By Irina Echarry, Photos by Caridad & Jorge Luis Baños

Diana Fuentes and El Visitante of Calle 13 at the Cuba-Sweden Peace & Love Concert. Photo: Jorge Luis Baños

HAVANA TIMES, March 30 — Many people imagined that the “Festival of Peace and Love,” held in the Jardines de la Tropical, would have something to do with hippies.

However, it didn’t turn out exactly like that.  Though there was a nice atmosphere, the feeling in no way reminded people of the free-spirited days of the “wild and crazy” ‘60s.

On Friday and Saturday, from four o’clock in the afternoon until midnight, one could enjoy good music in a large place with unique charm. Into the evening the place was packed.

There was also diversity, with capoeira demonstrations to the beat of house music, people from Project Love applying tattoos and braiding hair, the Cuban Rock Agency selling CDs and T-shirts with the idols of their genre, and hip-hop blasting at full volume while ‘90s rock was hummed by the rockers.

Peace & Love Concert in Havana. Photo: Caridad

It was an amalgam of tastes for a heterogeneous public who saw their activities interrupted by a group of medieval knights.  Dressed in tin can suits, as if they were in a military parade, they lined up beside the police at the club’s entrance, and after a short combat performance they blended among their fellow partiers.

At around seven o’clock on Saturday evening, the group Hipnosis opened the concert, followed by the fusion rhythms of the Swedish guests: Timbuktu & Damn, Familjen, Looptroop Rockers and the Badoon Show, who were all ecstatic about being able to play in Cuba.  X Alfonso closed the last day of the festival, whose organizers hope to repeat annually.

Those who were drawn by the name of the “Peace and Love Festival” enjoyed a pleasant setting with a variety of music, though admittedly there were few hippies to be found.

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