Altavoz is the big international three day music festival held each year in Medellin. For 2011 the three day concert reported over 70,000 attendees. Last night, the last night of the concert, there was a logistical breakdown which led to a clash between the police and thousands of concert goers. Looking at Altavoz forums on social media sites there are differing opinions on how the clash began. Some say it was due to short-tempered people who arrived too late and then became angry when told the concert was full, while others say it was due to terrible logistics and organizers who confiscated hundreds of umbrellas from those entering the half-mile long line forcing everyone to get wet in the pouring rain.
Ana Miranda Cortes was there and shared her observations with Jack…
You can’t imagine how crazy Altavoz was. The whole concert space was full with at least 2,000 more people waiting outside, we had been in-line for 4 hours waiting in the rain. Molotov, the Mexican pop-punk band, was playing which got people fired up and since we were refused entry to the show we began dancing in line. That is when the Colombian Swat team or SMAD showed up. I do not know how or why the police started throwing tear gas but with the band thrashing away it became like a music video with rioting kids fighting against the SMAD team in full uniform. Kids were trying to escape and many saw this as their opportunity to climb the walls of the concert to get in, yet they were quickly pulled down and beaten by the police. Then the revolution began, bus stops, windows and tables at the Parque Explora, everything was ruined in the ensuing clash.
Once Molotov finished their set huge numbers of people left the concert but at this point the organizers were refusing entry to everyone. Feeling frustrated by the lack of competency of the organizers we decided to enter through the exit going against the grain of the people leaving. We were booed by those at the exit of the concert but we felt that we had paid our dues, waited now five hours, and dodged tear gas by the police just to see Bajo Fondo. Once safely in the concert, the rain finally cleared.
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