Fiestas are coming back to Bogotá – here are some picks for this weekend.
Over the past few months, life has started to return to the city. Restaurants and cafes are decidedly open, and plenty of craft breweries are swinging back into action.
No doubt many of you are looking at the shutdowns in Europe and wondering whether — or when — Colombia will follow suit. But at least for now, as long as you’re careful, there is fun to be had in Bogotá this weekend. Not only that, but entertainment and tourism have been particularly hard hit during the lockdown, so you might be helping some of your favourite venues and artists to survive.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure to reserve in advance and remember that space is often limited for Coronavirus reasons.
Saturday, November 7
After more than six months, Smoking Molly is opening its doors for a night of blues. The talented Leo Parra will pay homage to four iconic bluesmen: B.B. King, Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters. If you’ve been missing live music, here’s your ticket to the deep south.
Smoking Molly, Calle 29 #5-74
$25,000, 7pm and 9pm
The Caravana in Salitre has been running car concerts since the start of October. There are two top DJs performing on Saturday. At 5pm, Medellín’s hip hop star Nanpa Básico will perform to a car park full of fans and at 10pm, singer-songwriter Santiago Cruz will take the driving seat. Obviously, if you don’t have a car, you’ll need to persuade someone who does, but if you like a bit of Colombian carpool karaoke, it’ll be worth it.
Nanpa Básico from $58,000, 4pm; Santiago Cruz from $82,000, 10pm
Billed as the battle of the queens, this is X-factor, Colombian style. The popular Paola Jara, who’s won fame with her passionate ranchera music will sing off against vallenato queen Ana del Castillo. It ain’t cheap, but if you’ve been saving your pesos and missing those Colombian sounds, perhaps this is the battle for you. If not, you can watch and vote from home for a mere $30,000.
Teatrino de los Andes, Cra 81 # 23F-05
From $900,000, 6pm
There’s live music at A Seis Manos this weekend. On Saturday, SON432 will take to the stage with their mix of Latin rhythms, funk and reggae. Entry includes empanadas and a beer or gaseosa and the energetic band are sure to fill the spacious venue with some groovy sounds.
A Seis Manos, Calle 22 #8-60
The unique New Orleans style steampunk bar also continues to bring us live music. There’s salsa from Pibo and his rebels, who perform every Friday and Saturday at Revellion.
Revellion Cultu-Bar, Calle 14 #4-23
8pm, Voluntary contribution
The seventh edition of Open San Felipe will see 25 spaces open their doors to the city’s art enthusiasts. The streets of San Felipe will be closed to cars on November 6, 7 and 8, so you can wander freely and soak up the cafés, music and street art.
Organisers promise they’ve got plenty of biosecurity measures in place, so you can expect masked and socially distanced art, but art nonetheless. Old favourites like SKETCH and SGR Galaria will take part, along with some of the newer spaces.
We’re particularly excited about Casa 73-22, a new gallery-cum-event and co-working space which opened just before the start of the capital’s lockdown. This weekend you’ll find an exhibition by Luis Luna Matiz, a contemporary artist who’s been working between Bogotá and Villa de Leyva for the past 15 years. His artistic investigations into Colombia begin in pre-Columbian times and he explores ideas of identity, national icons and culture. His work has been shown throughout Colombia and around the world.
When the music’s over
If you’re wary of attempting a full-on fiesta, why not climb up Monserrate? You can expect a fair number of people on the way, but the police are fining people without face masks and lesser-known walking routes are decidedly less safe at the moment.
On Sunday, for $50,000, you could join La Sinfonía Del Pedal on a motorcycle-accompanied 100km cycle ride up to Sumapaz. Or head to the Festival de la Vida Sana at the Museo del Chicó (Carrera 7 #93-01). For $5,000, you can fill your day with all things healthy and take part in over 20 planned activities.
If you simply want to pretend things are the way they’ve always been, Usaquén has seamlessly transitioned to the open air. Streets are filled with open-air market stalls and several restaurants have tables outside.
Obviously, if you have symptoms or have had contact with someone who’s been diagnosed with COVID, don’t risk it — stay home until the symptoms have passed.