Ugh. So it’s just another long weekend here in Colombia. There sure are a ridiculous number of them in these here parts, and they start to lose their charm after about twenty of them, don’t you think?
Are you kidding? We here at the almost purely imaginary See Colombia Towers never fail to look forward to these deliciously regular puentes (bridges), tongues lolling and saliva dripping onto our overused laptops. Why, you ask? Well, in a country feted for its megadiversity (I’m going to make that a word if it isn’t already, dammit!), there’s always going to be at least three exciting things happening somewhere. Let’s take this weekend as an example…
Rock in the Park.
Well, I guess you could go to this event in Bogota. I mean, it’s only the biggest rock festival on the continent, so, no big deal, really. Stretching its non stop blocks of rock over the entire long weekend, it shows how fervent a nation of rock stars Colombia really is. One rule we’d urge you to remember if you don’t want to be hitching up your dacks for the duration; no belts are permitted, for some reason.
Our top picks for each day:
Saturday: Cannibal Corpse for all the death metal heads out there. Metal in general has quite the following here, so expect this set to go off, in more senses than one. Even if you’re not into this gory group with such hits as “Necropedophile,” “Evisceration Plague,” or their touching love ballad, “I Cum Blood,” it’d still be good for a bit of a laugh. Or maybe just a WTF. Wear black, shampoo and condition your hair, and don’t forget to wear your most murderous expression.
Sunday: A bit of a blast from the past, Living Colour is taking centre stage. Black hard rock pioneers, you may remember them from such songs as their hit, “Cult of Personality.” Expect a tight set, replete with those chunky riffs that were so massive in the 80s.
Monday: Our candidate for the best name in the history of rock, those eclectic Argentinians, Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas are set to dazzle, possibly confuse, and definitely entertain the seething mass of enthusiasts before them. Hard rock, jazz, funk, and hiphop all get a nod from this cheeky, excitable duo.
Plenty more free acts to take advantage of. What are your picks?
Bogota Gay Pride Festival
I guess you know all about Colombia, right? One of the most Catholic countries in the world, family-centric, and fun – sure – but maybe a bit conservative? Right.
Although it’s definitely still an underground culture in most areas of the country, the LGBT community is proud, thriving, and fabulous. Plenty of reasons to be proud: consensual homosexual activity hasn’t been a crime since way back in 1980, the age of consent (14, btw) has been the same as that for heterosexuals since the year 2000, and same-sex couples have had the same constitutional rights in regards to property and social security since 2008. And, after a ruling came into effect last week, it’s theoretically (at least) legal for same-sex couples to be married. Add to this that the biggest club in Colombia, Theatron, is a gay club, and maybe you get the idea that there’s another side to Colombia. This pride will burst out onto the streets of Bogota from 12:00 on Sunday, as the Gay Pride March flaunts its fabulousness down Carrerra 7 from the National Park all the way to Plaza Bolivar. Make sure you dress for the occasion.
Ibague’s Folklore Festival.
There are always a few reasons to visit Ibague, Colombia’s Music Capital. One reason is the music, of course, but another is the ridiculously delicious food. Both will be on best display this weekend, as Ibague celebrates the long weekend in style. The hypnotic strains of traditional music will saturate the city, and there will be plenty of opportunities to make a right pig of yourself – Saturday is officially Lechona Day. If you haven’t tried this porky guilty pleasure yet, here’s your best opportunity. And, of course, being a Colombian festival, a beauty queen will be crowned. Head along on the Sunday to watch the coronation of the National Queen of Folklore. Everybody will live happily ever after. Well, untill Tuesday morning, anyway.
This is just our top three for this weekend, and we’re completely ignoring pretty much most of the country. What are we missing out on? Pray, do tell us!