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Viña del Mar Lineup: Romeo Santos, Alejandro Fernandez, Ricardo Arjona, Yandel & More

Luis Fonsi, Ricardo Arjona, Alejandro Fernandez, Vicentico, Emmanuel, Romeo Santos, Yandel and Yusuf Cat Stevens are performing at the International Viña del Mar Song Festival (Festival…

Latin America’s longest-running and perhaps most venerable music festival, the International Viña del Mar Song Festival (Festival Internacional de la Canción de Viña del Mar), returns to the seaside city of Viña del Mar, Chile, on Feb. 22-27 with an ambitious, star-centered lineup.

Billboard Latin Music Conference

The festival, which turns 55 years old and takes place at Quinta Vergara, an open amphitheatre built expressly for that use, kicks off Feb. 22 with a performance by Puerto Rican star Luis Fonsi and closes Feb. 27 with a performance by Yusuf Cat Stevens.

In between, the roster of acts performing through the six-day span include Romeo Santos, Alejandro Fernandez, Ricardo Arjona, Yandel, Reik, Emmanuel, Vicentico and Oscar D’Leon. Also performing are rock and alt acts like Centella, Pedro Aznar and Chilean folk singer/songwriter Nano Stern.

Viña del Mar was initially created as a song festival and served as a launch pad for many Latin acts. Shakira, for example, was a competitor back in 1993 with her composition “Eres.” Through the years, however, the fest evolved to become more of a stage for major names, with the song competition component taking a back seat to big performances. Today, big names vie to perform there, including mainstream names, with those performances alternating with performances by the singer/songwriters who compete in the folk and acoustic song festival.

The festival airs live on chilevision in Chile where it traditionally commands most of the country’s viewership, and internationally on HTV. According to organizers, 90 percent of all tickets (Quinta Vergara an seat 15,000 per night) have already been sold.