Discovering Montevideo through its live music scene

Do the same as Austin music journalist Nancy Flores and let Guru'Guay take you on a Montevideo musical journey. Tips every day of shows you must not miss.
By Karen A Higgs
Live music in Montevideo by Montecruz
Last updated on February 25, 2015
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Do the same as Austin music journalist Nancy Flores and let Guru’Guay take you on a Montevideo musical journey.

Montevideo’s burgeoning, innovative cultural scene

As someone living in Montevideo and part of the music scene for the last fifteen years, I’ve got to say, Nancy really nailed it in her article Getting in the groove in Montevideo for the Austin American-Statesman.

Globetrotters seeking an off-the-beaten path destination, though, are being lured by the deceptively cosmopolitan city of Montevideo. […] Despite its size, Uruguay produces a staggering amount of innovative music, from tango fusions to the cool, subtropical music of the band Campo.

The Uruguayan music scene is for everyone

As Flores points out “diverse crowd ranging from young hipsters to women in their 50s”. This is typical. Anyone of any age can feel comfortable going to live music shows in Uruguay.

There’s not the generational or “coolness” divides you might experience in other countries.

The scene is not easy to find though – especially if you don’t speak Spanish

Getting into the unique rhythm of Montevideo life might seem tricky at first. You can’t find a soul on downtown streets on a Sunday morning. Shows hardly ever start when expected.

And Nancy speaks Spanish! So imagine for those without the lingo.

Nancy stayed at my guesthouse and I helped her plan her time getting to take in an off-shoot of my favourite Uruguayan rock band in a small bar overlooking the River Plate, a unique percussionist “who turns the idea of unplugged concerts on its head”, tango and more.

The good news for you, dear Guru’guay reader, is that I don’t horde my tips, if you contact me in advance, I’ll be more than happy to them with you on the Guru’guay Facebook page which is open to the public.

Nancy again:

“But it doesn’t take long for visitors to become enveloped in Montevideo’s burgeoning cultural scene, which is quickly making Uruguay a country to watch.”

The Montevideo music scene is busiest in low season

Nancy visited us in the Uruguayan winter. If you are into music then some of the best times of year to visit are off-season. Think March to November. (Psst, it’s also when the hotels are cheapest and the weather can also be great!)

Find out more

Photo: Montecruz Foto

[Article originally published 25 February 2015, links updated May 5 2018]

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