by Andres Colmenares in New Events on Monday 10 November 2008

Rock al Parque is the largest open-air free music festival in Latin America, held at the el Parque Simon Bolivar in Bogota, Colombia. This year the main guest, as usual, was the heavy rain. However, more than 300,000 people enjoyed the powerful and eclectic tunes of 45 bands from England, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, America, France and, of course, Colombia, since the aim of the festival is to showcase upcoming local bands. The Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogota is in charge of this unique open party, which has been gathering youngsters from all the corners of this ten million city, and beyond, for fourteen years.
During three days of rain, mud and rock’n’roll, the enthusiastic audience enjoyed a metal loaded Saturday, with bands like Carcass (England), Ratos de Porao (Brazil), and Paradise Lost (England), along with local bands, Koyi K Utho and Masacre.

A wet and vibrant Saturday saw the Cumbia-ska of Panteon Rococo (Mexico), reggae from Chile from Gondwana, local ‘funny punk’ performed by Odio a Botero, alternative rock by the avant-garde Babasonicos (Argentina), and a great closing act by the awesome Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

And a cold, emotional and unforgettable Monday took in Sergent Garcia’s ‘fusion-vibes’ from France, experimental rock from Mexico by Austin TV, and the incredible Bloc Party, with the remarkable voice of Kele Okereke who made this edition of Rock al Parque memorable.

After three days of the worst weather and the best music in my hometown, now battling with a fierce cold, I can say this festival is the must amazing scenario of tolerance around the music spirit in the world.