I love Spring in Buenos Aires (which officially runs September 21st-December 20th). The mood of the city lifts after a humid, cold winter and you can see it almost immediately. More people in the streets, more people in the bars, cafes. There will be picnics and mate in the parks, especially on Dia de la Primavera (first day of Spring). The weather is great, the atmosphere is convivial, and and there is plenty to do. There’s no better time to experience Buenos Aires than primavera.
Food Fest BA (one weekend per month)
Food trucks and mobile bars. Craft beers and wines. Burgers and Barbecues. Sunshine and the outdoors. Do you need to know anymore? Follow their Facebook page to find out when the next one’s on.
Buenos Aires Food Week (11-24 September)
Every year for a couple of weeks in Spring, the best restaurants in Buenos Aires offer set price menus (a RARITY in a city where prices are always creeping up due to inflation…) to show off what they do and entice new customers. BA Food Week is a really affordable way to try a few restaurants that you might otherwise think too expensive. Prices are very reasonable, ARS$250 per person for lunch and ARS440 for dinner (excluding drinks and tips).
To browse the restaurants and make a booking, go here: http://www.bafoodweek.com/bafw.php (No English version available, so you may need the help of Google Translate.)
Could be the week for a great date night?
ART, ARCHITECTURE & MUSEUMS
Great news for Art Lovers – there’s a lot happening in Buenos Aires’ Spring 2017. Here’s the quick round-up.
Modern Mexican Vanguard – MALBA, Recoleta (November 3, 2017 to February 19, 2018)
I’m really looking forward to this exhibit of the modern Mexican masters, including of course, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, but also José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Leonora Carrington and others. MALBA is also a great place to see contemporary art from all over Latin America.
Cate Blanchett Manifesto PROA Foundation, La Boca (26 August – 5 November 2017)
PROA is a little modern art gallery on the harbour front at La Boca that punches well above it’s weight. Makes sure you include it in your visit to La Boca, as it is just beside the kitschy and way-overrated tourists trap of El Caminito.
Showing at the moment is ‘Manifesto de Julian Rosenfeldt’, an installation featuring a series of playful, tongue-in-cheek films starring two-time Oscar winning actress, Cate Blanchett. The various roles she plays in each film corresponds to different periods of 20th century art history and are accompanied by audio essays by futurists, dadaists, film directors etc. It should be a fun and thought-provoking experience.
Ai Wei Wei (18 November 2017 – 25 February 2018)
A giant of the contemporary art world, Chinese activist, and from all accounts a most excellent human being, Ai Wei Wei will hold a retrospective of some of his most representative work for this first time in PROA. His work brings focus to human rights violations, the refugee crisis and political persecution. One of the most important figures in the art world working today.
Night of the Museums Noche de los Museos (6 November 2017)
On one Spring Saturday night every year, Buenos Aires puts on the ‘La Noche de los Museos’, where over 100 museums and art galleries will be open to the public, admission free, running late from 8:00 pm until 3:00 am. Each location will host a series of cultural events – poetry readings, theatre, dance, musical performances and more. There will usually be DJs playing a party at one location, which last year, was the Centro Cultural Recoleta. Aside from all the museums, its a marvelous night to be out and about in the city.
The Night of the Museums is a great name for this event, especially if you choose to go between Plaza de la Mayo and San Telmo – with the many people strolling the streets and the beautiful stately buildings lit up, it seems as though you are walking through an open air museum of the city. With over a hundred venues, we suggest you pick two or three, factoring in the travel and waiting time (check out the interactive map for here).
I’d recommend as a good starting point the little book fair (Feria de los Libros), which usually takes place around San Telmo somewhere (check your guides closer to date). My favourite English language bookstore Walrus Books will have a stand there selling all your literary needs.
(Hot tip: expect long waits at popular locations such as MACBA, MALBA, Centro Cultural Kirschner and the Casa Rosada – plan accordingly and wear comfortable shoes!).
Open House Buenos Aires
For lovers of architecture, Open House Buenos Aires is a can’t miss. The annual event which runs for two days over the weekend in late November or early December (dates to be confirmed), is a free festival that offers the public a chance to tour many of the city’s architectural gems, many of which are private homes and offices not usually accessible to the public. This is a fantastic way to see parts of the city not usually in the guidebooks.
