What’s in store for Bogotá in 2016?

By Diana Mejía February 1, 2016
What to do in Bogotá

The curtain goes up from March 11 on the Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro

This city just doesn’t stop giving: stay ahead of the game with our guide to what events this year has up its sleeve

As you read this, you’re probably still nursing your Christmas and New Year hangover and promising yourself you’ll never drink again. You may have the post-holiday depression that makes you blubber every time you compare your Caribbean boat ride to your city commute. It’s highly likely that you’re yet to write your resolutions for this year and you know full well that you’re never going to write them.

Yet you might have missed the fact that 2016 is already in full swing and our capital is ready to give you all that you want and much, much more. So screw your hangover and get back on it (after all, hair of the dog really is the best remedy, right?), forget the beach and start to love the Transmi as your transport to the city’s culture hotspots. If you make just one resolution make sure that it’s to take advantage of Bogotá’s bounties and have the best year ever.

To help you out, as is our wont here at your favourite newspaper, we’ve done a whole bunch of research for you and here we provide you with a look ahead at 2016’s cultural calendar. Be sure to keep an eye on our Entertainment section each month to keep up-to-date with all the latest news and events.

Enjoy 2016, we know we will…

Music festivals:

Radikal Styles, February 19. Jungle and drum & bass from the UK’s Audio and Coma, as well as Current Value from Germany. There will also be techno and house from a variety of DJs from Italy, Germany and Brazil.

Estereo Picnic, March 10-12. The city’s biggest music festival will bring a mix of styles to the stage, with the likes of Mumford & Sons, hip hop legend Snoop Dogg, Florence + The Machine, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and a whole host of national and international artists on three stages.

BAUM Festival, May 21. A massive day-long electronic music party, which last year saw three stages with national and international artists play to around 7,000 revellers. At the time of writing, ticket information and line-up was yet to be released.

Festivals ‘al parque’. Unless it’s obscure Kazakh-metal-folk-jazz, pretty much every musical genre has a free open-air concert in Bogotá. The most popular ones are Rock al Parque (August), Hip Hop al Parque (November) and Salsa al Parque (May).

Jamming, June 5. Renowned reggae festival, which this year will have Sean Paul as the headline act. Other artists include Fidel Nadal, Born Jamericans and Alpha Blondy.

Hermoso Ruido, August. Taking place in venues across the city, this is a platform for independent music, bringing together a range of musical projects from Colombia and further afield.

Lollapalooza, October. Bogota is set to become only the fifth city outside North America to host its own version of the famed music and entertainment festival. The Colombian version will include an electronic music tent, a main stage, an alternative music stage and Kidzapalooza for children.

SOMA, November. Recent editions of this music festival have brought a mix of big-name artists to the city, including Empire of the Sun and Metronomy. Keep your eyes peeled for the bands due this year.

What to do in Bogotá Concerts: 

Maroon 5, March 3. Multi Grammy Award-winning US pop-rock band Maroon 5 will be here to promote their new album V, which contains hits such as ‘Sugar’, ‘Animals’ and ‘Maps’. The visit is a part of a larger world tour, which has been going on since February 2015.

Parque Salitre Magico, tickets from $574,000.

Rolling Stones, March 10. The legendary British rockers visit Latin America for the first time in over a decade. After much speculation, including claims from Medellín’s mayor that they would be playing in Antioquia’s capital in 2015, and Gustavo Petro nearly fluffing it up by breaking a confidentiality clause, the Stones will finally delight Colombian fans.

El Campín, tickets from $538,000.

Enrique Bunbury, April 5. Spanish rocker Enrique Bunbury will be continuing his Latin American leg of the El libro de las Mutaciones tour during April. Fans can expect a range of new material from the ex Héroes del silencio vocalist.

Teatro Jorge Eliecer Gaitán, at the time of writing ticketing information was yet to be released.

Coldplay, Apr 13. Promotional tour for Coldplay’s latest, and supposedly final, album, A Head Full of Dreams. Expect a sell-out at the Campín, as Colombian fans bid farewell to the British group.

El Campín, tickets from $450,000.

What to do in Bogotá

The legendary rockers come to Bogotá on March 10.


Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro, March 11-27. This festival, which takes place once every two years, brings together some of the best in theatre from across the Spanish-speaking world in a massive celebration. There will be a whopping 895 shows across 63 spaces in the city, and this year’s guest country is Mexico.

The BAT. Bogota Anglo Theater has many exciting things planned for the 2016 season, including works by Beckett, Shepard, and special surprises. Keep your eyes on our theatre section for updates.

What to do in Bogotá

With 84 galleries participating from 33 cities across the world, ARTBO 2016 will be the biggest yet.


Foto museo “Fotográfica Bogotá”, April/May. In this international photography event, hosted by Foto museo Bogota, local photographers, visual artists and the general public are invited to exhibit their work alongside world-renowned artists.

ARTBO, October 26-31. The city’s huge international art fair will bring together local and international galleries, offering a unique platform to showcase work from both established and upcoming artists in Colombia and further afield.

Feria del millón, October. In its fourth edition, this popular fair features hundreds of pieces from talented artists, all of which are priced under COP$1,000,000.

Odeón contemporary art fair, October. The Odeón art fair provides independent galleries a space to promote contemporary art and serves as a platform for artistic innovation and investigation.

Noche de galerias, every two months. A night for you to get acquainted with some of the most important galleries in the Retiro neighbourhood. Arranged transportation leaves from El Retiro shopping mall and tours one of two gallery routes.

Noche en blanco, October/November. Bogotá’s Nuit Blanche is an invitation for all residents to stay up late and explore a free, innovative and inclusive display of contemporary art centred around the Teusaquillo neighbourhood.

What to do in Bogotá

FILBo 2016 will draw large crowds as usual with its mix of culture, events and special guest invites.


FILBo, April 19 – May 2. Bogotá’s International Book Fair is one of the city’s cultural mainstays and quite possibly the most important literary event in Colombia. Holland is the guest of honour for this year’s event.

BAM, July 11-15. Meetings, talks and screenings are just some of the events scheduled for Bogotá’s annual audiovisual market, as culture vultures and cinema lovers meet at the biggest event of its kind in Latin America.

Micsur, August 24 – 27. Video games, art and music will be celebrated and shared at the Cultural Industry Market for the South (MICSUR), with Colombia hosting the event for the first time.

Festival de Verano, August. Since 1997, Bogotá has celebrated summer by hosting a week of processions, free activities and outdoor performances for the entire family, held all across the city.

BOmm, September. This year sees the fifth Bogotá Music Market organised by the capital’s chamber of commerce. Potential new and up-and-coming bands are put in touch with over a hundred buyers, as rock, jazz, champeta and even ska are celebrated during this three day event.

La Francachela, September. Foodies and culture lovers collide at this series of Usaquén based weekend events showcasing Colombian gastronomy.

SOFA, October 27 – 30. Colombia’s largest entertainment fair will be held once again in October, opening Corferias’ doors to an alternative world, full of geek goodies galore.

Bogotá Fashion Week, October. After a successful first run in 2015, emerging designers and fashionistas can relish in the latest trends, as Bogotá celebrates new talent and creativity using distinctly Colombian materials.

Festival Internacional Danza en la Ciudad, November. From flamenco to cha-cha-cha, ballet to modern, and of course, salsa, dance lovers must pencil Bogotá’s international dance festival into their now packed diaries.

What to do in Bogotá

One of the outdoor film viewings at Bogotá’s own independent film festival.


IndieBo, July. A film festival that brings together a wide selection of some of the best independent cinema from around the world.

Alta Fidelidad, August 24 – 28. Bogotá’s film festival, entirely dedicated to documentary films about music, will celebrate the fourth version of the event this year. Expect to see a whole host of genres and artists as part of the programme.

MIDBO, October/November. Bogotá’s International Documentary Film Festival presents some of the best in Colombian and International documentaries, with a category for student documentary films too. Various spaces around the capital play host to film screenings.

Festival Zombie, November 16-23. Horror film fans can once again be scared witless as part of the capital’s international film festival. Expect thrills and gore.

Bogoshorts, December. The 16th edition of this festival is an invaluable window for young Colombian filmmakers to showcase their work. Cinema Distrital, Cine Tonala and Oma have been some of the venues for this short film festival in previous years.

By Azzam Alkadhi, Charlotte Mackenzie & Diana Mejía