Colombia might be all about salsa, reggaeton, and Latino vibes at first. But make no mistake about it, the country is as diverse as it gets. Whether it‘s nature, culture, music, or people. And the pacific region often gets overlooked for its potential which can be truly surprising! If you are interested in seeing the different side of Colombia, where Afro-Colombian culture is present, then look no further than the Petronio Alvarez Music Festival. A six-day affair that not only opened a local economy, helped to preserve afro culture but also became one of the best places to immerse in the rhythms that came along and difficult way from our ancestors. Let‘s find out about the festival in one quick glance!
Petronio Alvarez Music Festival History
The Petronio Alvarez Music Festival didn‘t become one of the most important musical events of afro culture in Latin America by accident. Founded in 1997, the festival placed itself through experience, consistency, and legacy as a venue where afro Colombian heritage can thrive and showcase its legacy.
The original mission back then was to unite artists from Colombia‘s Pacific Coast region and allow them to celebrate and express their culture.
Since then, the festival quickly grew to become a diverse and rich event with huge crowds popping up. Regions such as Guapi, Timbiqui, Tumaco, and others join together to produce music in a variety of genres: from marimba and chirimia to freestyle and more!
Yes, the festival takes place in Cali, the world capital of salsa. So, why Cali, after all? A popular question asked by many just to find out that this city is perfect for such an occasion.
The city is essential for learning more about western Colombia. One of the biggest and most popular cities in Colombia easily attracts both local and international bands with Pacific indigenous sounds to play.
Also, the Cali is simply bursting in innovation, creativity and not only because of salsa. Gastronomy is excellent here, shopping is extensive, fashion is glamorous and the city is filled with intriguing activities!
Sounds & Traditions of the Pacific: What to Expect
Here, it is all about the sounds of the pacific and afro-Colombian culture and heritage. People of all ages will come to throw one of the biggest celebrations that are formed and molded by all of the aspects of Pacific culture.
Within the six days of the festival, you can expect to see, hear and experience a lot. Techniques and sounds passed from generation to generation will be on fire. A musical frenzy to say the least!
But let‘s see what you can also expect besides the musical side:
- A variety of food stands with local pacific dishes and local drinks.
- More than 100,000 people and one big party!
- Over 200 retail spaces of afro aesthetics, arts, crafts, and fashion.
- More than 200 exhibitors, from around 50 towns representing the Colombian pacific coast.
The festival is fun, beautiful, unforgettable and iconic. A once in a lifetime experience to capture.