We all love salsa, right? There’s nothing like hearing that rhythm, shaking those hips, and, if you’re anything like me, invariably ending up looking like a total fool…Well, luckily for the likes of me, this weekend sees two whole days of salsa action heading to Bogota’s Parque Simon Bolivar, as the 17th Annual Salsa al Parque rolls into town (although, thinking about it, glides or shimmies into town might be more appropriate).
Part of Bogota’s ‘Month of Music’ or ‘Festival of Festivals’ (look out for a post on that next week), Salsa al Parque does pretty much exactly what you’d think it would: a bunch of quality salsa musicians, playing loads of spicy, flaming-hot salsa…drum roll, please…in the park. Parque Simon Bolivar has been hosting these events for years now: Rock al Parque, Jazz al Parque, Hip-Hop al Parque; most of the major genres are represented. Let’s just say I won’t take them seriously until I start seeing flyers for ‘Experimental Hardcore al Parque’: I’d even pay to see that one…
That’s because, as you may have guessed, all of these brilliant live music events are absolutely, 100% gratis (that means free by the way). Two whole days of salsa, featuring hundreds of musicians, and around 20 live acts, for absolutely zero pesos. You can’t really argue with their pricing structure, can you?! Now, if we can just get the notoriously capricious Bogota weather to play ball for the weekend, we’re on easy street.
This year’s Salsa Fest features live performances from the likes of La Más Orquesta, Juan Carlos Ensamble, Grupo Niche, and, most exciting of all, a Saturday headline slot from a Salsa All-Stars combo group, featuring such names as Ismael Miranda, Oscar de Leon, Rey Ruiz, and Mauro Castillo. It promises to be a one-stop-shop for salsa good-times.
So shimmy on down to Simon Bolivar tomorrow and Sunday, and enjoy some of the world’s finest salsa, courtesy of some of its finest musicians, in the company of several thousand dance-loving Bogotanos. What could possibly go wrong…although, if, like me, you’re concerned about the whole ‘dancing’ thing, give this post a quick read, it’ll answer a lot of questions.