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Viña del Mar International Song Festival

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3rd week of February

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2020 Viña del Mar International Song Festival

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The Viña del Mar International Song Festival (Spanish: Festival Internacional de la Canción de Viña del Mar) is a music festival that has been held annually during the 3rd week of February in Viña del Mar, Chile. Started in 1960, it is the largest and best known music festival in Latin America.


Viña del Mar International Song Festival Rock Meets Pop grandMA2 for Via del Mar International Song

Every year invited artists such as Tom Jones, Rick Astley, Sting, Backstreet Boys, Franz Ferdinand, Elton John, Cat Stevens and Morrisey perform alongside Latin artists such as Soda Stereo, Chayanne, Ricky Martin, Prince Royce, Marc Anthony, Carlos Santana, Daddy Yankee and Thalía. There are also singing competitions with prizes for the winners; one of the best known is Shakira, who finished in 3rd place in her competition.

Viña del Mar International Song Festival Via del Mar International Song Festival Wikipedia

The Festival takes place in the Quinta Vergara Amphitheater and attracts over 15,000 spectators. It has been broadcast live on radio and on Chilean television over the years by TVN, Canal 13, Megavisión or Chilevisión, regularly breaking viewing records. The Vina festival features a song competition in two categories, (pop music and folk music, interspersed with performances by international music stars encompassing such diverse genres as rock, and pop music in various languages, Cumbia, salsa, reggaetón, bachata among others.

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Between 1984 and 1989 Leonardo Schultz and Gary H. Mason, one of the Pioneers of the Reggaeton Movement, teamed up to help revamp the festival and streamline its operations. They arranged for the appearance of artists including: The Police, Air Supply, Eddie Money, Sheena Easton, Jose Feliciano (the pair produced his Grammy nominated album Escenas de amor in 1982, as well as the Grammy winning album Me enamoré in 1983), Andy Gibb, Neil Sedaka, Gloria Gaynor, Mr. Mister to name a few. In 1988 and 1989, Thomas Anders (of Modern Talking fame) was the festival's headliner, one of the first times an artist was invited back to perform two years in a row.

Viña del Mar International Song Festival Robert Juliat Followspots at Chiles Festival de Via del Mar

Schultz and Mason also arranged for major international jurors including: George Martin (the Beatles' producer), Maurice Jarre (scored the films such as Dr. Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, Witness, A Passage To India, and Ghost), Manoella Torres (Mason produced her hit duet, which was written by Schultz entitled "No me mires así"), Joey Travolta, Connie Stevens and many others.

Viña del Mar International Song Festival International Song Festival of Via del Mar Pepes Chile Pepes

In the 1990s the broadcast rights to the Festival were given to Televisa, and featured prominent Mexican Artists, as well as major Latin Artists.

In 2008, American rock music band Journey played their first concert with new vocalist Arnel Pineda at the festival. The 2008 Viña Festival was hosted by Sergio Lagos and Tonka Tomicic, and headlined by Nelly Furtado, Wisin & Yandel, and Earth, Wind & Fire.

In 2009, artists such as Latin sensation Daddy Yankee and the legendary British band Simply Red captivated the audience of Viña. For its 50th edition, the festival's hosts were the late Felipe Camiroaga and news reader Soledad Onetto.

"El Monstruo"

Traditionally, the Festival's audience openly demonstrates its acceptance or displeasure with the established acts performing there, as well as contestants in the two competitions. As a result, the Chilean media has nicknamed the Festival's audience El Monstruo ("The Monster"). Earning acceptance from El Monstruo usually has a direct impact on an artist's popularity in the rest of Latin America. This is particularly true for Spanish speaking pop stars. Conversely, booing artists off the stage is not uncommon.

Artists compete in the Festival's regular competitions for one of three awards, given in this order: "Antorcha de Plata" (Silver Torch), "Antorcha de Oro" (Golden Torch) and "Gaviota de Plata" (Silver Seagull). However, audience response may demand that one of the three awards - or, progressively, all three- also be awarded to an established act as their performance progresses. An artist who "tames the "Monstruo"" by earning all three awards receives almost instant recognition as a major star by Chilean and Latin American media.

The Stage

Each year the TV companies try to improve on the previous year's set. Millions are invested in creating elaborate stages.

International contest

Before 1968, the contest only allowed Chilean composers.
In 2000 the contest included the best songs in the history of the festival.
In 2009, the contest included former winners between 2001 and 2008.
In 2010 had a contest with the most representative songs of the participant countries.

Winning countries

  •  Chile: 21 times (12 times in the International Contest + 8 when the Contest was only national)
  •  Italy: 10 times
  •  Spain: 6 times
  •  Argentina: 5 times
  •  Colombia: twice
  •  Canada: twice
  •  Germany: once
  •  Australia: once
  •  Costa Rica: once
  •  France: once
  •  Greece: once
  •  Israel: once
  •  Netherlands: once
  •  Peru: once
  •  Dominican Republic: once
  •  Uruguay: once
  •  Iceland: once
  • Folk contest

    Between 1974 and 1980 this contest was cancelled by the military government of Augusto Pinochet
    Before 2000, the contest only allowed Chilean composers.
    In 2009, the contest included the former winners between 2001 and 2008.

    Winning countries (since 2001, start of International Folk Contest)

  •  Chile: 10 times (and 33 years of National Folk Contest, between 1961-1973 and 1981-2000)
  •  Argentina: 3 times
  •  Peru: twice
  •  Colombia: once
  •  Panama: once
  • Performing Artists

    Every year international artists are invited to perform at the Festival.

    Festival Queen

    Every year the festival selects a queen. Popular personalities apply to be queen, often offering outrageous stunts to win.

    The queen is chosen by a vote organized by the newspaper La Cuarta. Journalists accredited to the Festival express their preferences through a secret ballot.

    The day after the election there is a coronation and the delivery of a band and a ring as a prize by the relevant authorities. Since 2001, on the day of the coronation the Queen of the Festival has to dive into the pool at the Hotel O'Higgins in Vina del Mar in front of the media.

    Some of the women chosen as Queen include: Celia Cruz, Diana Bolocco, Thalía, Sigrid Alegría, Yuri, Raffaella Carrà, Tonka Tomicic, and Gloria Trevi.

    List of Queens



    Viña del Mar International Song Festival Wikipedia

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