Argentine music festivals are all about moshing (they bounce insanely to everything), bad lip-syncing (some very creative mouth movements going on), illogical wristband-voucher-beer-buying methods (seriously, don’t ask) and public displays of affection (aka rampant snogging). Lisa Goldapple reports from Buenos Aires HotFest 2010.
Christmas in Argentina, as those with even the most rudimentary grasp of geography will know, occurs at the height of summer. With that in mind, you’d be forgiven for assuming that the locals in this part of the world have sensibly revamped their yuletide festivities to take account of the hot weather. Assume again.
Walk down Buenos Aires’s central shopping street, Avenida Florida, and you’d be forgiven for presuming that Argentine music tastes encompass just one genre: tango. So where should you be heading to catch the city’s hottest bands? Here’s a rundown offering something for all tastes.
International directors have long been seduced by Argentina. Films shot here include ‘Highlander II’, Wong Kar-Wai’s ‘Happy Together’, Francis Ford Copolla’s ‘Tetro’ and even ‘Seven Years in Tibet’. However, if you want a foreign film fix to improve your Spanish and learn about the dynamics of the country’s civil unrest, then rent a classic Argentine film.
If mountains + music = your idea of a good time and you fancy a bit of high-brow Argentina culture at the foothills of the Andes, then head to Bariloche in October for the annual Semana Musical Llao Llao, one of the largest international classical music events in Latin America.
Since the year 2000, a classical music festival has taken place on the Mendoza Wine Route during each Easter week. Ten years later, the festival has become one of the area’s most popular musical events, performed in natural settings and at churches and wineries.
Porteños need little encouragement to deem a day a holiday, set off fireworks or… drink champagne. Any excuse for a party, right? Well, in Buenos Aires you can quaff Chandon, dramatically exclaim ¡qué frío! (very local) and people-watch – all under the umbrella of ‘high-brow’ – by throwing in an art fix. This year is the 10th Anniversary of Gallery Nights – late night openings which fall on the last Friday of every month until November, organized by art magazine Arte al Dia, adn Cultura (La Nacion newspaper), and the Ministry of Culture of Buenos Aires.
Just after midnight, one drizzly Friday morning in the poor Buenos Aires neighbourhood of Abasto, I wandered through a rusty door. Inside the cavernous Club Atlético Fernandez Fierro, The Stooges’ ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ echoed, anti-globalist art was lit up under a roving mirror ball and students knocked back the cheap Italian liqueur fernet mixed with cola. It was clear this wasn’t the average stuffy tango hall
“When I first heard about Santi, I thought he was like all the other kids that play polo – rich, privileged and born with a silver spoon in his mouth,” says Nathaniel McCullogh, the English director of the recently released documentary film ‘The Polo Kid‘.
The film follows Santi as he tries to climb the ladder towards the pinnacle of a 10-goal handicap. It moves from Florida to Mexico and then to Argentina, the game’s spiritual home and birthplace of Santi’s polo-playing father to whom the film is dedicated. Miguel Torres was a professional player who emigrated to America in the 1980s and who died during filming…
Notwithstanding what happened recently in South Africa, there is one sport where Argentina dominates the world, and has done for over seventy years. Polo is a true national sport in the country and its popularity is second only to football. Championship matches in Argentina’s two biggest polo fields, in Palermo (in downtown Buenos Aires) and at the Hurlingham Club in the suburbs, attract huge crowds. During the season, games are televised almost daily…