Celebrated every year since 1979 the Festival Cuna de Acordeones of Villanueva is the main cultural and social event in la Guajira. Held on the first weekend of July, the festival will celebrate the very best in vallenato music – a traditional Colombian genre that originates from the Caribbean coast
The Festival is an integral cultural expression including not only artistic region expressions but also religious was declared a Cultural and Artistic Heritage of the Nation in 2006. There are more than 68 accordion performers, singer-songwriters and composers having been born in Villanueva, village which is a provider of vallenato music: The cradle of Accordions. Most of them were born in the Cafetal barrio, the most popular barrio in villanueva, the core of vallenato music. Vallenato is THE way of life here,
The festival in Villanueva (smaller but more authentic) rivals with the one on Valledupar as the most important.
Emerging in the mid 20th century and with origins in traditional cumbia, vallenato has become one of country's most popular styles.
Vallenato literally means "born in the valley". The valley influencing this name is located between the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Serranía de Perijá in northeast Colombia.
This form of music originated from farmers who, keeping a tradition of Spanish minstrels, mixed also with the West African-inherited tradition of, who used to travel through the region with their cattle in search of pastures or to sell them in cattle fairs. Their only form of entertainment during these trips was singing and playing guitars and their form of transmitting their news was by singing their messages.