Santiago in the summer : horrid temps and to die for shows.

Crowd waiting for the show to begin

I never know how to feel about summer in Santiago. Daily temps are unbearably high, the sun feels like knives pricking your skin and the air is so dry its hard to breath. However, summer in Santiago is also the time when the city comes alive with “Santiago a mil”.

“Santiago a mil” is an annual performing arts event that takes place in Santiago every January. Officially the concept of the festival is to provide affordable access to quality cultural events for the chilean public and to promote chilean theatre, but according to me its main purpose is to reward the Chileans unlucky enough to be living in Santiago and spending summer here working instead of at some coastal beach town 🙂

Whatever the reason for the festival it has to be said that the people behind it do a marvelous job organizing it every year, and just so you have an idea of the magnitude of the festival this year’s edition consisted of 390 events. My favourite part of the festival is always the street performances. Not only are they free, but they also offer a unique and magnificent new way to enjoy the city you are already in.

My first encounter with major street performances was when the French “Royal de Luxe” company came to Chile in 2010 with their giant marionettes. I was hooked. Unfortunately this year I didn’t have much time to enjoy all the street performances but I did go to one. “Pedaleando hacia el cielo”  by the Belgian company “Theatre Tol”. And as always it was an awesome experience. The show consisted of opera and acrobatics, the setting was the park right behind the presidential palace. Kind of like watching a show in the president’s backyard 🙂

I also went to an Irani music show which was marvelous (unfortunately I din’t get the name of the band) And to the 60 years commemoration of Quino’s Comics. If you’ve never heard of Quino, he is an Argentine comic strips drawer/author, he is famous for his Mafalda strips and all his political commentaries. You should check them out!

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