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Protests disrupt opening of Chile’s Vina del Mar Festival

The 61st edition of the International Festival of Viña del Mar got underway last night (23 February) to a backdrop of anti-government protests, which caused delays to the opening of the event.

The festival, which is taking place until 28 February at the 15,000-capacity Quinta Vergara park in Viña del Mar, started three and a half hours after schedule due to anti-government protests that congregated around the festival site and the O’Higgins hotel.

The opening act of the festival featuring Chilean hip-hop band Tiro de Gracia and singer Jordan did not take place as planned.

The opening act of the festival featuring Chilean hip-hop band Tiro de Gracia and singer Jordan did not take place as planned

Puerto Rican star Ricky Martin was the first artist to perform on Sunday, displaying his support for the protestors and stating: “May Chile serve as the catalyst for other parts of the world, where our voices are not heard.”

A wave of protests has been taking place across Chile for the past four months, sparked by a public transport fare hike and evolving into wider demonstrations against social inequality, living costs and the country’s constitution.

The protests have caused the cancellation of many major concerts and events, with the Movistar Arena in Chilean capital Santiago closing for almost a month in October.

Other acts performing at the six-day Viña del Mar festival include Ozuna, Ana Gabriel, Maroon 5, Pablo Alborán and Mon Laferte.


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Luis Fonsi brings live music back to Santiago, Chile

After 26 days of silence at Santiago’s Movistar Arena, live music returned once more with a two-night run by Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi.

On 8 and 9 November, the ‘Despacito’ singer played the first concerts at the 17,000-capacity arena since Iron Maiden’s 14 October show.

Anti-government protests have been ongoing in the Chilean capital since 18 October, sparked by a public transport fare hike and evolving into more general protests about inequality and the cost of living. The protests, and consequent government-imposed curfew, resulted in the cancellation of many live entertainment events.

The Fonsi dates marked the end of the singer’s Vida world tour, which has seen him play 16 shows in Europe, ten in North America and six in Latin America.

After 26 days of silence at Santiago’s Movistar Arena, live music returned once more with a two-night run by Luis Fonsi

The concerts also signalled the resumption of programming at the arena, with upcoming dates from Erkyah Badu, Marco Antonio Solís, Shawn Mendes and J Balvin.

Hot Chip, who were supposed to play in Santiago on Saturday, had their performance cancelled last minute. “We don’t have details yet but we were set up and ready to play when we were to told it was not going ahead for safety reasons,” the band posted on Twitter.

The group were scheduled to play at the Ten Years of Fauna event, a replacement for Fauna Primavera festival, which was cancelled earlier this year due to “difficulties in finding an appropriate headliner”.

For an in-depth look at the fast-growing Latin music world, read IQ’s recent feature on the genre here.

¡Olé! Industry experts on Latin music’s inexorable rise


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