There are many festivals throughout the year in Medellin. Following is a small sample. The problem with many festivals is that they don’t announce the formal dates and program of events until a couple of weeks before the event, making planning to attend them difficult. ( Blog )
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January Feria Taurina de la Candelaria – brought over from Spain in 1992, this festival celebrates bullfighting within the Macarena arena – a considerable venue estimated to fit 14,000 people.
February Medellín es Una Ganga – Many wait for this time of the year when significant stores and vendors have sales. The festival name translates to “Medellin is a bargain,” and the participating stores offer great deals.
March Exposición Internacional de Orquídeas – International orchid festival held in the botanical gardens. An amalgam of colors where you can appreciate the beauty of orchids, carnations, geraniums, primroses, and much more.
April The Medellin Book and Culture Festival – One of the more memorable and organized events, the Medellin Book and Culture Festival caters to readers and authors, young and old. There’s much to do for all walks of life. Here’s a great promotional video that contains English subtitles as well. Three celebration dates: the 24th and 25th of April, the 13th and 14th of June, and September 11th to 20th. Expoartesano – Over ten days, 350+ exhibitors display the finest examples of traditional, indigenous, and contemporary art and handicrafts.
June Festival Internacional de Tango -This international tango festival occurs among Medellin squares, parks, and plazas. Tango lovers celebrate tango music and dance, especially Carlos Gardel, the father of tango in Medellin.
The Medellin Book and Culture Festival – Three celebration dates: the 13th and 14th of June, the 24th and 25th of April, and September 11th to 20th. (See April for a brief description.)
Comiccon – A huge event held in the Plaza Mayor, Comic Con is an international festival of pop culture and the entertainment industry. Expect cosplay and healthy doses of the nerdy things you know and love. You can buy tickets for all three days or individual days.
July International Poetry Festival – Beginning in the 90s, the poetry festival has consistently been an excellent opportunity to promote various poets and be a great time to participate in the all-too-forgotten poetry world. The festival lasts 25 years and will be held between the 11th and 18th of July. Colombiamoda – is Colombia’s famous fashion celebration and expo. At the end of July, Colombiamoda has three days of some of the biggest names in the industry, international and local. Admission costs around COP 80,000 and is held in the Plaza Mayor.
August International Music Festival – Held at various cultural venues throughout the city, this festival can be attributed to Medellin’s Philharmonic’s view that music is one of the main pillars of culture. The festivities are held between August 18th and September 7th.
September Medellín Internacional Jazz Festival – Beginning at the beginning of September, the Jazz Festival is another unique, major celebration in Medellin. You can find the headlining acts at El Club de Jazz del Parque Comercial El Tesoro.
Photography Festival, Santa Fe – A photography festival with many free workshops and conferences to attend.
The Medellin Book and Culture Festival – Three celebration dates: September 11th to 20th, the 13th and 14th of June, and the 24th and 25th of April. (See April for more information.)
Huella Folcloriada Medellin – This festival revolves around Medellin’s rich folk dancing between September 25th and October 4th. Here is a promo video for the 2015 festival.
October Maridaje is a gastronomic festival promoting local food restaurants.
Flamenco Festival – the Flamenco Festival promotes Flamenco in all parts of Medellin. Here’s a great promotional video for the Flamenco Festival in Medellin that aims to “cross borders to your heart.”
Bird Festival – From October 1st to 4th, the festival celebrates the numerous exotic bird species in Antioquia, emphasizing Colombia’s awareness and vast biodiversity. It also seeks to celebrate the 30 years the AOS (Antioquia Ornithological Society) has been established and, additionally, seeks to solidify Medellin’s title as the “bird capital of the world.”
November Colombia Salsa Fest – Held at the end of November in the Plaza Mayor; if you’d like to see some of the best live salsa music in Latin America, the Medellin Salsa Fest is the place to be. You can purchase tickets online in advance if you’d like to ensure access.
December Festival de las Luces y Alumbrados Navidenos – The Festival of Lights and Christmas Lights is another vital celebration for Antioquia locals. Countless, colorful lights adorn the most iconic public squares and plazas – such as Nutibara Hill and the Medellin River Walkway. Take your friends, family, or significant others to enjoy Medellin’s popular spots in a new light.
Festival de Cine de Antioquia – The Film Festival de Antioquia organizers have had 15,000 festival goers attend their events over the past 13 years – a grand feat that is undoubtedly a sign of their professionalism and value. You can find specific information about this event here.