Widely known for their fervent joy for life, dedication to faith, and spiritual traditions – not to mention their reputation for throwing kick-ass parties – South America is home to some of the most spectacular cultural festivals in the world, its colours, food, passion, costumes, and zest for life leave visitors beckoning for experience after experience.
Here are some of the must-see, must-go festivals for good measure:
Santiago A Mil – Santiago, Chile
This captivating performing arts festival has already begun as the New Year did. It celebrates theatre, music, cinema, circus, photography, and dance through street shows and park parades to larger-than-life concerts. Santiago A Mil started in January 1994 and has faithfully kept the show going on since. It’s main purpose – to bring performing arts closer to the people. Topics for 2020 include Creative Women, Political Reflection and Contingency, Reflective Humour and more.
Festival dates: 3 – 26 January 2020
Barranquilla Carnival – Barranquilla, Colombia
Self-proclaimed the second largest festival in the world (after Rio), this folkloric, kaleidoscopic festival of colours, parades (a six hour one, to be exact!), street parties, and costumes take place yearly, four days before Ash Wednesday (a holy day of prayer and fasting in the Christian faith).
The pre-carnival of the Barranquilla Festival starts in mid-January with a host of street celebrations that consists of dances, processions, and parades. It draws over 500 folk groups, international artists, almost everyone in Barranquilla.
Festival dates: 22 – 25 February 2020
Lollapalooza – Santiago, Chile
Held at O’Higgins Park, Lollapalooza is no stranger to great drinks and even greater music. It is two days of international headliners fused with influential Chilean acts. This historic festival originated in 1991 by Jane Addiction leader Perry Ferrell as a multicity venue for the band’s farewell tour.
In Chile, Lollapalooza started in 2011 and has been going strong since. Lollapalooza is also held in other cities namely: Chicago, San Isidro, São Paulo, Berlin, Paris and Stockholm. True Lolla fans will understand the significance of the festival’s unique name, it is an archaic word meaning “extraordinarily impressive”.
Festival dates: 27 – 29 March 2020 *different Lollapaloozas have different dates
Festival Esteréo Picnic – Bogota, Colombia
An annual epic affair in the Colombian capital city of Bogota, is Festival Estéreo Picnic. Since its inception in 2010, it has grown from a one-day event to a three-day giant that it is today. It has got you covered from food, markets, drinks, parties, activations, and more.
The Picnic has welcomed more than 250 international acts such as: Gorillaz, Lana del Rey, The Killers, The Strokes, Calvin Harris, Florence + the Machine and Red Hot Chilli Peppers as well as over 200,000 festival goers.
Festival dates: 27 March – 5 April 2020
Festival Bananada – Goiânia, Brazil
This festival is said to make the scene in Goiânia spin. It has several segments catering to all ages. For the party animals, the Bananada Arena has 3 stages with pumping music to fuel you up. For the peace-loving peeps, there’s Bananada at the Theatre which offers instrumental music, new Brazillian music, jazz and more.
Once done the music, check out the Flash Day Tattoo where you can get some fresh ink, with some daily thematic action, happening from 29 July – 15 August from 10am – 10m.
Another highlight of Bananada will be the Chilli Beans Arena, a space to promote activating the body through motion. Be sure to catch a glimpse of the Vogue Ball, a skating competition, and the Bananada Festival Store itself.
We know you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Festival dates: 17 – 23 August 2020
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