Cuba is becoming a scenario for big gigs, and Maroon 5 could give the next one

Posted: 05-Apr-16 11:07

Cuba has just hosted two free concerts from popular bands in the contemporary music scene, and it's going for more. After the big concerts offered by Major Lazer and The Rolling Stones in March, a journalist working in the island's official media suggested that a great new episode in the history of Cuba's music scene could take place soon: a concert by American pop band Maroon 5. A more distended climate in the relations between Cuba and the United States has created a favourable momentum for the cultural scene in the Caribbean country.

Cuba is becoming a scenario for big gigs, and Maroon 5 could give the next one

Even though it is not confirmed yet, the possibility that American pop band Maroon 5 could soon offer a concert in Cuba -suggested early this week by a journalist working on the island- speaks volumes about the increasing interest that the nation is generating in the showbiz industry at a global level.

This fascination with the Caribbean country has very much to do with the new rapprochement between the governments of the United Stated and Cuba, which reached its climax in late March 2016 with the visit of president Barack Obama to Havana and the implementation of a new package of measures by his administration. New procedures conduct to the relaxation of the embargo policy, which restricts Cuba´s commercial trade and the arrival of American tourists to the island.

For this reason, cultural exchanges, that were possible but limited under the former embargo restrictions and the historic hostility between the two governments, can be fostered at a major level. Not only artists associated with big labels and companies can go without fear of being penalised by American authorities, but bringing sophisticated equipment to Cuba for their shows is easier now.
Artists are also attracted by the warm welcome of Cuban audiences, who go in large numbers to the squares and stadiums where performances take place. Locals are very enthusiastic about the opportunity of having their idols in their yard, and they show it by exuding mounds of energy during the concerts too.

Prensa Latina reported that The Rolling Stones gathered 1, 200,000 people at Ciudad Deportiva last 25th March, while half-a-million people overflowed the area of the Tribuna Antiimperialista (Antiimperialist Square) to listen to American group Major Lazer on 6 March.The euphoria created by The Rolling Stones´concert in Cuba´s capital is still present among the local audience, who has profusely posted photos, comments and videos on social networks.

Expectations on the possibility of witnessing a “historic event” brought also many tourists to Havana for the concert, a fact that directly benefited the hospitality industry, mostly in the private sector, as many concert goers were looking for competitive prices and direct interaction with the Cuban people. Veteran rock and roll star and leading singer from The Stones, Mick Jagger, said in Spanish during their show that “finally the times are changing” in Cuba.

People going on holidays to the island can witness this changes too, and they can also be part of one of these historic events. A concert from popular pop group Maroon 5 could be a confirmation of this change if it finally takes place as it was announced at the end of March. The American band, winner of four Grammy and two Billboard Music Awards, is very popular among Cuban youngsters.


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