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The reggaeton closed the Viña del Mar Festival and will also sing at the Sónar in Barcelona, where does Bad Bunny not fit?
The previous Friday, March 1, Bad Bunny closed the Viña del Mar Festival in Chile. Among his poster companions were also Wisin y Yandel and other commercial artists from Latin America such as Raphael and Marc Anthony. The audience welcomed him and applauded and sang his songs. It makes sense, given that this festival usually brings together the most listened Latin American artists, as it is a festival that promotes radio successes and that takes its audience to the most commercial artists of the continent.
Leer en español: Bad Bunny o el todero musical
Bad Bunny, in addition, shared the stage with Arcángel, also a reggaeton singer and also a Puerto Rican, and shared in his social networks that this would be one of the artists that would have made his way into his musical career and that had introduced him to music. Bad Bunny moved into the circle of reggaeton since the beginning of his career, which takes just over a couple of years. In this sense, it is clear that Benito's music has always circulated in the same circuit where the music of the other Viña del Mar artists circulates: in clubs and on the radio. In terms of numbers, Bad Bunny has nothing to envy to his other colleagues like Marc Anthony, because he is at this moment one of the most listened artists in Latin America. Given that reggaeton is undoubtedly one of the trendy genres in Latin America, it made sense and few were surprised that the festival decided to close with Bad Bunny.
Bad Bunny and Barcelona's Sónar
The decision that did surprise was that of the Sónar festival in Barcelona to invite Bad Bunny. Unlike Viña del Mar, Sónar has been sold as an alternative music festival that promotes new artists, mainly of the electronic music scene. These two festivals, then, move in opposite musical circuits and aim at radically different audiences. However, Bad Bunny is in both, how did it happen?
On the one hand, it could be said that in Spain maybe Bad Bunny is heard in the trap movement and not reggaeton. It's true, Bad Bunny makes trap. In Latin America the trap is not alternative music, because it is also danced in the disco and moves within the reggaeton circuit. In Spain, however, the trap has created its own place, perhaps closer to rap. However, this would be a bad reading of Bad Bunny's music, because even within the trap the Puerto Rican is not doing anything experimental or alternative, which is what Sónar is supposed to promote .
On the other hand, it could also be thought that this is a way of dragging a new audience to Sónar so that the audience that can attract Bad Bunny can be interested in the alternative music that brings the festival together. Even so, again, this would be a wrong reading also of this festival. Music festivals, by definition, are not isolated events whose versions work independently. Music festivals, as events that are repeated year after year, seek to gather and target a specific audience that is faithful, that is, to attend again and again. This works in both directions: the public also demands that the festival is faithful to it. To guarantee the loyalty of an audience, music festivals must earn their trust with the curatorship of their poster. Thus, Sónar has been made with the name of the alternative electronic music festival, and its public trusts him. In this sense, invite Bad Bunny, the king of the commercial, the singer who closes Viña del Mar, would be an unwise decision, because it would be, in a way, a betrayal to its audience.
You could stop here too to think to what extent to invite Bad Bunny is to betray the public of Sónar. One could even wonder how alternative this festival is still. From the first glance, I think that inviting Bad Bunny was a bad decision of Sónar, because it implies that your audience can no longer trust your curatorship, because if Bad Bunny enters the category of alternative electronics, then where would they be drawn the limits of any festival and of any musical genre? However, at a second glance one might think that this is what the Sónar audience is listening to now, and that the reggaeton has been cleaned and bleached to the point of also fitting into the category of experimental music. It will be seen in July of this year and will judge the public and the reader. Maybe we will see how those who a few years ago criticize the bad rabbit begin to twerk with his music.
LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Rodriguez
Translated from "Bad bunny o el todero musical"