Estéreo Picnic 2017 promises to bring everything to the table. Oli Pritchard and Linda Gómez caught up with some of the national bands preparing to turn up the volume for their appearance at the eighth edition.
In life, some things please the soul, and music is undoubtedly one of those. That’s why loyal followers of the biggest festivals are always at the front of the queue for one of the capital’s biggest events, Festival Estéreo Picnic 2017 (March 23-25).
With more than 50 artists who are similar in a way but also represent a diverse range of styles, the eighth edition of the festival promises to be better than ever before. Among the most important principles of the organisers is to promote alternative sounds, which is part of the eclectic outlook they’ve had since the start.
“This experience has been consolidated, it’s our eighth edition and in each one we’ve learnt a lot. This year’s line-up has us very happy, but also we’re thinking of improving the experience with the food, shops and common areas,” said Gabriel García, boss of festival promoters Páramo.
Another key theme this year will be the advances in transport for such a hard to reach destination. “We know how complex it is to get there. For this reason, we’ll have four or five journeys a day on the Tren de la Sabana as well as providing more parking space. With this we hope it’ll be easier to enter and to leave.” Better yet, the VIP area will feature special restaurants, lockers and an exclusive area to enjoy the concerts in more style.
Weeks before the event, we caught up with some of the local bands due to perform at the show. Chief among them was Sonia Bazanta Vides, better known as Totó La Momposina, legend of the folkloric music of the Caribbean coast.
“Here what we want to do is highlight the sense of belonging across the sounds of our region, this is something we are going to promote. The idea is that the young folk take inspiration from their ancestors, especially in music. In this way, on the day that we take the stage, they’re going to feel the rhythm in their bodies, because music has no borders,” affirmed Totó, who will plays on March 25 with a band of more than 10 musicians.
“We’re here because we were invited and that’s surely for the music that we play, for some it’ll be a surprise, for others a lesson, for others a rebirth and for others a new idea that shows that music is in all parts. It’s with native instruments and melodies from the region, but that mixes new sounds to reach new generations”, added Totó.
On the same day you can find Bazurto All Stars from Cartagena, with their distinctive champetero swing, Canalón de Timbiquí with all the flavour of the Afro-Colombian Pacific coast and from the beautiful archipelago of San Andrés island Elkin Robinson. The latter brings ‘Old Providence New Roots’ from the neighbouring island.
Also playing on Saturday is Julio Victoria, bogotano DJ extraordinaire, playing the fest for the first time. He’s hoping to get the stage shaking before renowned Brit DJ Ritchie Hawkins plays. “We’ve been working on something very special for six months,” he says, “just for this festival. We’ll have some brand-new work for the public, and they can enjoy a light and video show that we’ve been working on with the group Árbol Naranja. It’ll be party music, some deep, but that’ll have a lively progression.”
The international camp
The organisers have put a lot of time into creating a line-up that will leave their loyal fans breathless. Part of the prize for that loyalty is a lot of foreign artists arriving, some of whom have never before set foot on Colombian soil.
That’s the case with The Weekend, the Canadian singer-songwriter who visits for the first time on March 23. Also that day are Justice, who are returning to the city. Plus you can catch sets by the XX, Rancid, Cage the Elephant, Glass Animals, G-Eazy, Bob Moses and Damian Lazarus.
For lovers of turn-of-the-century rock, there’s a dream come true on the Friday, with the arrival on the main stage of New York legends The Strokes promoting Future Present Past, their new EP and first release since 2013. They’ll be followed by Aussie DJ Flume, as well as Caribou, Two Door Cinema Club, Silversun Pickups, Vance Joy and Catfish and the Bottlemen.
Saturday, the final day of the event, closes with a touch of gold when the DJ Deadmau5 illuminates the stage with a multi-sensory show, followed by Martin Garrix, Wiz Khalifa, Sublime With Rome and Richie Hawtin.
There are still some tickets available for Estéreo Picnic which takes place from March 23-25 at Parque Deportivo 222, Autopista Norte # 222-22.