Festivals, Fairs and Fun: A Guide to Events in Buenos Aires

Festivals, Fairs and Fun: A Guide to Events in Buenos Aires

Fiestas in Buenos Aires Where else on earth could you participate in a Zombie Walk in the same month as a Marathon, or attend a Drag Queen festival, the annual celebration of the Harmonica, or choose between a horror, Bollywood or Indigenous film festival? Buenos Aires, of course. And there’s so much more! Read our month-by-month break down to plan your schedule!

January

Kid’s Festival. January is a quiet month in terms of festivals, which might be a good thing – with what’s waiting for you during the year; you might need some down time! The Festival Nacional del Niño is a relaxed family affair dedicated to – you guessed it – kids!

February

Shakespeare Festival. This festival has been growing in prominence and popularity since its beginnings in 2011. With nine days of activities, Shakespeare lovers in Buenos Aires can’t go wrong with this event – it’s recently even included a replica of the Globe Theatre in London.

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BA Fashion Week. In both February and August, the showrooms of La Rural Fairgrounds open up for the world renowned Buenos Aires Fashion Week. For a small fee you can rub shoulders with the city’s rich and famous – or at least get as close as possible to them in the bleachers!

March

Ciudanza. Innovative, fun, healthy – Ciudanza (formed by the Spanish words for City and Dance) is an urban dance festival that offers choreographers access to both the public and public space. Held in three locations across the city, it’s a great way to welcome in the cooler autumn temperatures and move your body!

International Political Cinema Festival. Known locally by its Spanish name, the Festival Internacional de Cine Político, or FICiP, this film festival is about as Argentine as you can get! Indeed, politics, politics and more politics, there’s no way you can avoid it in Argentina, so get up to date with the country and world around you at this energetic, forward-thinking event.

April

BA International Film Festival. BACFI is one of the countless film festivals to hit Buenos Aires annually. In it, Latin American cinema that takes priority, accompanied by workshops and seminars that draw in up to a quarter of a million people each year.

Popcorn Film Festival

Lollapalooza. This worldwide music phenomenon is a newer feature on Buenos Aires’ event calendar, and a great way to feel like you’re still part of the rest of the world, all the way down south in Argentina’s capital. Expect big name international artists each year for Lollapalooza in BA!

BA International Book Fair. Did you know they call Buenos Aires the city of books? Have you heard about its famous libraries like el Ateneo on Santa Fe Avenue? During Buenos Aires’ three-week book fair you’re bound to learn all of this and more.

BA International Book Fair

Quilmes Rock. If you’re curious about Argentine music or just simply want to see how the locals do music festivals, then mark the Quilmes Rock festival on your calendar. With performances all across the city, it’s a music event with something for all lovers of rock and pop.

Global Beats Festival. Could we go as far as saying that April is the month of music in Buenos Aires? Held at the Ciudad Cultural Konex, the internationally acclaimed Global Beats Festival brings to Buenos Aires the most contemporary sounds and DJs from across the globe.

May

BA Polo Circo. Something wonderful about Argentine society is that it rarely marks a difference between children’s and adults’ activities. The Buenos Aires Polo Circo festival is a perfect example of this. With fun for all ages, it brings the best of circus culture to the heart of the city.

June

Emerging City Festival. A highlight on the Centro Cultural Recoleta calendar is the five-day Ciudad Emergente festival, a youth-orientated event for all types of artistic expression, where participants can enjoy music, dance, poetry, fashion, film and digital art from all over the world.

July

International Circus Festival. In case you missed the Polo Circo festival in May, the city brings you the Festival Internacional de Circo de Buenos Aires, a massive affair, with over 15 companies, more than 20 shows and 50 events, in loads of locations across the city.

Buenos Aires Rojo Sangre. The BARS festival (and don’t be put off when we tell you it stands for Buenos Aires Red Blood festival) is one of dozens of quirky speciality film festivals in Buenos Aires. This one focuses on fantasy horror cinema.

Couple dancing Tango

August

Buenos Aires Tango Festival. This nine-day explosion of all things Buenos Aires takes place in mid-August with dance classes, competitions and a mass open-air milonga in Avenida Corrientes. For a taste of something authentically BA – that’s to say the World Heritage-listed Tango – you simply can’t miss this event!