As this is a free public event, expect high demands for popular locations such as the Teatro Colon and Casa Rosada. Tickets to each location are limited. My advice is to select two or three (maximum) per day; taking into account time spent at each location and travel time between places.
Go to the webpage to register now for updates.
It’s never been a better time to be a lover of indie music in Buenos Aires, a city that usually only hosts heavy metal bands from the 90s or faded pop-rock acts from the 80s on mega worldwide retirement tours. Or Coldplay. Since the Lollapalooza Festival came to Buenos Aires three years ago, there has been a slow and steady growth of new events added to the calendar each year.
And this Spring looks to be a really good one for music lovers:
Ciudad Emergencia (20 – 24 September)
I have filed this FREE festival under Music, but it is really a combined arts, culture and music festival – indie music, photography, cinema, comedy, poetry, dance, graffiti – it is an event designed to showcase the city’s young creatives. It will take place at Centro Cultural Recoleta (near the famous cemetery) as well as various venues around the city.
This 10th edition of Ciudad Emergencia will feature Bjork Digital, a music/tech/virtual-reality experience that art and music lovers should be pretty excited about.
Personal Fest (11-12 November)
Telecommunications giant ‘Personal’ are throwing their weight behind youth culture and the music festival business. Headlining are Phoenix, PJ Harvey, Fatboy Slim, Daughter, Whitney & Neon Indian. And then there’s Seu Jorge, the Brazilian singer who shot to international fame with his Portuguese covers of David Bowie on Wes Anderson’s ‘The Life Aquatic’.
Speaking of great cover versions… My pick of the Latin American bands- ‘Mexrissey’, as in Mexican Morrissey. You guessed it, Spanish covers of Morrissey songs. Yeah, you know it’s gonna be good.
Sónar (26 November)
Founded originally in 1994 in Barcelona, Sonar is an artistic electronic music and digital media festival that has been previously hosted all around the world from New York to Seoul, Copenhagen to Tokyo, Chicago to Hong Kong. In recent years it has made its way to South America – Santiago de Chile, São Paulo.
This is more of an Intellectual-Shoe-Gaze event than a Shirts-Off-Dance-Party – reminiscent of the now-gone, but excellent series of international hopping, artistically curated music festival ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’. In other words, Sonar is highly recommended for all you art-school-dropout-band-camp kids. Oh yeah, it’s also headlined by Sigur Ros. I repeat, SIGUR ROS is coming to Buenos Aires.
Festival BUE (15-16 December)
To close out a pretty epic Buenos Aires Spring, the festival with the biggest line up of the bunch: Arcade Fire (a band that knows how to put on a great festival show), Gorrillaz, Major Lazer, Vince Staples, Thievery Corporation and my new fave melancholic-indie-pop-rock band, Cigarettes After Sex. Also, Brooklyn based Texan punk-rockers Parquet Courts are fast and loud and great to jump around too. And oh yeah, Mark Ronson will be there if that’s your kinda thing….
Buenos Aires Jazz Festival (15-20 November)
For lovers of jazz, the annual Buenos Aires Jazz festival will kick off mid November. There are ticketed and free events, taking place at various clubs, cultural centres and parks throughout the city. The schedule has not been published at the time of writing, but you can keep up to date on the Festivales de Buenos Aires Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/FestivalesGCBA/.
I recommend aiming for an event at Parque Centenario in Villa Crespo, or the gorgeous Thelonious Bar in Palermo.
Arguably the biggest football game in Latin America, football giants River Plate will play hated rivals Boca Juniors in the Superclasico, November 5th. If you want to experience what Argentine football and culture is about, get to the Superclasico. There is no bigger game than the juggernauts of Latin America clashing. Make sure you pick a side first though – Boca or River. No fencesitters allowed! For tickets and tours.
If price is an issue consider seeing my personal favorite football club Racing in the other big Argentinian derby match dubbed the Avellaneda Clasico, November 25th. “Big Five” teams Racing Club and Independiente have stadiums located just 4 blocks from each other and are massive rivals. All the passion at half the price, but be sure to plan your route to and from well if you decide to have a go on your own.
And there you have it, Primavera/Spring round up for 2017 – why I love this city so goddamn much.