Festival Estereo Picnic 2022: 10 Artists To Watch| 17 March, 2022
Colombia’s outlook in this convoluted, post-pandemic context, is still one of high hopes and unresolved plans for the future. The political and economic spectrums have been shaking non-stop in the midst of an upcoming presidential election, which promises to bring a swing in favour of the country’s most forgotten and impoverished territories. Just as socio-environmental leaders like Francia Márquez have taken a step forward in a fight for the dignity of the country’s most disenfranchised people (the “nobodies” of the country, in her words), artists from across the board have started to gain territory that was stolen away from them by COVID. On the live performance front, juggernaut producer Páramo have stacked up a list of world class artists, without leaving the lesser known acts, our favourites, behind for the latest edition of Festival Estéreo Picnic.
Forget overblown, rusty acts like Machine Gun Kelly, Foo Fighters or The Strokes (a band that was featured at this festival not too long ago), our bet this year is on crisp Chilean synthpop, traditional gaita music and futurist trap hailing from Puerto Rico. Here is our list of 10 artists to watch at Festival Estéreo Picnic 2022.
Los Niños Telepáticos
Friday 25th, 3:30pm, Paramo Stage
This alternative, prog-rock outfit has been fuelling Bogotá’s bars and venues for a good half a decade now, and this spot at FEP seems like the perfect opportunity to close out an impeccable period on the local scene, and look into the future with high expectations. The last couple of years might have not been very active in terms of shows, but the band didn’t miss out on the opportunity of recording an intimate Noisesion, featuring recent releases and a couple of unreleased cuts, right before this stellar appearance:
Saturday 26th, 10pm, Paramo Stage
Though the 10pm Saturday spot is stacked with global stars of pop and EDM (Martin Garrix and Marina, among others), it’s clear that the energy of the festival will be mostly focused on the futuristic beats and bars of singer, influencer, former comedian and professional swimmer Eladio Carrión.
Besides the classy, smooth trap tunes delivered on his Sauce Boyz 2 album, the North American/Puerto Rican singer recorded a fiery session with BZRP, and the present tour seems like the ideal opportunity to show off his talent and catapult himself up the pecking order.
Los Cotopla Boyz
Sunday 27th, 3:15pm, Paramo Stage
These guys have certainly injected a ton of fun and energy to the microverse that is Bogotá’s cumbia, and overall tropical, music scene. Back in 2020, they released Mamarrón Vol. 1: a much-awaited debut album, a follow-up to their massively catchy, soukous-champeta-rock-infused first single “Me Malviajé Con las Ganlletas”. Formed by highly talented songwriters and performers Andrea Hoyos, David Sánchez, Edgar Marún and Sebastián Portilla, the band aims to make a show for the ages. It’s the perfect occasion to enjoy some of the festival’s most colourful tunes with family and friends, on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Las Ligas Menores
Friday 25th, 9:45pm, Banco de Bogota Stage
What makes this year’s FEP line-up so respectable is the eclectic nature of its participants, especially when looking at the Latin American artists. Enter Las Ligas Menores, one of Argentina’s most beloved underground bands. Though they’re not a new act by any standards, the predominantly feminine quintet is a safe bet when it comes to pleasing the everlasting and ever growing niche of 19-year old indie rock fans, constantly looking for the next new band that’ll assist them in releasing angst and the despair of being a teenager in these chaotic times.
Saturday 26th, 6:00pm, Paramo Stage
Without a doubt, Edson Velandia encapsulates the identity of modern Colombian folk music. Hailing from the underground rock scene of the early 2000s with his renowned band La Tigra, this guy has morphed into one of the country’s most dependable acts. A chronicler of some of the most picturesque tales in this land, and also a sharp and highly-needed voice among the country’s current political realities. The last few years have seen Velandia in his most prolific phase yet (2016’s El Karateka, 2018’s Montañero, and many compelling singles), and this slot at FEP will surely boost his admirable artistic trajectory even further.
Friday 25th, 6:45pm, Paramo Stage
It’s pretty clear that Chile has always represented a juggernaut of new and exciting sounds, and the last decade has produced world class artists such as Mon Laferte, Alex Andwandter and Gepe. Though probably not as high up there in terms of streams and advertising, Javiera Mena has become the voice of contemporary Chilean synthpop. With a career spanning more than 10 years, the singer-songwriter promises to deliver a show packed with colourful synth lines, folk-pop, and a unique compositional style that has turned her into one of the region’s most forward-thinking artists.
Saturday 26th, 4:30pm, Paramo Stage
This Bogotá-based project formed by twin sisters Juanita and Valentina Añez, represents one of the most interesting South American projects in avant-garde songwriting and composition. The duo focus on developing highly structured and introspective vocal harmonies, while combining it with a whole new brand of minimalist folk. The project has caught the attention of Kevin Johansen, Andrea Echeverri, Edson Velandia, and many other key figures in the continent’s singer-songwriter scene. Their latest album Reflexión was listed across the board as one of 2020’s best Latin American records.
Saturday 26th, 3:30pm, Main Stage
Over the last couple of years, Bejuco have become the spearhead for the ambitious Discos Pacífico project, which formed towards the beginning of the pandemic. Their debut record Batea (2021) gained the band an unexpected audience of teenagers and young music bloggers who praised the record. Though deeply rooted in the traditional sounds of currulao and marimba music, the group brings a dose of energy and fresh vibes , which makes this an act not to miss live. Besides the performance at FEP 2022, Bejuco promise to become one of Colombia’s global musical ambassadors, with a proposal that is respectful of its ancestors, while still giving a compelling twist into the future.
La Pacifican Power
Friday 25th, 8:45pm, Paramo Stage
Complementing Bejuco, but very different in approach, La Pacifican Power present a classic, Ondatrópica-style supergroup giving a beautifully compact tribute to the enormous musical riches of the Pacific Coast, with a splash of jazz, salsa, and stately party vibes. Formed by an extended combo of musicians, arrangers, producers and virtuoso instrumentalists, the band returns after a lengthy period away from the stage.
With just one full-length album under their belt, this all-star band composed of Nidia Góngora, Heriberto Bonilla, Alexis Play, Jeffrey Obando, Jacobo Vélez, Maikcel, Fredy Colorado, Andrés Felipe Pinzón, Sebastián Blackburn and Mulatho, is one of the safest bets to watch at FEP 2022 , especially for those interested in the current state of Colombian traditional music revivalism.
Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto
Saturday 26th, 5:00pm, Main Stage
It’s impossible to talk about Colombian music, without mentioning the gaita tradition and its key role in the development of cumbia, porro, and many other traditional rhythms from the Caribbean. The work of legendary band Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto is of such a high distinction, that even some of the most mainstream organizations and revenue-seeking record labels have been obliged to recognize it. After a well-deserved Grammy award win back in 2007, Los Gaiteros have had a hugely successful career in the world music stage, both by showcasing the original blend between white, indigenous and black traditions, as well as offering more innovative releases such as 2017’s Dub de Gaita.
Even though back in 2021 we mourned the loss of vocal leader Juan “Chuchita” Hernandez, the expectations for this appearance at FEP 2022 are high. A must-watch for anyone attending, and certainly a heartfelt homage to Colombia’s folklore and musical diversity.
Festival Estéreo Picnic will take place Friday 25th until Sunday 27th March. More info available here.
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