Valledupar, with a population of 473,300 inhabitants, is located in the Caribbean region of Colombia. The city has long been renowned for its music. More than 300 companies are devoted to the training, production, promotion and circulation of music, employing around 70,000 people. Furthermore, there are an estimated 100,000 people self-employed working in music related sectors, which includes more than 3,000 composers.
The Vallenato Legend Festival is one of the most important musical festivals in Colombia. Founded in 1968, the festival hosts several major events, including activities such as the piqueria (battle of lyrics) and performance of traditional instruments namely the Vallenato (accordion). Such is the fame of this instrument that one of the city’s biggest draws is the Museo del Acordeón, where visitors can learn to play the city's patron instrument.
In 2015, through the Social Laboratories of Culture and Entrepreneurship project, the Mayor's office and the Ministry of Culture supported entrepreneurs in the creation of a collaborative network for the exchange of knowledge, experiences, products, services and contacts, seeking to develop initiatives for the production of cultural content. Likewise, public investment in music and art festivals has been fundamental to promote the circulation of new musical products in the city throughout the year. Furthermore, the "Glorias del Vallenato" programme launched by the city supports composers through a cultural revitalization initiative that acknowledges their role as teachers, and lets them interact with young people from primary and secondary educational institutions to further enrich and strengthen the creative capital of the city.
As a Creative City of Music, Valledupar envisages:
- strengthening local cultural practices with the involvement of the different stakeholders who are carrying out training, production, promotion and diffusion of innovative initiatives around music and its articulation with literature;
- fostering economic development through creativity by promoting cultural ventures supported by the business incubator, the cultural entrepreneurship fund and by cultural and creative industries initiatives already being implemented in the city; and
- creating spaces for capacity building, and for enhancing the international outreach of the city, through the exchange of good practices and knowledge with other creative cities, both in and outside Colombia.