and large amounts of money donated to local causes. Base entry for teams is $1,500 U.S..
Bisbee’s Black and Blue is in many ways the month’s biggest event: certainly in terms of money, scale, and prestige. The 2006 payout of $4,165,960 was the largest in sportfishing tournament history. Panoramas of the famed shotgun start have launched the career of local photographers, and it’s not unusual for visitors walking along the Cabo San Lucas Marina during the tournament to see marlin the size of small cars being hoisted onto dockside scales. This year’s Bisbee’s Black & Blue Tournament will take place October 24 – 28, 2017. Base entry is $5,000 U.S. per team, with a $71,500 U.S. outlay across all categories, jackpots and challenges.
Bisbee’s Black and Blue is the world’s richest fishing tournament, with payouts in the millions of dollars.