Colombia al Parque and more Festivals in Latin America that Exalt the Native

Bogotá celebrates the 21st edition of Colombia al Parque, but what other festivals in Latin America celebrate native music?.

Columbia to the Park

Photo: Colombia to the Park

LatinAmerican Post | Julián Gómez

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Leer en español: Colombia al Parque y más festivales en Latinoamérica que enaltecen lo autóctono

This weekend there is another edition of Colombia al Parque. This festival celebrates the best of the native music of the country, and for the last editions, it has opened its horizons to the international public. The place where it will take place will be Parque de Los Novios.

The event is made up of three components. The first and most important comes from the calls at the district level: the Bogota bands present a proposal and can be chosen after deliberation by a jury. Then there is the component with national guests, and artists such as Systema Solar, Anibal Velásquez, or De Mar y Río stand out this year. The third has the international guests, which for 2023 brings Mestizo from the United Kingdom, Mirella Cesa from Ecuador, and Samy Ben Redjeb from Tunisia.

In each Latin American country, native music is promoted in different ways. However, there are cities with a long tradition of festivals dedicated exclusively to exalting native music.

Below we present some examples similar to those of Colombia al Parque in more regional countries. In some cases, the competition format is carried out; in others, a prior curatorship is made of who will present.

Cosquin Festival, Argentina

Held in Córdoba, it is the festival that most exalts Argentine folklore. There are already 63 editions that it has traveled, and each time it tends to grow more. The big difference with Colombia al Parque is that its entrance costs between 12 and 50 dollars.

In 2023 it was held between January 21 and 29 with the participation of artists such as Abel Pintos, Jorge Rojas, or El Chaqueño Palavecino. Those who could not attend could be aware of the event through the Internet and television.

Parintins Folk Festival, Brazil

Four hundred twenty kilometers from Manaus, this event occurs in Amazonas. Its history exceeds 100 years since it has records from 1913. Its root has the rivalry that emerges from the bumba-meu-boi practice. The highest peak that the festival had was ending in the 80s.

Last year he returned after a couple of years without his performance due to COVID-19. He still has his competitive soul in force, but in addition to the musical wealth through folklore, it also promotes tourism in the region. This festival is enriched by music and staging that refers to the famous legends of Brazil. This year it is expected to be held between June 30 and July 2.

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National Folklore Festival of San Bernardo, Chile

Since 1972, the province of Maipo has been preparing to receive this festival as the most important of its native music. The validity of the festival remained standing during the pandemic, although it was carried out virtually due to the mandatory confinement measures.

This year the 52nd edition of the event was held between February 2 and 5, with the presentations of groups such as Los Vásquez, Illapu, Joe Vasconcellos, and Los Vikings 5. Admission to the festival is free.

National Festival of Bolivian Song, Bolivia

In its last edition organized in Oruro, this festival turned 29. This 2023 will have the third decade of validity. The festival adopts the competition modality with 12 categories to celebrate Bolivian folklore. In the last edition, more than 500 artists participated in the awards.

Figures with recognition in their country, such as Kjarkas, Yuri Ortuño, or Luzmila Carpio, have emerged from the event. Generally, it is usually done at the end of the year. In 2022, it was done from December 1 to 3, and there is no cost to attend.

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