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Boleros de Oro: June Bolero Festival


Nothing says “Cuba” like the sounds of bolero music at the annual Boleros de Oro festival.


The musical genre bolero, which emerged from Cuba, is celebrated in June every year, not just in Cuba, but all around the world. While Bolero originated in Cuba, the music has influenced other Latin American countries, as well as other parts of the world including Spain and Japan.


The first Boleros de Oro festival was held in Havana in 1987, which is one of the oldest festivals of it’s kind in Cuba and Latin America. Each year it is organized by the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, but other festivals during the month of June celebrating bolero can be found throughout other parts of the country and world.


Bringing People Together for Decades


These festivals are for everyone. From musicians, to families, to music lovers, to composers, bolero attracts people of all kind, bringing them together with their love for the music genre.


While earlier festivals focused on traditional bolero music, today you’ll find people of all ages coming together to listen to classic and new bolero music. Interpretations of modern-day bolero can also be heard at today’s Boleros de Oro festivals.


Whether you’re into the traditional or the new and modern, there will be something for you all to listen and enjoy at this fun June festival.


Music Amplified by Culture


While bolero music is certainly the star of the show, one of the most unique parts of Boleros de Oro is getting completely immersed in Cuban culture.


The fun, enjoyment, and learning doesn’t stop at live performances; festival-goers can often find traditional foods to taste, lively dancing, and fun nightlife activities.


Some festivals sponsor lectures, workshops, and talks, where people can learn more about the music genre or Cuban culture. No matter how you look at it, Boleros de Oro is a totally immersive experience.


A Venue for All


Just like the variety of different bolero stylings, it is becoming the trend of festivals to host performances and singers in all different types of venues.


Many performances are in public spaces during the day. These celebrations are great for bringing the whole family. Theaters are also common spots where activities are held.


Other performances are more intimate, sometimes held at private restaurants or clubs. These nighttime events are special celebrations for adults to let loose.


Spots where you’re likely to always find a festival going on in June are Teatro Mella and Teatro America, both located in Havana, Cuba.


A Timeless Genre


Bolero is relatable to everyone, making it one of Cuba’s first and possibly greatest musical movements of its time.


While newer genres such as salsa and Latin versions of rock and pop have drawn younger generations away, new fusions and a revival of bolero music has made it a match once again for people of all ages.


If you’re wondering a specific time to visit Cuba, especially Havana, plan your trip in June. Each year, you’ll be able to find a one-of-a-kind music and culture festival that is true to Cuba’s roots. Special to the island and unique to its traditions, Boleros de Oro is one festival you won’t want to miss – no matter where you come from or how old you are.

Image: Flickr