From Top to Bottom: An Honest Review of Estéreo Picnic ’23 (Part 2)

By 05 April, 2023

As we wrap up our coverage of Estéreo Picnic, we take a moment to reflect on the final day’s performances. After a packed schedule on Saturday, we were excited to see what Sunday had in store for us. With a lineup featuring a decent dose of Latin American acts, we were looking forward to a diverse array of sounds and styles. From the main stages to the tents, there was no shortage of talent to discover.

We kicked off our journey with Elsa y Elmar at the Adidas stage. The Colombian singer-songwriter, who has been described as a purveyor of “spiritual pop,” has been making waves in the music industry since winning the top prize in the Latin music category at the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for her song “Me viene bien” in 2014. She’s certainly not a stranger to big crowds, given that two years later she performed as the opening act for British band Coldplay in front of a massive crowd of 40,000 people at Bogotá’s Estadio El Campín. Though she’s maybe not the kind of act we usually review in this publication, Elsa y Elmar’s set at the festival was very professional, and showcased her unique blend of pop, folk, and electronic music, captivating the audience from start to finish.

Nicolás y Los Fumadores took over the smaller tent and immediately gathered quite a crowd of fans, chanting and singing along to their greatest hits. The energy in the air was palpable, as the band played with incredible skill and enthusiasm. Their performance was punctuated by some hilarious references, including one to a man named John McAllister who allegedly hired them for an event, but failed to pay them at the end of the night. The band also made a joke about Gabriel Antonio Goyeneche, a former presidential candidate in Colombia who made outlandish proposals during his campaign, such as paving the Magdalena River to ease transportation, as well as converting Colombia’s rivers into aguardiente. Despite the humor, the music remained the highlight of the show, with hits like “El Verano” and “Bailando Triste” drawing the biggest cheers from the audience. Nicolás y Los Fumadores proved once again that they are at the top of their game, delivering an unforgettable performance that had the crowd buzzing long after the show had ended.

Fuerza Bruta: Wayra was the next act that caught our attention. The Argentinian theatre company had an exclusive stage set up at the fest, and they amazed the crowd with their spectacular performance featuring aerial acrobatics,confetti, impressive stunts, and stunning visual effects. The performers moved effortlessly around the stage, even flying through the air at one point. The energy in the tent was electric, and the audience was completely captivated by the fantastic display of athleticism and artistry. 

Jesse Baez was another highlight for the start of the evening. His soulful voice and infectious beats had the crowd swaying and singing along throughout his set. The Guatemalan singer-songwriter brought a unique blend of R&B, reggaeton, and pop to the stage, captivating the audience with his dynamic energy and undeniable talent. From his hit single “Apaga la Luz” to his latest release “Caminar,” Baez’s performance was a solid showcase of contemporary Latin music. With his magnetic stage presence and smooth vocals, he left an undeniable impression on all those who witnessed his show.

After several fake rumors about a cancellation the day before, Kali Uchis took the Adidas  stage by storm as the star of the night, winning the crowd with her mesmerizing vocals and memorable performance. She didn’t disappoint with her chart-topping hits, but what truly made her set was the inclusion of several tunes from the classic reggaeton catalogue, which brought the entire crowd to their feet. Kali commanded the stage with confidence, effortlessly moving to the rhythm of the music and captivating everyone in attendance. Her performance cemented her status as one of the most talented and versatile artists in the game today.

The next performer to take over the stage was Villano Antillano. Her blend of reggaeton and trap music, infused with themes of empowerment and social justice, was a refreshing change of pace. Villano Antillano’s stage presence and charisma were magnetic, as she commanded the audience’s attention with powerful vocals and confident demeanor. The performance was also a testament to the growing diversity and inclusivity of the music industry, and a reminder of the power of art to inspire and uplift marginalized communities.

Meanwhile the popular band Morat played on the big stage. The group reportedly performed their hit singles, and the show included a fair share of lasers and fireworks. 

To close off our coverage on a high note, we would like to give mad props to the festival’s organization for coming up with the Bud stage, which not only featured some of the region’s top notch DJs and producers in trap, reggaeton and electronic music in general, but it also became our definitive go-to refuge at times when the freezing weather was at its peak. 

As we reflect on our experience at Estéreo Picnic, we must admit that while we were thrilled by the performances and the overall atmosphere of the event, we were disappointed with the poor access logistics, muddy grounds and hefty prices. It was clear that these challenges were beyond the control of the Estéreo Picnic organization, but we couldn’t help but feel frustrated by the impact they had on our experience. Despite this, we commend the organizers for their unwavering commitment to delivering excellent audio quality and for taking care of attendees once inside the event. It’s evident that they prioritize the enjoyment and comfort of the festival-goers. We hope that in future editions, efforts will be made to address the logistical challenges and make the event even more accessible to a wider audience. Nonetheless, we left the Estéreo Picnic with unforgettable memories of the performances and the vibrant energy of the festival, and we look forward to attending again in the future. 

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