Annual Cali Festivals

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General Culture

Petronio Alvarez Festival of Pacific Music

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The Petronio Alvarez Festival (Festival de Música del Pacífico Petronio Álvarez) is a week-long celebration of Pacifico culture that takes place in Cali every August. This year it will be from August 14 -19, 2019. It is the largest festival of its kind in the country and admission is free.

The festival’s main events have taken place at Unidad Deportiva Alberto Galindo for the past few years. Thousands of people pass through the venue to sample Pacifico delicacies (mainly seafood and traditional alcoholic drinks), and to experience the culture of the Pacific region through its talented musicians.

We highly recommend taking the Mio to the event, as the bus has its own lane and traffic becomes increasingly congested as you approach the venue. The closest Mio bus stop is called Unidad Deportiva.

Feria de Cali

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The Feria de Cali is THE party of the year. It happens every December, from the 25 – 30 and is one of the things Cali is best known for. For more on the Feria, check out its individual event page.

Maceta Festival

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So, what is a maceta, exactly? Where’s not entirely sure. From what we can tell, it’s an elaborate sugary treat. And what we’ve been told is they’re traditionally given to godchildren from their godparents. If you head to the Festival de Macetas June 27 – July 1, 2019 be sure to let us know how you liked them.

Books and Literature

Oiga Mire Lea

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The Oiga Mire Lea Festival of Literature (a play on words taken from a famous salsa song about Cali), is a project of the Departamental Library Jorge Garces Borrero. This decentralized event is shared with 18 municipalities in the Valle del Cauca department, including Cali. In 2018 there were over 70 invited authors from Colombia and elsewhere.

International Book Festival

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Cali’s International Book Festival (Feria Internacional del Libro) will surprise you. Not only are there thousands of books on display and available for purchase, the event is very well attended. In 2019, the festival’s nation of honour will be France. The festival will take place October 10 – 20, 2019.

International Poetry Festival

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Poetry, in any language, reaches to the depths of human experience and articulates it in the most stunning ways. The International Poetry Festival of Cali (Festival Internacional de Poesía) manifests in various locations around the city September 10 -14, 2019. Find poetry where you least expect it.

Dance

International Dance Biennial

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The International Dance Biennial (Bienal Internacional de Danza) was born out of the Cali Contemporary Dance Festival – Caliendanza, and the Cali Art Festival, which united forces to create this relatively new event.

With the aim of making Cali a world leader in dance, the organizers bring together almost 2000 dancers from around the globe to perform here in Cali. The launch is May 7, 2019 at the Teatro Municipal Enrique Buenaventura, with the main events happening October 28 – November 4.
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Mercedes Montaño International Folk Dance Festival

The Mercedes Montaño International Folk Dance Festival (Encuentro Internacional de Danzas Folclóricas Mercedes Montaño) is scheduled for July 26 – 28, 2019. It is a wonderful display of Colombia’s rich cultural heritage, with artists from the various diverse regions of the country.

Cali World Salsa Festival

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The Cali World Salsa Festival (Festival Mundial de Salsa Cali) is where the best of the best head each year to compete with some of the most talented dancers the genre has to offer. It’s an enthralling show from start to finish, with stunning costumes, intricate choreography and unbelievable tricks. In short, it’s everything you’d want from a dance show, and it takes place June 27 – 30, 2019 in Cali, the salsa capital of the world.

Environment

Colombia BirdFair

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It’s no secret that Colombia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, but did you know that almost 2,000 species of birds have been documented here? Something else you probably didn’t know is that Colombia has bird festival, and it happens here in Cali.

The dates for the next Colombia BirdFair (Feria Internacional de Aves de Colombia) are February 12-16, 2020. There will be workshops, lectures and of course, birding.

Early birds (ha!) will receive a 50% discount from total cost when they register, which is $350.000COP. You can register via the festival’s official website, and watch a bunch of beautiful videos while you’re there.

7 Rios Fest

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Cali is a city of 7 rivers, and so the 7 Rios Fest has become an important way to celebrate these rivers, and generate awareness about the importance of keeping those rivers clean. The 7 Rios Fest is a relatively new festival, but it looks as if it’s becoming an annual event, with various speakers attending from around Colombia.

Film

International Festival of Environmental Cinema of Cali

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The International Festival of Environmental Cinema of Cali (Festival Internacional de Cine Ambiental de Cali – FINCALI) is a space to reflect via cinematographic productions about environmental problems of the planet and the region. It was born from a need to create spaces for the dissemination and discussion of latent environmental phenomena nationally and globally.

International Film Festival of Cali

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The International Film Festival of Cali (Festival Internacional de Cine de Cali) is an annual event  that affords attendees the opportunity to discover the beauty of diversity in film. The festival screens local, national and international films from varying genres. You can catch these films November 8 – 11, 2019.

Ananse Black Film Festival

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The Ananse Black Film Festival (Ananse Festival de Cine Afro) creates a space for films dealing with social, political or cultural themes relating to people and communities of African descent. While screenings take place in various locations, the festival hub is Cali.

International Children and Youth Film Festival: CALIBELULA

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The International Children and Youth Film Festival of Cali (Festival Internacional de Cine Infantil y Juvenil) is one of Cali’s newest festivals. In addition to showing child-friendly films, the organization aims to use audiovisual media as a way of promoting conflict resolution, peaceful coexistence and protection and conservation of natural resources, through the construction of values and principles.

Music

Ajazzgo Festival

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The Ajazzgo Festival of jazz, fusion and experimental music (Encuentro de creadores de jazz, fusión y experimental) is where you’ll find all the cool kids. Event locations are spread around the city (you’ll have to buy tickets for some) and musical genres vary. The festival runs from September 12 -15, 2019.

Blues and Folk Festival

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The Blues and Folk Festival is organized by the Colombo Americano in partnership with other organizations around Colombia. The festival features musicians from Colombia and the United States primarily, with a focus on more traditional genres.

Utopia Jazz Festival

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Punto Baré Salsa Club, the Musical Foundation El Colectivo, Promulgar and Bajo Fondo Radio Club joined efforts under the leadership of Jaime Henao to create a new annual space for jazz in Cali. As an independent project not sponsored by any governmental organization, Utopia reserves the right to invite jazz artists and remain fiel to the genre.

Theatre

International Theatre Festival

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The International Theatre Festival of Cali  (El Festival Internacional de Teatro de Cali) is organized by the Ministry of Culture and will take place May 29 – June 3, 2019. The festival showcases national and international talent in the areas of classical theater, modern theater, vanguard theater and new trends, and children’s theater, among others.

For more information on festivals in Cali, visit https://temporadadefestivales.cali.gov.co/