The 2023 edition of the Cordillera Festival, held in Bogota over the weekend, concluded with great public success. Cordillera is one of the most highly anticipated music events of the year, bringing together prominent representatives of Latin American music from genres such as rock, cumbia, rap, reggae, and trap.
Internationally renowned artists such as Andrés Calamares, Juanes, Cafe Tacvba, Enanitos Verdes, Diamante Electrico, Monsieur Perine, Los Prisioneros, Cultura Profética, and Jorge Drexler, among others, gathered on September 23rd and 24th at Simon Bolivar Park in the Colombian capital.
Not even the heavy rain during the first day prevented the event from being a success. The venue was filled with an enthusiastic audience, who braved the weather to attend. The concerts by Cafe Tacvba and Residente were the highlights of the day.
“We’re Made of Fire”
This was the slogan for the 2023 edition of one of the most important music festivals in the Colombian capital and the most significant one in Spanish. With four stages (Aconcagua, Cordillera, Cotopaxi, and Cocuy) set up in the vast metropolitan park, Simon Bolivar, the organizers had announced a star-studded lineup of musicians.
The first day, Saturday, was marked at the beginning by an impressive downpour that lasted for about two hours in the Colombian capital. The sun suddenly gave way to threatening clouds, which eventually poured rain on the audience that had already filled the venue. Many attendees sought refuge under the park’s trees, while others, prepared for Bogotá’s unpredictable weather, had brought rain ponchos to endure the heavy shower.
The first acts still performed in the rain, and it wasn’t until a few hours later, after the rain had stopped, that Damas Grises took the stage at the Aconcagua, one of the four stages set up for the festival.
Once the concert regained its momentum after the rain, the first day saw a total of 21 artists or groups perform at Simon Bolivar Park. The second day of the Cordillera Festival exceeded the expectations and success of the first one. During 12 continuous hours of music, spread across four stages, the festival brought back the best eras of music from the continent.
The first to perform on day one were Nasa Histories, a group that offers an excellent fusion of gypsy jazz and various modern genres. They filled the first of the park’s stages with rhythms for 30 minutes. Superlitio, a band from Cali, followed them, and around 2 pm, when the sun had regained complete control of the stages, singer Mónica Giraldo appeared. She had been part of last year’s lineup of artists paying tribute to Totó la Momposina.
Bomba Estereo and Residente, the Highlights
After all the artists had performed, the headliners of the first day were Residente and Bomba Estereo. Rene Perez Joglar maintained an incredible connection with the audience, making them jump and dance while sharing candid stories, such as how he mainly composes his songs during the early morning hours. The Puerto Rican artist also paid tribute to Gustavo Cerati just before performing “La vuelta al mundo.”
Bomba Estereo closed out the Saturday night. The Colombians, known for their fusion of rock, electronic music, reggae, rap, and traditional sounds from the Caribbean coast, lived up to the expectations of those who stayed until the end of the day. Bogotanos Simon Mejia and Li Saumet added a psychedelic stage setup to their performance, and Kevin Florez joined them to sing “Romantica champeta,” putting the finishing touch to Saturday night.
The second day of the festival began at 2 pm on Sunday. Juan Pablo Vega, on the Cordillera stage, and Astronomia Interior, on the Cotopaxi stage, kicked off the final day of the festival. Throughout Sunday afternoon, 21 new artists performed across the four stages in Simon Bolivar Park, including Enanitos Verdes, Cultura Profetica, Ile, Acida Pantera, Los Prisioneros, Monsieur Perine, and Jorge Drexler.
The weather cooperated throughout the entire day on Sunday, and the threatening clouds did not pose any problems for the smooth execution of the performances across the stages.
Juanes and Andres Calamaro, the Highlights of Sunday
Juanes was one of the main highlights of Sunday. The Antioquian artist attracted 20,000 people to his performance and did not disappoint those who gathered at the park in the evening. However, the same cannot be said for Andrés Calamaro.
The former Los Rodriguez frontman appeared uncomfortable during his performance, which was shorter than expected. His performance, which was announced to last one hour and thirty-five minutes, did not exceed an hour, and he left abruptly. Some attendees took to their social media to complain about the musician’s poor attitude on stage. Not only did Calamaro not greet the audience, but in many of his songs, it seemed as if his voice couldn’t keep up.
“I’m not going to insult him or express anything negative about Andres Calamaro. Idols are untouchable, and a bad concert won’t erase the three excellent ones he gave me before. I’ll only say that if he doesn’t want/can’t do it anymore, it’s prudent for him to leave music before music leaves him,” wrote one concertgoer.