Moving Mountains: Festival Cordillera 2022 hits Bogotá

By Oli Pritchard September 20, 2022

The capital is receiving a plethora of Latin talent this weekend as Festival Cordillera 2022 sets up shop in the centre of the city. 

Don’t miss Café Tacvba at the Festival Cordillera. Photos: Courtesy of Páramo.

The cold nights are closing in as we head into rainy season, and what better way to warm yourself up than a giant music festival? Like a hearty stew, it’ll reach right down and heat your tired soul. The olla for this musical soup is Parque Simón Bolívar, across three stages and an electronica tent. The ingredients are world class, from the likes of Café Tacvba and La Etnnia to more delicate seasonings like Briela Ojeda and a bit of N.Hardem to spice things up. The name of this Rolo recipe? Festival Cordillera 2022.

What makes this festival so special is its focus on Latin music. That doesn’t necessarily mean staid and traditional music, but mainly Latin takes on contemporary sounds. Rap, hip-hop, punk and rock. There’s also cumbia if it’s all a little too modern for you. Just like the laboured soup analogy above, mixing is the name of the game, with artists blending all kinds of genres both with each other and with traditional sounds too. Best of all, it’s in the middle of the city like Rokal, and has beer like Estéreo Picnic. Perfect combo, in our eyes.

Briela Ojeda
Briela Ojeda will be on stage at 2.15pm on Saturday. Photos: Courtesy of Páramo.

There’s plenty of Colombian talent, as you’d imagine, led by legendary rappers La Etnnia (7.45pm Sun) and alt-rockers Aterciopelados (3.45pm Sun). Both bands made their names in the 90s, chronicling the trials and tribulations of those years in la nevera. Elsewhere on the lineup, you’ll find cumbia legend Toto La Momposina (3.45pm Sat) bringing some much-needed sun to these chilly mountains. LosPetitfellas (7pm Sat) are surely future legends, having seemingly been around all century with their jazzy indie hip hop.

Among the younger generation, look out for N.Hardem (2.15pm Sun), a favourite of ours who spits raw fury through frenetic rhymes. Rosa La Pistola (4.45pm Sat) is a bad-ass underground reggaetonera who rewrites the script for this oft-maligned genre and Briela Ojeda (2.15pm Sat) brings folk-whimsy to follow up her impressive Estéreo Picnic set. She clashes with Duplat (2.15pm Sat), sadly, with his interesting take on pop-electronic-rock mash-up. For more traditional electronica, try Mitú (00.15am Sat) for a relaxing comedown after a hard day’s night. Perhaps strangest of all is a bit of Worcestershire sauce in Quantic (8pm Sun), an Englishman inspired by Pacific sounds.

From overseas and across mountains we’ve got stacks more of the region’s finest, from Mexico to Chile and everywhere in between. Mexican rockers Café Tacvba (11.45pm Sun) return to Parque Simón Bolívar after 7 years alongside compatriots Caifanes (9pm Sat), Zoé (10.15pm Sun), who also have a long history with Bogotá, and Maná (7.45pm Sun) are the biggest names, but there’s quality oozing out of every pore of the bill. Los Fabulosos Cadillacs (11.45pm Sat), Los Auténticos Decadantes (5.45pm Sat) and Babasónicos (8pm Sat) from Buenos Aires are the big Argentine names from the 90s. 

Mexican rockers, Caifanes will perform on Saturday night. Photos: Courtesy of Páramo.

If you’re not waiting for Maná, you can play with the girls and see rap-rock Molotov (4.45pm Sat) on Saturday evening or wait for Julieta Venegas (6.45pm Sun). There’s also younger talent coming through, with Arath Herce (3pm Sat) making an eagerly-awaited debut in Colombia and the pop-rock revivalists Conociendo Rusia (2pm Sun) from Argentina. Caloncho (4.45pm Sun) brings his take on reggae from Mexico.

Smaller Latin nations are well represented too. From Santiago comes the irrepressible art-pop pixie Mon Laferte (7pm Sat), so impressive at Rock al Parque in 2017. Puerto Rico sends ex-boyband hero Draco Rosa (5.45pm Sun) and Uruguay are sending No Te Va Gustar, (10.30pm Sat), who you’ll love. Relations with Venezuela can be strained, but Los Amigos Invisibles (10.45pm Sat) will be very visible, as will Akapellah (6.15pm Sun) the rapper. The West Indies are representing on the first day too, with The Wailers (8.30pm Sat) and Mad Professor (10pm Sat) throwing down reggae and dub in the tent.

Getting to Festival Cordillera 2022 couldn’t be easier, as it’s in (more or less) the geographical heart of Bogotá, in Parque Simón Bolívar. Don’t mug yourself off though – the park is big and the festival is only in one corner. You’ll be able to enter via Calle 63 – get off at the roundabout where Calle 63 meets Carrera 60 and follow the signs.
Tickets are still available online and there’ll be a tree planted for every transaction made, so buy them one-by-one. Even if you’re not so bothered about the trees, you’ll not regret this chance to see a slew of bona fide regional legends. If you’re only going for one day, Saturday seems to be a better bet.