Hot Fest Buenos Aires: An Argentine Music Festival

Music festivals in South America are all about 4 things… wellies, falafels, mud and Kate Moss. Oh no, sorry, that’s England.

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).

Although often described as ‘el culo del mundo’ (the ass-end of the world), plenty of cutting edge international musicians come all the way to Buenos Aires.  The two day ‘Hot Festival’ in Costanera Sur in November 2010 saw bands like Massive Attack, Thievery Corporation and Stereophonics finish 15-month-long-tours in the humidity of this hedonistic city – all top and tailed by Smashing Pumpkins and Pavement gigs. Also heating up the already baking crowd were Hot Chip (name-appropriate), Phoenix (lead singer Thomas Mars bravely climbed into the mosh-pit), must-see Brooklyn hipsters Yeasayer, and Scissor Sisters and Mika. Another highlight was the bare-chested Girl Talk AKA Gregg Gillis who yanked 30 of the crowd onstage and satisfied us with his samples and mash-up music for an ADD generation. Many had their ‘festival moment’ to John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ as giant inflatables bounced over an international crowd – and the world will live as one indeed.

The Real Argentina got an exclusive backstage interview from the Stereophonics’ Kelly and drummer Javier (who’d just gone for a steak at La Cabrera). Although one of Argentina’s most famous international exports, this was Porteño Javi’s first time playing in his home city, so of course he had his entire family representing backstage – including his 90 year old grandma who was actually onstage for the whole set (she didn’t fancy joining the snogging, moshing crowd).

I can’t tell you about Massive Attack and Thievery Corporation’s after-party at Palermo’s Prodeo Bar – what goes on tour stays on tour. Let’s just say that the party continued in suitable decadence at the Faena Hotel well into the scorching hours of the following day. How very BA.

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Lisa Goldapple

Lisa Goldapple

In the prehistoric days, in a pre-blogging, pre-digital photography and pre-status-update-tweeting world (aka 2003), Lisa Goldapple bought a one-way ticket to Argentina to travel the world. She said goodbye to her London life as a scriptwriter and a decade of producing MTV music shows, reality shows and National Geographic podcasts about the gestation period of elephants and dolphins. In 2010 she realised her romantic vision of moving to Buenos Aires and is now working on only wearing dramatic, minimalistic black clothes and horn-rimmed specs, quaffing Malbec and drinking coffee on her own in candlelit cafes whilst reading novels like Catch-22. When she’s not directing and scripting international TV shows, voicing Playboy, running parties and mini-festivals in Bs As and writing her own comedy, she blogs and vlogs for The Real Argentina. Lisa likes to compare herself to the Puriri Moth – a creature which survives in a cocoon for decades until it finally burrows out to explore the world (except it only lives for 24 hours - and spends that day mating - after which it dies). Follow her very random mind at and

4 responses to “Hot Fest Buenos Aires: An Argentine Music Festival

  1. Lisa Goldapple says:

    My only problem with the festival was that you were only allowed 2 beers. Do Argento wine fancy sponsoring the next one?!

  2. That would be brilliant — then everyone could enjoy all the Argento Malbec and Torrontés they can drink!

  3. Lisagoldapple says:

    which would have definitely have made the massive attack visuals seem even more surreal!

  4. Cheryl Sokel says:

    Sounds a brilliant way of getting the true flavour of the event!

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