Peru: Calle 13 Arrive to Concert Five Hours Late

Update (9 December, 2011):

Calle 13 wrote a letter to “the people of Peru” after the incident. The letter can be read in two parts on the group's Facebook page (1, 2) [es].


Under what circumstances would a multiple-hour delay be considered justifiable or acceptable? This was one of the questions that Peruvians found themselves asking, after an incident generated by the Puerto Rican rappers of Calle 13, highly praised in Peru following their video for the song “Latinoamérica,” who arrived at their concert in Lima almost five hours late [es].

This question comes about, comparing this case to that which occurred in Peru a few months ago, when local singer Eva Ayllón arrived at a show two hours late [es] and, similar to René Pérez (“Residente”), instead of apologizing to the public, became angry, rebuked them, and asked them to leave if they so desired [es].

In response to Calle 13's delay, there were spectators that, irritated by the five-hour wait, threw bottles and keys onto the stage, some of which hit Residente, who stopped the music to address the public: “We haven't slept in three days so that you would come listen to me; I am no Luis Miguel nor Shakira, and I wasn't in any jacuzzi.”

But, what had happened? Calle 13, already in Peru, decided to take a “quick” trip to Venezuela to attend the closure of the first Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit in Caracas; in the words of  “Residente” (René Pérez), they traveled “to tell those presidents why Puerto Rico did not take part in the Summit.”

The blog Dale con Sammy [es] transcribed René Pérez's explanation:

Perú, vamos a hacer algo para entendernos, porque estamos en familia, ¿o no? aquí nosotros no hemos dormido en tres días, para que vengan a escucharme. No soy ningún Luis Miguel, ni Shakira, ni estaba en ningún jacuzzi. Yo fui a Venezuela hoy (sábado) porque Puerto Rico no estaba entre los países que tenían que estar (en la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños) con todos los presidentes; y por eso fui, para decirle a todos los presidentes: ¡qué viva Puerto Rico libre y no queremos ser colonia!

Peru, let's do something to understand one another because we're family, right? We haven't slept in three days, so that you would come listen to me. I am no Luis Miguel, nor Shakira, nor was I in any jacuzzi. I went to Venezuela today (Saturday) because Puerto Rico was not among the countries that should have been (in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) with all of the presidents; and that is why I went, to tell all of the presidents: long live a free Puerto Rico and we do not want to be a colony!

The problem was that no one had informed audience members of this Puerto Rican movement. A number of Twitter users, like @InO_Moxo [es], began to spread the news during the opening act:

No que calle13 toca hoy en lima? Por qué veo twitts que dicen que están en venezuela?

Isn't Calle 13 performing in Lima today? Why do I see tweets saying they are in Venezuela?

Following the concert, the members of Calle 13 finally tried to apologize, downplaying the situation [es], faithful to their controversial style, via the press [es] and social networks [es].

The concert's producers in Lima defended the events in an interview published in Phantom magazine and posted on Facebook [es]:

Nos enteramos hace dos semanas del concierto en Venezuela. Nuestra primera reacción fue parar Venezuela, y luego se trató de parar el concierto de Lima, pero ellos aseguraron que  cumplirían el horario del show. Dijeron que luego de cumplir con el concierto de Arequipa a las 3 am, tenían que tocar en Caracas de 3 a 3:40 pm (cosa de 40 minutos) y llegaban a Lima nuevamente a las 9 pm. (…) Ellos llegaron a las 12:50 al país y a San Marcos [lugar del concierto] alrededor de la 1:40.  El retraso adicional fue porque ellos (…) demoraron como 45 minutos en estar listos. Eso fue lo que en realidad pasó. El grupo empezó a tocar un poco antes de las 3 am.

We knew two weeks before the concert in Venezuela. Our first reaction was to cancel Venezuela, and later it became about canceling the concert in Lima, but they promised that they would arrive on schedule for the show. They said that after wrapping up the concert in Arequipa at 3am, they had to play in Caracas from 3pm to 3:40pm (a matter of 40 minutes) and they would arrive in Lima at 9pm. (…) They arrived to the country at 12:50 and to San Marcos [the concert's location] around 1:40. The additional delay was because they (…) took about 45 minutes to get ready. That it what really happened. The group began playing a bit before 3am.

Carlos A. Quiroz, from the Peruanista [es] blog, shares his opinion:

El error de Calle 13 fue no disculparse al comenzar el concierto.

René Pérez debió haber conversado con su público, explicarles por qué había decidido ir a Caracas. Esto fue visto como una falta de respeto y puedo comprender la frustración de los limeños.

Calle 13's mistake was not apologizing at the beginning of the concert.

