The 6th edition of one of Colombia’s most important festivals in recent years, Festival Estéreo Picnic, is almost ready to launch. Taking place between March 12th and 14th in Bogotá, the festival has become a necessary stop in the north of South America for regional and international artists passing by in every year’s first quarter festival route, which includes the three Lollapalooza editions, Vive Latino, and even SXSW.

Of course, a big part of the audience will be there to catch huge names like Jack White, Skrillex, or Kings of Leon, or even well-known Latin American acts like Andrés Calamaro or Draco Rosa. But what about the local acts? Let us enlist some of the Colombian highlights for you, because we know that’s where the real flavor is.

Salt Cathedral at Escenario Club Social Music, March 14th

One of the many bands this year born out of the Colombian diaspora, New York-based Salt Cathedral return to their native country to impress the audience with material from their two EPs, Oom Velt and Salt Cathedral. Sitting close to Hello Seahorse! and Hundred Waters in terms of sound, Juliana Ronderos and Nicolas Losada make their own kind of alternative pop, permeated with contemporary electronic elements, tropical references, and an enchanting voice.

Elsa y Elmar at Escenario Caracol Televisión, March 14th

Another current US resident, Elsa Carvajal will melt hearts with her folk pop sensibilities, and will introduce her upcoming album, REY, where she dives head first into electronic territories. We know her voice live is flawless, and if her new song “Exploradora” is an indication of what she’s got in store for us, her show is definitely a must.

Planes (Estudios Universales) at Escenario Club Social Music, March 12th

There’s something about Planes songs and live shows that’s so endearing. Led by Pablo Escallón, and backed by a tight band that’s always on point, Planes project energy while performing their jangle pop songs, infused with country and folk. They will run through the songs off their debut album, Las Américas, and hopefully even please us with a couple of new ones.

Balancer at Escenario Club Social Music, March 13th

Based in New York, the two-thirds Colombian, one-third Puerto Rican band Balancer will return to the country after their participation at Festival Hermoso Ruido to continue promoting their excellent 2014 debut album Tipsoo. They will fill their 5:45 pm slot with indie pop songs, sung in English, with a psychedelic approach, and will surely attract the audience’s attention in no time.

Okraa at Escenario Club Social, March 13th

Local electronic experimentation will be in full effect thanks to Okraa, Juan Carlos Torres‘ side project, (he’s also a member of Globos de Aire). He will be presenting his DREAMACHINE EP, a showcase of his predilection for nostalgia, today’s electronic genres, heartfelt vocal melodies, and organic samples, and also his peculiar use of local rhythms.

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