After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the popular Viña del Mar International Song Festival kicked off Sunday night (Feb. 19) with Karol G as its headliner.
Wearing a baby pink, sweetheart dress, ankle-high socks, white sneakers, and her bright red locks, the Colombian artist delivered a “Bichota”-packed one-hour and 30-minute set in front of 15,000 people.
“Hey Chile, what’s up?” she asked the audience after kicking off the set with “Gatubela” and “El Poblado (Remix).” “What energy so chimba (cool). I was very nervous and excited for this day to come.”
Singing completely live, accompanied by a group of 12 co-ed dancers, and her all-female girl band, Karol performed hits such as “Bichota,” “200 Copas,” “Ocean,” “Tusa,” and “MAMII,” before wrapping with the EDM version of “Provenza.”
But this was far more than just another Karol G concert—it had special guests, meaningful fan moments, and more. See the highlights below:
Though Karol G performed many of her collaborations alone, such as “Gato Malo” with Nathy Peluso, she invited two special guests to her Viña set. First, she called Chilean newcomer Criss MJ, with whom she performed the unreleased “Noche de Medellin (Remix)” for the first time. “Unfortunately, this song never came out,” she said before the two acts sang it together. She was later joined by renowned Chilean singer-songwriter Myriam Hernandez to sing a potent duet of Hernandez’s 1988 hit “El Hombre Que Yo Amo.” “It’s been 17 years since I’ve been here [Viña]. Thank you for inviting me,” Hernandez said after the song.
DEBUTS NEW SINGLE
During her set, Karol G also surprised fans by singing the opening track of her upcoming album Mañana Sera Bonito called “Mientras Me Curo del Cora.” She dedicated the Hawaiian-inspired song to her older sister who just had a baby.
GIFTS GAVIOTA TO FAN
Karol G made history as the first female urban artist to headline Viña del Mar and along the way, received the coveted silver and gold gaviotas, the seagull-shaped trophies that are the festival’s signature and are decided upon by fans. Toward the end of her set, Karol invited a “mini Bichota” (young fan) on stage, who flaunted her amazing dance moves, to which Karol and the rest of the audience agreed she deserved the gold trophy. It an only-Karol G moment. The hosts then noted they will be sending Karol another Gaviota to her home.
GIRL-POWER SHOUT OUTS
Not only did Karol interact with her fans but at one point she shouted-out Argentine artists Nicki Nicole and Emilia Mernes, who were enjoying the show. She also expressed how proud she is of forming part of this generation of empowered female voices, which includes Paloma Mami, Tini, and more.
For the first time in its more than six-decade history, the Viña del Mar International Song Festival will be live-streamed in the United States, exclusively on Billboard.com, Billboard’s YouTube channel, and via Twitter @Billboard. The six-day festival then continues with Tini on Feb. 20; Alejandro Fernández on Feb. 21; Fito Páez on Feb. 22; Christina Aguilera on Feb. 23; and ending with Camilo on Feb. 24. All headliners will perform at 8 p.m. ET.
Find the rest of the week’s schedule below.
Feb. 20 — Tini Stoessel
Feb. 21 — Alejandro Fernández
Feb. 22 — Fito Páez
Thursday, Feb. 23: Christina Aguilera
Friday, Feb. 24: Camilo