More than 50,000 people danced through the streets of central Madrid for the finale of Festival VivAmerica, a week of cultural events including concerts by Latin American and Spanish artists in several city venues.

VivAmerica is organised by the Casa de America public cultural center, and supported by Madrid city and regional governments.

The festival, celebrated simultaneously in the Colombian capital, Bogota, and in the Canary Island city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife off west Africa, has been held since last year to mark the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus on Oct. 12, 1492. As well as being celebrated as Columbus Day in the U.S., it is marked as the Day of Hispanity or Ibero-America in Spain, and the Dia de la Raza (Day of the Race) in much of Latin America.

The main artists playing on floats in Madrid's Oct. 12 march were Europe-based Cuban hip-hop band Orishas, and Brazilian singer Daniela Mercury, known as 'the queen of the Carnival of Salvador.'

There were scores of concerts across the city between Oct. 6 to 12, as well as film shows, literary events and conferences. About 45% of all foreigners in Madrid region are from Latin America, totalling nearly 500,000.

Spanish collecting society SGAE organized a new initiative this year called VivAmerica Autor, in which SGAE's promotional arm Fundacion Autor arranged concerts through the week for around 20 artists from Spain, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Chile, Cuba, Peru and Colombia. They included Mexican rock band Zoe and Peruvian singer Kike Bracamonte.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print