Arts & Entertainment

Colombian capital readies for return of park festivals in 2022

Bogota, Dec 13 (EFE).- Colombia’s capital is gearing up for a return of its popular park festivals in 2022, when an attractive line-up of activities will lure residents and visitors alike back to the city’s green spaces.

“Next year’s offering is wonderful. We’re returning to the park festivals,” the director of Bogota’s Idartes arts promotion and development institute, Catalina Valencia, said in an interview with Efe. “These festivals are coming back in a renewed way, with new offerings, with a (new) conversation in a different city, because after a pandemic we can’t do things the same way.”

The Park Festivals Program dates back two decades and provides a major boost to local musical creation, while also offering gathering spaces that underscore the city’s multiculturalism and promote inclusion.

The best-known festival is Rock al Parque, the largest free, open-air rock festival in Latin America and the third biggest of its kind worldwide. Recording artists that have participated in that festival in the past include Cafe Tacuba, Fito Paez, Charly Garcia, Draco Rosa, Manu Chao, Juanes and Andres Calamaro.

“We’re going to have wonderful artists at our festivals, a much broader offering, not just one weekend, and that will be one of the biggest announcements,” Valencia said, adding that the program will be unveiled in January.

Besides the park festivals, traditional events such as the Bogota Theater and Circus Festival and the Dance in the City Festival will take place in 2022, while the line-up of events also will include the second edition of the International Art and Memory Festival.

“We’re going to have an enormous number of festivals, and the idea is to bring artists, to once again see them live. That’s very important,” the Idartes director said.

The institute also will continue its Bogota Open Museum project, which aims to improve and recover public spaces by promoting the creation of artwork on bridges.

“They’re works of art on Bogota’s bridges. This had never been done before, and it’s a really ambitious project with an investment of nearly 5 billion pesos (around $1.3 million). Next year is the second phase of that project, and we hope to have a city full of color, creation, and transformation,” said Valencia, who has been at the head of Idartes for the past two years.

She recalled that prior to the pandemic-triggered crisis, which hit her sector particularly hard, the institute created digital platforms that allowed the arts to continue to circulate in the city.

But the Idartes director said people now are regaining the confidence to return to open spaces and gather in crowds.

“We want to fill the plazas, the parks, but we’re still working on that, and there are people who are resistant to the vaccines,” Valencia said. “I think it’s been wonderful to be able to see the theaters at 100 percent capacity, to think about park festivals once again … and have those spaces for people to gather with people, artist with their fans, because that’s the essence of the creator and the artist,” she said. EFE


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