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Cartagena Music Festival

Experience the Passion of The Cartagena Music Festival

Cartagena may be located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia but deep inside the city there beats a passionate Spanish heart. You can see that in the food, the Spanish Colonial architecture, in the amazing street art of Cartagena, and—especially—in the music. The Cartagena Music Festival is an 8-day annual event that brings some of the most show-stopping performances to life in this historic seaside city.

More than 20,000 enthusiasts will flood onto the streets of Cartagena between 8th and 16th Jan 2017 to witness this grand spectacle and each year the festival grows even more extravagant. Here you’ll find gowned and tuxedoed stars of the performing arts world exploring their musical passion in the Caribbean heart of South America.

This event draws elite spectators from all over Colombia and the world and offers a wonderful opportunity to get up close and personal with members of South America’s High Society. (Sharp-eyed visitors might also see a few Hollywood stars and starlets, renowned international performers, and young artistes before they become famous.)

The History of The Cartagena International Music Festival

The festival was first organized by the accomplished Italian-American harp maker Victor Salvi (who passed at 95 in 2015) and his wife Julia. Known as “The Lord of the Strings” Salvi saw the festival as a way to shine an international light on musical performance as an art form and as a possible career path for impressionable young Colombians. In fact, it is this devotion to brining the fine arts down to a more popular level that has defined the Cartagena Music Festival since its inception in 2007.

In addition to organizing the festival every year, Salvi’s charitable foundation creates programs throughout Colombia which benefit over 400 young artists every year. During The Cartagena Music Festival renowned artists will be leading master classes for over 400 young students and presenting 40 scholarships to young musicians. This coming year there is an amazing wealth of musicians and their talents on display.

Where to See the Music

Throughout the 8-day music festival in Cartagena there will be live performances all over the city from historic plazas to iconic churches and theaters. However, many of these events are for ticket holders only (and tickets can be hard to come by). However, there will also be a number of free performances throughout the budding artists’ community of Getsemani and in Plaza San Pedro Claver (directly in front of the cathedral that bears this saint’s holy remains).

What better way to top off an indulgent vacation getaway in Cartagena—Colombia’s Caribbean playground? Book one of our luxury vacation rental homes in Cartagena and our complimentary concierge service can help you arrange town car or limo transportation to and from the performances as well as make dinner reservations to complete a romantic night on the town.

Cartagena Music Festival 8th - 16th Jan 2017

If you’d like to get tickets to these in-demand performances, plan ahead. The festival launches the second week of January every year. Find out more at The Cartagena International Music Festival’s official website

Martha Hampton

Martha Hampton
Home Curator
Founder of Cartagena Colombia Rentals & Hampton Property Rentals LLC

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