Colombia’s annual festival dedicated to the folkloric vallenato genre will celebrate the beginning of its 50th edition on Wednesday.
The Vallenato Legend festival is held, as always, in the city of Valledupar, Cesar, the unofficial home turf of the typically coastal music that has outdone most other Colombian folkloric music styles through several periods of reinvention of the genre.
The music style is currently one of the most popular in Colombia, even though the sounds and the culture of the music has changed drastically.
Its traditional form, basic percussion supporting the melody of an accordion, has been deemed an Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding because of the rise of commercial vallenato that has become closely associated with Colombia’s narcoculture.
The annual festival in Valledupar, one of the most important music festivals in Colombia, has found itself on the crossroads, promoting both the traditional vallenato and its folkloric culture, while also inviting “narcofied” vallenato artists that have become considerably more popular.
The festival persistently honors the “maestros” of the genre, most of whom have deceased, while inviting the popular vallenato stars who guarantee the arrival of fans from all over Colombia and even Venezuela.
The festival will begin on Wednesday and continue until Sunday throughout the capital of the northern Cesar department.