Dances / Regina Coyula

Young people want a break in the routine. They are on vacation. What are the options?

Rafael, 19, is a student. His Federation of University Student (FEU) card facilitated his entry into some places for a lower price. La Cecilia, El Diablo TunTun, Café Cantante at the National Theater are in this category, but if you don’t arrive early, other more savvy college students fill the FEU quota of five or ten Cuban pesos (~ 20¢ to 40¢ USD) per person, and the entry fee stays the same but in Cuban Convertible Pesos (about $5 to $10 USD).*

Several places are the trendsetters. Once a month Parque Villalón brings together the lovers of electronic music with the DJ Lejardi y Analógica with their Fiestas Uniks. It’s a public park, it’s free, and the urban tribes of G Street go down to Villalón for lack of anything better. Both projects have spaces in the Tropical Gardens for twenty pesos.

The rock is concentrated at the Maxim Rock, with an almost always metalcore sound, and the Yellow Submarine and Stairway to Heaven has nostalgic rock. Cover bands alternate with recorded music, there are also bands with original music. In these places the entry price between 30 and 75 Cuban pesos.

The Alamar Amphitheater and the Metropolitan Park are places for hip hop. Apparently, they are the least favored, with both places weather dependent.

The young trova have the Casona de Línea. Trova and fusion music alternate in many places: Café Cantante, El Sauce, La Cecilia, Morro-Cabaña Park, Barbaram … At Café Bertolt Brecht and La Zorra y El Cuervo mix jazz and fusion. Entry is between 25 and 100 Cuban pesos.

Projects like PMM, Havanashow, Fiestahabana, with recorded music, powerful equipment, smoke machines and foam are a good party idea for many young people. The Copa Room of the Riviera, El Pedregal, at 3rd and 8th and at 7th and 22nd are some of the places where these projects are presented. The price of these parties varies between 3 and 5 CUCs, although they usually have more economical presentations for youth activities.

Timba and reggaeton dancers have the Salon Rosado at the Tropical, and the Casa de la Musica on Galiano with live groups; here the prices are from 50 Cuban pesos at the Salon Rosado, up to 10 CUC in the Casa de la Musica, if the artists are famous like Baby Lores or Gente d Zone.

Private businesses begin to appear in the list of preferences. Buddha bar at the back of La Cabaña with an excellent price (25 Cuban pesos) and good atmosphere, is very popular despite its remote location.

The nightclubs in the hotels and recreational centers are big. You can also forget about distance and the carrying on if you get a stereo, put the amplifiers facing the street and torment the neighbors according to the decibels your equipment puts out. It’s free and all, ‘n’ nothin’ happens.

Translator’s note: The average monthly wage in Cuba is less than 500 Cuban pesos. 1 CUC is worth about 24 Cuban pesos.

19 July 2013