Colombia’s annually-celebrated Pacific music and culture festival kicks off Tuesday afternoon in Bogota.
After its opening event at Bogota’s Casa del Valle, the Petronio Alvarez Festival heads to Cali, where ten days of concerts, dance performances, workshops, food, and academic lectures celebrating the cultural heritage of Colombia’s Pacific coast region are free and open to the public.
Senegalese percussionist, composer, singer and experimental musician Mamour Ba is the guest of honor for the 17th annual Petronio Alvarez Festival, which has become well-known internationally as a vibrant cultural meeting grounds and lively week-long party.
Highlights include an artisanal craft fair, three-day music market, and all-night gala, but the primary draw is the lineup of local and regional musicians, who also play in bars and restaurants throughout the city for the duration of the festival and go up against one another in various coveted genre competitions.
Organizers expect some 70,000 spectators a day, and say there will be 345 official food and crafts locations and more than 50 musical acts over the course of the festival.
Colombia’s Pacific coast region is one of the focal points of afro-Colombian culture, with its own mix of African, Spanish and indigenous influences. Traditionally, groups and special guests are invited from across the African diaspora to facilitate one the festival’s primary functions of spurring cultural dialogue.
More information about locations and programming can be found on the official Petroni Alvarez Festival Facebook page.