While May in Colombia is notoriously rainy, exploring the city is a dream for travelers wanting to escape tourist crowds – grab on a raincoat and discover what the capital city has to offer. From concerts featuring African, traditional Colombian and electronic music to film, art and culture events, here’s what you can enjoy in Bogotá this month.
1. Groove with Jupiter & Okwess band
Swap sultry salsa and Latin songs for the groovy tunes of Africa when Congolese band Jupiter & Okwess plays a one-night-only show that's sure to get you moving. Composed of musician Jupiter Bokondji and his band Okwess International, the group combines traditional Congolese rhythms, rock music, funk and Afropop to create a sound that Jupiter calls "Bofenia Rock.” His lyrics frequently contain stories and parables that explore his heritage and country’s painful colonial history, denounce injustices and criticize the government of the DRC.
Date: 16 May (8pm)
Place: Teatro Colsubsidio – Calle 26 No 25-40
2. Discover international art at ARTBO Fin de Semana
The third edition of ARTBO Fin de Semana rolls into Bogotá this month. During the highly anticipated three-day event, the public will have the opportunity to visit over 50 different art exhibitions spread out in galleries, independent venues and museums throughout the city, in addition to cultural activities, workshops and talks.
Date: 17-19 May
Place: Throughout the city (free entrance)
3. Dance it out at BAUM electronic music festival
Now in its fifth year, BAUM invites dance music enthusiasts to a night of techno madness when some of the most influential local and international underground music-makers take to the stage in north Bogotá. DJs include Germans Boris Brejcha and Rødhad, Dutchman Bart Skils, North Americans Jeff Mills and The Black Madonna, and the Pachanga Boys (composed of Mexico’s Rebolledo and Germany’s Superpitcher). The festival also welcomes Anastasia Kristensen from Denmark and Chilean Valesuchi who will join Nótt, a Medellín-based feminist electronic movement that seeks to encourage female participation in the male-dominated Latin American electronic scene.
Date: 18 May
Place: Club Bellavista Colsubsidio – Autopista Norte No. 245 - 91
4. View a life-size exhibit of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel
Discover Michelangelo’s famous ceiling frescoes up close and in their original sizes at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition. The remarkable exhibit consists of 34 life-size impressions of the frescoes (including the Last Judgement) that have been reproduced using state-of-the-art technology to give visitors the unique experience of viewing the Renaissance art from just a few feet away, and, more importantly, a new perspective – without the awkward neck position.
Date: Sun-Mon until 20 May (9am-9pm)
Place: Iglesia Del Teatro ABC – Calle 104 No. 17 - 22
5. Find traditional Colombian music in Bogotá
Musicians from around the country will unite to pay homage to traditional Colombian music and generate environmental awareness, especially the conservation of water. Called the “Ojo de Agua,” the project sees world-renowned singer Totó La Momposina, who’s dedicated her career to representing music from Colombia’s Caribbean coast, take the stage along with Grupo Bahía from the Pacific Coast (where the distinct rhythms of the “marimba de chonta" take the lead) and The Lucho Bermúdez Orchestra, a Big Band that continues to honor their namesake maestro. Lucho Bermúdez was one of the most influential composers from the 20th-century; his fusion of tropical rhythms with jazz and clarinet solos built the sound of the Colombian cumbia.
Date: 25 May (8pm)
Place: Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo - Calle 170 No. 67-51