Medellin’s Rock Scene has Evolved


Altavoz schedule on the Medellin Rock Scene

Juan David Cubides, Discoverer Staff Writer

Medellín was shaken by a wave of violence generated by social inequality and by drug trafficking, and because of that, people sought refugee not in violence, but rather in rock music, this started during the eighties in Medellín generation of young people began to do punk, metal, and rock, and this started a movement that showed that young people who did not see an answer in the gangs, but rather engage in art.

People began to improvise guitars and drums, to distribute fanzines among the people who formed their patches, to come out with pints that were criticized by “good people”, after this, bands in the heavy metal scene were born in the mid-eighties. Bands such as I.R.A, Pestes, and the most known one: Kraken.

Rock’s Popularity Grows

Rock at the start wasn’t at all popular since the most notorious and listened to genres back at the time were both tango and salsa, but not rock. But as violence grew, people needed a way to get out of it, so people steered towards punk and rock music, and started forming bands, “Rock has been a medium for expression for younger people, or people who have listened to rock for a long time” Carlos Fernandez, Music Teacher, said.

Expanding Rock Scene in Medellin

The rock scene in Medellin was kind of opaque in the ’60s and ’70s but in the 80’s some famous bands arose, like Kraken, which was a heavy metal band, and from this it all kind of part, more bands from different sub-genres, like black metal, death metal, and punk. Although it’s still hard to strive as a band since financially the scene hasn’t changed a lot, rather it has remained stable and the same for the last few years, “Financially, we haven’t changed, because it’s really hard to make a living from rock and roll,” Felipe Naranjo, 11th grade Philosophy Teacher said. As of festivals, the most recognizable one is the Altavoz Fest, which happens every year.

How has the rock scene been affected by new music movements?

It’s not really been affected, but many people think it’s rather improving and expanding rapidly. For example: THC sees the scene of Medellín in constant growth, where new spaces are shared every day, where people are opening their minds and mixing punk and metal in their event, and this is because there are now specifically places to go and listen to rock bands play, among these places there is: Sub, in Castilla; Nuestro Bar in 33rd Street; and The Theatre in Pedregal, are some of the places a person can go and listen or play this type of music.

Rock Culture Evolves

“People who usually listen to trap, or reggaeton don’t listen to rock, metal,” Felipe Naranjo, said. Although there is still a difference of music genres in Medellin, rock, metal, and punk is starting to gain more popularity, and this can be seen since our rock scene is recent, and our rock history is recent as well, but there is a problem that people have been trying to solve, and that will lead Medellin to a more rich and full rock scene, and that is: Rock Culture, “We are affected by the lack, of rock culture, plus rock doesn’t have a very broad cultural ground” Felipe Naranjo, said.

In general, rock has shown an incredible evolutive process over the short time span that is has been here in Medellin, although the scene might not be as big as other rock scenes in the world, Medellin’s rock scene is working on evolving and growing on a more positive level, and the implementation of rock culture, and widening the rock ground, Medellin’s rock scene will be growing rapidly over the next few years.