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Buenos Aires is the cultural centre of South America, and this is facilitated in large part by the generosity of the city, which hosts many free events so that its citizens can enjoy the wealth of cultural activities there are on offer. We check out some of the best free events in Buenos Aires.
If you don’t know Buenos Aires for its meat or its football, you may know it for its tango. In August each year, tangueros from far and wide descend on the Argentine capital to take part in, observe and be downright awe-inspired by the International Tango Festival and World Championship. One of the city’s favourite winter events, during the two weeks that the festival is on, over 200 venues in the city play host to free tango classes, competitions, performances and concerts. Many of Argentina’s exported tango stars return to the city to dance and teach, and the event is unmissable for any aficionado of this beautiful dance.
This weekly party takes place every Saturday and Sunday for nearly three months over spring and summer and is a favoured haunt of the young, beautiful party-goers who decorate Buenos Aires’ nightclubs during the rest of the year. This electronic music festival sets up shop in the outdoor clubs that line the banks of the Rio de la Plata on the Costanera Norte from sun-up to sun-down in the hottest months of the year, so expect scantily clad revelers a-plenty getting in on the action for free every weekend.
The Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema is one of the most hotly anticipated events on the annual cultural calendar. Held each year in April, it can be tricky to get tickets as the demand far outweighs the supply for some of the more popular films. Taking over cinemas and cultural centres all over the city, expect some of the best independent film from around the globe as well as homegrown humdingers. Grab yourself a program and circle your favourites, because you definitely won’t see them all, such is the wide variety of choice.
This music, art and performance festival sees the best and brightest emerging talent in the country come out to play over a long weekend in September. Showcasing the best of young, up and coming Argentine rock nacional-ers, poets, urban artists, photographers and digital artists, stand-up comedians, dancers and fashion designers, Ciudad Emergente festival puts Buenos Aires on the international map for doers of cool stuff.
For five days every November, the city goes jazz mad, with a host of incredible performances by both local and international jazz artists. While some of the events held in notable jazz bars and venues such as Bebop, Thelonious and Notorious can have a cover charge, larger events held at the Parque Centenario amphitheatre are always free of charge. Check the website for listings and make sure you arrive early at the free events as they fill up quickly.
Mobile phone provider Movistar has a clever marketing strategy, enabling its customers to claim free tickets to a number of concerts by big international stars during the summer months. Last year Movistar customers could get two tickets per person to see the amazing Lauren Hill play in the park by the Planetario, while the year before MIA and Solange took to the same stage to thrill the lucky holders of freebie tickets. Sign up to Movistar and find out who’s gonna play this year.
This free architecture festival has been going in Buenos Aires since 2014 and allows building buffs to step inside the doors of houses, offices, theatres, artist’s studios and hotels that are usually closed to the public, over the course of a weekend in December. Talks by the architects themselves are often given, and helpful volunteers are on hand to give visitors information about the buildings. It grows in popularity each year so make sure and sign up early to get a glimpse of your desired property.