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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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Concerts axed as unrest builds in Chilean capital

Following the outbreak of anti-government protests, the Chilean government has ordered the cancellation of all “large-scale events”, declaring a state of emergency and imposing a curfew in Santiago and other parts of the country.

The protests began in the capital city of Santiago on Friday (18 October), following a public transport fare hike. Demonstrations later evolved into more general protests over living costs and inequality, spreading to other areas of Chile.

Two performances from celebrity violinist André Rieu at the 17,000-capacity Movistar Arena in Santiago were put on hold following the measures.

“We are deeply sorry for the cancellations and the inconvenience this will cause to those who had bought tickets,” stated local promoter Bizarro Live Entertainment, “but we find ourselves in a situation that is out of our hands.”

Canadian singer Bryan Adams was also due to play at the arena, following shows in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. The singer cited “civil unrest” as the reason for the cancellation of today’s (22 October) show.

The one-day Vívela Festival, which was set to take place in Santiago’s Quinta Normal park, was also called off. Colombian band Bomba Estereo, UK electronic group Morcheeba, Jamaican reggae band Inner Circle and Venezuelan duo Mau y Ricky were among acts scheduled to play the festival.

“We are deeply sorry for the cancellations, but we find ourselves in a situation that is out of our hands”

“We are suspending the festival as we received an official statement from the government informing organisers that all large-scale events in the metropolitan area must be cancelled, due to the difficult situation that is going on,” announced festival promoter Street Machine.

Tickets for a show by Argentinian rock band Soda Stereo, due to go on sale today for Banco de Chile customers and on Thursday for the general public, will not be available until further notice, announced Chilean promoter Lotus Producciones.

According to IQ’s International Ticketing Yearbook 2019 (ITY), Chile’s live market has “thrived” in recent years, while South America’s other major touring destinations – Brazil and Argentina – have “faltered”.

“We have our own challenges, but we see the Chilean market as much more stable than the other markets in Latin America and the Caribbean,” Paulo Atienza, CEO of Chile’s leading ticketing company PuntoTicket, told ITY.

Major festivals in the country include Lotus Producciones-promoted Santiago Gets Louder and Lollapalooza Chile. Rock in Rio founder Roberto Medina recently announced that a Chilean edition of the Brazilian mega festival would take place in 2021.

 


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