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PROMOTERS IN ACTION: Carlos Paz, The Master of the Feria de Cali, Colombia

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Carpa La 50 and 66 Central Park were consolidated as the most successful ‘venues’ of the Feria de Cali 2022. An initiative of a dreamer and entrepreneur: Carlos Paz

Carlos Paz: The Master of the Feria de Cali Concerts

By Carlos Passage

The Feria de Cali at the end of the year is one of the most important events in Colombia. The income according to the mayor’s office during the week is close to 100 million dollars left by foreign, national and local tourists in products and services. Gastronomy, hotels, nightclubs, bars, concerts, taxi drivers, and many other sectors benefited.

As for live music, Carpa La 50 and 66 Central Park became the most successful venues’ of the Feria with thousands and thousands of fans who filled each of the nights of the fair.

Carlos Paz, the businessman, manager and CEO of both sites says that he is very satisfied with the results. “We had massive attendance every night, the logistics were perfect without any problem for the attendees, and all the artists we signed arrived in Cali for their respective presentations. We highlight the presence of many people from abroad who enjoyed the Fair, we even had the presence of the Vice President of Colombia one of the nights”

This year La Carpa La 50 turned 14 years old.

It is “A fair with the spirit of the people” says Paz. “It is the historical fusion of ‘shampoos’, ’empanadas”, ‘Agua e Lulo”, the Cuban rhythm, the radio, the Mexican cinema, the urban transformation with the Pan American Games, el ‘Barrio Obrero’ and La Calle Quinta and the popular booths”.

Carlos Paz recalls that “La Carpa belongs to the people of Cali.” With a nostalgic voice after remembering the past until his youth and remembering the economic difficulties to see on stage the performers and salsa groups that shone in those times. It was when he envisioned creating a stage where traditional and emerging artists would perform, and where the population of all socioeconomic strata of the city would take place.

That was how in ‘Juanchito”, then the epicenter of salsa entertainment, more than 5,000 people enjoyed Pedro Arroyo’s show. The event meant the birth of the now consolidated Carpa La 50, which later moved to the parking lots of the Plaza de Toros.

The Gran Combo from Puerto Rico, Cano Estremera (r.i.o), José Alberto ‘el Canario’ and los Van Van from Cuba, generated great success. Then, the presentation of the Van Van, in the old San Fernando club premises, exceeded all expectations; the place was not enough and more than 3,000 people were deprived of seeing the presentation.

The city needed a more spacious stage to enjoy the main local and international artists during the days of the Fair. A place where there would be room for everyone, no matter the various economic conditions. So, a piece of land was adapted in the El Lido neighborhood, today constituted in a contest where about 600 direct jobs are generated every year-end, within the framework of the traditional cultural event of the people of Cali.

Carlos Paz affirms that, “Caleños are identified in the world as the World Capital of Salsa. La Carpa La 50 and now 66 Central Park are deeply rooted in the people, who positioned them in the last Fair as the main shows. In addition, about a thousand people receive sustenance for about three months during those days. There are almost 500 artists on stage, who need to be made visible. They also work: welders, assemblers, those of the gray work; waiters, bartenders, stage crews, sound engineers, lighting technicians; logistics staff. Everything moves under each night of concerts. Fun is a right and a necessity for mental health”.

Thank you Carlos Paz, for the music and for the industry. Recently Paz fe was chosen one of the most important promoters of concerts in Colombia according to Billboard LMS

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