As in many countries of Latin America, Costa Ricans are also party people, we like to attend events like concerts of tropical music, urban music, reggaetón music, festivals you name it... Let’s go ahead and talk about some of the Events in Costa Rica, this may be a reference next time that you are looking for an event to enjoy while in Costa Rican soil.
Music Events in Costa Rica are very popular amongst singers and artist, not only do they come and sing, but they most likely will have a vacation here. We have many concerts in Costa Rica, for example we have artists who come and perform like Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Bruno Mars, Miley Cyrus, Paul McCartney and even rock bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, among others. We cannot forget that electronic music is also very big in Costa Rica, there is actually a place in called Club Vertigo which is like the equivalence of House of Blues concert hall, where many Electronic Music artists come to perform, such as DJ Tiesto, David Guetta and Paul Van Dyke just to name a few. But our pride and joy is the National Stadium in La Sabana (10min drive from downtown San Jose), which is the biggest stadium of the country with a capacity of 35,000 people. This stadium is not only home to our national soccer team, but also home to the biggest and most important concerts; Metallica, Sir Paul McCartney, Michael Bolton, and Marc Anthony all have sold out here. Costa Ricans love music and just as much as we love music we like to go to concerts whenever there is a chance.
Just like we love to go to concerts we also like to attend massive events, at least once every 4 years our nation’s “Cerveceria Costa Rica” (Costa Rica Brewery Company) used to hold an event named Festival Imperial, this is usually held at Parque VIVA (Formerly known as Race Track La Cuacima) this is a large property known for holding legal racing events but since it was bought out by Grupo La Nacion (local newspaper and media company) the car races have been replaced for a fairground. But back to Festival Imperial, this is an event where thousands from all across Costa Rica and people from others neighboring countries also come. This one is probably the biggest of all the music Events in Costa Rica due to the numerous of international artist that come and perform such as Maroon 5, Bjork, Cypress Hill, Major Lazer, Smashing Pumpkins, TV on the Radio etc., some people refer to this as the Lollapalooza of Central America.
But the king of massive Events in Costa Rica is the world famous “Fiestas de Palmares”, this is an event that takes place in the first 2 weeks of January and people from all over Costa Rica come to the town of Palmares to enjoy this big party. I like to describe this event as Costa Rican traditions meet pop culture, here you can find Rodeos, Horse and Oxcart parades and international artist that come and perform anywhere from local singers, to international singers from Reggae, Dancehall, Hip-Hop and Salsa. Many large companies have what are called toldos or tents, these are massive tents where private parties are held and they hire artist apart from the one provided by the committee of the Fiestas de Palmares, usually you have to pay a fee to get in, but usually it’s worth it since they have singers, performers and dancers to animate the party and some even hold open bar nights. Now one thing that is for sure is that this event is known for is beer drinking; local brewery Cerveceria Costa Rica, owner of Imperial Beer, Pilsen and Bavaria, makes some of their biggest sales during this massive event. On that note, it’s been said that in Fiesta de Palmares so much beer is consumed that the brewery company make a whole years earnings in just this event. Also Fiestas de Palmares is the 2nd largest event where beer is consumed apart from Octoberfest in Germany, so that might give you an idea of the kind of party that goes on here…
Also speaking of activities that take place in the first part of the year, in the town of Zapote (15min drive from downtown San Jose) we celebrate the “Fiestas de Zapote”. This is a more traditional festival than anything else. In a segregated area in Zapote right next to the Multiplaza del Este Mall, there is a Bullfighting Ring and pretty much the whole party takes place next to it. The event consist of a traditional fair setup with rides, food stands, cotton candy, games and more. But the real treat takes place inside the bullfighting ring. The bullfighting ring is a show all on its own, even so that its broadcasted by the 2 major cable networks in Costa Rica, Teletica Channel 7 and Repretel Channel 6, both in SD and HD for the whole country to enjoy. Now I want to make something very clear, Costa Rica is very strict on animal cruelty so no hurting of animals (bulls) take place here. The event consist in volunteers who come and get inside the bullfighting ring to try to get the bull to chase them down; I know it’s kind of strange but it’s all done for fun and entertainment and I’m 100% sure that if you visit such event, you will cry of laughing so hard. Other events are done, like fireworks and games in order to make it more interesting. As mentioned, this is broadcasted by our major cable networks, but these networks hire some of the best comedians that Costa Rica has to offer in order to make the broadcasting of this show 200 times funnier.
Overall these are the most popular Events in Costa Rica, not to mention that these events have such impact that tourist and visitors from other countries come and have fun too, sing, dance and even crack a couple of laughs in the process.