September

International Documentary Film Festival. If the Festival Internacional de Cine Documental de Buenos Aires is too much to spit out, try FIDBA (efe-ee-de-be-aa). This important local film festival marks Buenos Aires as a hotspot for premiere documentary cinema.

Wine and Cellar Fair. The Feria de vinos y bodegas is the city’s annual wine festival, which begins in early September with the arrival of truckloads of the country’s finest grapes and bottles to Buenos Aires. The event includes wine-tasting (obviously), cooking lessons and seminars.

Red wind at Wine and Cellar Fair

October

International Design Festival. When it comes to the lineup of incredible festivals the city has to offer, you can’t beat October! The International Design Festival focuses on urban design and art, its innovations, novelties, purpose and future. Events and exhibitions in abundance so check it out!

Bike Festival. Buenos Aires is, like never before, a bike city. So, with new bike lanes all across the city and free bikes for hire (look out for the yellow sheds in major urban parks and take your passport for ID), it seems fitting that the city should have it very own bike festival, right? The Festival de la Bici is exactly what was missing!

Contemporary Dance Festival. With performances, workshops, and interactive shows, the Contemporary Dance Festival confirms Buenos Aires as South America’s cultural capital – if ‘Culture’ is your thing! The event runs (or dances) for four days in early October.

FIBA. The multipurpose Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires brings the world to Argentina, and Argentina to the world (that’s you, the foreigner), with a treasure chest of world-class film screenings and cultural events. The schedule is forever changing, so keep an eye out each year for FIBA firsts!

Zombie Walk. Zombies are walking the world in October, and in Buenos Aires it’s no difference. This annual event, which has grown in popularity over recent years, brings lovers of B-grade horror films together, dresses them up as Zombies, and has them parade around the city. On a side note, the event is for a good cause, with participants donating food to those in need.

Zombie Walk

BA International Marathon. Spanning 42 kilometers, the Maratón Internacional de Buenos Aires is your chance to see the city on the run. The Marathon takes participants right through the Buenos Aires’ streets and avenues and into the enchanting woods of the Palermo neighborhood.

Munich Beer Festival. A beer-loving nation like Argentina can’t not have a Beer Festival! Held in time with Germany’s renowned OktoberFest, the event features Bavarian dance, cultural activities, plus beer, beer and more beer.

November

Museum night. Not as highbrow as you might imagine, the popular Noche de los Museos event is held every year in November, and allows Porteños and locals alike to enjoy dozens of city museums until 2am in the morning. Best of all, they’re open free of charge!

Argentine Polo Open. If one city epitomizes Polo, it’s Buenos Aires. The sport’s premier event takes place in November and the start of December each year at Palermo’s Campo Argentino de Polo venue.

Night of the Provinces. With the weather warming up, it seems like November is the month for night festivals. The Noche de las provincias event is your chance to learn about Argentina beyond the capital, with provincial headquarters located in Buenos Aires opening their doors to the public.

Jazz Festival. With Buenos Aires’ incredible underground jazz scene, it makes more than enough sense to have an incredible (but very much aboveground) city jazz festival with all the trimmings. Certainly a highlight on the event calendar!

December

Indigenous Film Festival. The Festival de Cine Buenos Aires Indígena, or BAIn, is a look at the largely unexplored world of Argentina’s indigenous communities. The festival is a fantastic opportunity to take a look at a culture in renaissance, with in-depth cinema and side events to get you thinking about this long ignored and important part of Argentine society.

Lunfardo and Tanguero Book Fair. For those who like to dance, there’s nothing more Porteño than Tango. And if you’re learning Spanish, you can’t go past Lunfardo, the local slang that emerged from the coming together of migrant communities in Buenos Aires, oh so many years ago. The Feria del libro lunfardo y tanguerois a book fair that celebrates Buenos Aires’ unique literary and linguistic traditions, held annually throughout December.

Destravarte Festival. A fairly new addition to the Buenos Aires events calendar, this event emerges from a growing acceptance and curiosity within Argentine society about the LGBTI community. The Festival Destravarte brings transvestite, transsexual, transformist and transgender artists together for a festival like no other, where you’ll find dance, theatre, photography and more!

To top things off, Ailola Buenos Aires offers students some pretty amazing afterschool and weekend activities! ¿Vamos?

Jayson McNamara

Jayson McNamara

I'm an Australian freelance journalist, writer and a TV production fixer in Buenos Aires. I have reported for broadcast media in Australia and New Zealand. I'm passionate about travel and history.

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