Colombia prepares for Vallenata Festival and 28th Bogota International Book Fair

From 28 April to 2 May, the Colombian coastal city of Valledupar is bringing out its best asset: “Vallenato.” The 48th Annual Festival of the Vallenata Legend pays tribute to the “López Dynasty” and will offer new events in its programming.

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The Festival of the Vallenata Legend, the best popular folkloric culture festival held in Valledupar at the end of April every year, brings together the top composers and singers of different types of Vallenato music, including merengue, puya, paseo and son.

The festival, which is held in the Cesar Department capital, includes contests held in different categories for professionals, fans and children. This year, the competition will be held from 28 April to 2 May, but will begin on 25 April with an event called the “Celebration of the López Dynasty,” a parade of traditional celebration Jeep Willys.

The programming will also include shows by international artists Juan Luís Guerra and Marc Anthony. They will be accompanied by renowned national Vallenato musicians including: Poncho Zuleta, Jorge Oñate, Iván Villazón, Jorge Celedón and Silvestre Dangond, among others.
The festival, which dates back to 1968, will feature musicians from all of Latin and North America. In addition to concerts and music competitions, there will be the ‘piloneros’ parade which showcases some of the best performers from Colombia’s Caribbean region.

The Festival of the Vallenata Legend is amongst the top 10 most popular cultural tourist events in Colombia along with the Carnival of Barranquilla; the Manizales Trade Show; Black and Whites Carnival in Pasto; the Reinado del Bambuco in Neiva; the International Joropo Tournament in Villavicencio; the Medellin Flower Trade Show; the National Beauty Competition in Cartagena; the Cali Trade Show and the Festival of Lights in Villa De Leyva.

The 28th annual Bogota International Book Fair will honor Gabriel García Marquez

A 3,000 square metre pavilion exclusively dedicated to honoring the only Colombian Nobel prize winner for literature will be the largest attraction at the 28th Annual Bogota International Book Fair.

To pay tribute to the most important Colombian writer of all time on the first anniversary of his death, the 28th Annual Bogota International Book Fair will transform its traditional setting into a tribute to Macondo, the legendary fictitious town created by Gabriel García Márquez in his literary works.

During the Fair, which will be held from 21 April to 4 May in Bogota, Macondo will be recreated in an “interactive space dedicated to the imagination of the greatest Colombian writer of all time,” the organisers explained. There, visitors will find a 3,000 metre space filled with a multimedia experiences developed using the latest audiovisual technology, sound art, and artistic direction. In addition visitors will be treated to a festival of Caribbean music and cuisine.

The Fair will also offer its traditional meetings with authors; the series “Conversations that will change your life,” which this year, “will place its focus on the great female figures of modern literature,” and a new session called “Long live music,” that will include “a diverse repertoire of conversations followed by small format concerts with creators who have worked in the worlds of music and letters.”

The special guests this year will include Mexican poets Nadia Escalante and Yuri Herrera, Fan Ye from China (translator of the first authorised edition of One Hundred Years of Solitude), Englishman John Banville (winner of the Príncipe de Asturias award in 2014), and Gerald Martin, official biographer of García Márquez.

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