René Pérez should have talked to his audience, explained to them why he had gone to Caracas. That was seen as a lack of respect and I can understand the frustration of Lima's public.

Blog Zajnóstico [es] reflects on the events:

2) ¿Tan complicado es pedir disculpas? El argumento de la CELAC no es un motivo válido si no va acompañado de unas disculpas (y esto va ligado con el primer punto señalado). “Hey, discúlpenme por llegar tarde, Perú, pero nos salió una urgencia”. Así la gente hubiera entendido y se hubiera tranquilizado más. Hay gente que ahorró sudando para comprar una entrada en las gradas o en campo, y merece respeto recibiendo un show a la hora pactada. Así como “mencionar con indirectas no es cosa de hombres” o si alguien tiene un problema contigo “tiene la tarima abierta para decírtelo a la cara como los hombres”, el pedir disculpas sí es, también, de hombres.

2) Is apologizing that complicated?  The CELAC argument is not a valid motive and does not come with an apology (and this goes hand in hand with the first point). “Hey Peru, sorry for coming late, but we had an emergency.” That way, people would have understood and would have calmed down more. There were people who sweated to save money for a ticket in the stands or the field, and they deserve the respect of seeing a show at the agreed-upon hour. So just like “mentioning it indirectly is not manly” or if someone has a problem with you, “the platform is open for him to tell you to your face like a man,” apologizing is also a manly thing.

On Facebook, José Bravo Valle [es] compared the situation to the aforementioned concert of Peruvian singer Eva Ayllón, questioning the public's attitude:

Eva Ayllon, los mando a la esquina a que tomaran el micro, y quisieron lincharla, quitarle la nacionalidad, hasta que le diera explicaciones al país, viene calle 13, salen al escenario con tres horas de tardanza, algunos le reclamaron y él los mando a la mierd…., hubo presentes que inclusive aplaudieron, chesss, tenían que ser peruanos.

Eva Ayllon sent them to the corner so they would take the bus and they wanted to lynch her, take away her citizenship, until she gave the country an explanation. Calle 13 comes, they come out on stage three hours late, some yelled and he told them to go to hell, there were people who even applauded. They had to have been Peruvian.

Popular actor and comedian Raúl Beryón [es] commented:

Ni “Calle 13″ ni nadie tiene [sic] derecho hacerse esperar, pero más idiota es el que espera.

Not “Calle 13″ nor anyone else has the right to make anyone wait, but the real idiot is the one that waits.

Luizk Chocare Punk [es] wrote:



The public already began tweeting their protest against the delay during their wait in the San Marcos University Stadium, creating the hashtag  (#IamlatelikeCalle13), like Carla Medina (@Peruchapromedio) [es] for example:

Lo mínimo que debería pasar es que Calle 13 haga en Lima el mejor concierto de su vida

Calle 13 at least better give the best concert of their lives in Lima.

Others, like Manuel Igreda (@Elmejormanuel) [es], later opted to take the delay as a joke:

Condones : 5 horas de efecto retardante en presentaciones Residente y Visitante (Vía )

Condoms: 5 hour delay effect in Residente and Visitante performances (Via )

Nevertheless, the issue has transcended blogs and social networks and it appears as though everyone has something to say, including the Minister of Culture, Susana Baca, who has affirmed, via the official Peruvian news agency, that Calle 13 could “apologize by giving a free concert. [es]” It is worth remembering that Baca collaborated with Calle 13 [es] in the “Latinoamérica” video.

Meanwhile, others accuse the group of having violated consumer rights [es], and Indecopi (the Peruvian agency for the defense of free competition and intellectual property) has announced that it will receive the demands [es] of those who bought tickets for this concert and were mistreated with a five hour delay, to determine the applicable disciplinary measures.

Eva Ayllon, los mando a la esquina a que tomaran el micro, y quisieron lincharla, quitarle la nacionalidad, hasta que le diera explicaciones al país, viene calle 13, salen al escenario con tres horas de tardanza, algunos le reclamaron y él los mando a la mierd…., hubo presentes que inclusive aplaudieron, chesss, tenían que ser peruanos.
Photo take by Eduardo Pavon, under the Creative Commons license Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

1 comment

  • jose horta

    two wrong dont make a right i believe that there is always some that is waiting for an oportunity to bring down someone that is giving the right message to the people calle 13 is human and human can make some mistake and if we ware to look at correction and judgement or accusations than look at us here we are and i say we because iam human and what human do falls on me so here we have all that calle 13 has done through his words to bring not only justice and equal rights to all the country of the world but he make one mistakes and right alway we want to crucificate him remember not only a day
    but the many days months and years that calle 13 has represent us all in the world

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