I remember when I was younger, and used to attend concerts all the time. My first concert was The Cranberries (RIP, Dolores), I lost a portion of my hearing at Alanis Morissette (which forever changed where I was willing to stand at a concert), survived Woodstock 1999 (when riots and burning stuff were all around me), expressed my internal angst to Rage Against the Machine, and blazed (medicinal?) herbs at annual Dave Matthews Band jam sessions. Ah, the blessings of youth!
However, when I lived in Japan, I very rarely attended any concerts. Similarly, in Malaysia, concert-going just wasn’t a major ‘thing’ in my life. During my time in Hong Kong, @hangrywifey and I attended an Ed Sheeran concert (and a private Justin Bieber performance that Rachel’s media credentials kinda required she attend). Aside from that, my descent into middle age just hasn’t seen me coming into contact with a lot of concerts. Maybe it was an American thing?
Live concerts are definitely a European thing, and now that we are in Portugal, we’ve had an opportunity to see a ton of artists. Especially during summer, when the real blessings have been poured upon us. For sure, we are spoiled for choice in determining our (prudent and budget-conscious) summer concert adventures.
Of course, we are unable to attend all of the festivals listed below; however, it’s completely possible that future clients will have interest, so we definitely need to make sure we are ‘in the know’. With that, below is a list (with light commentary) about the festivals, general time frame they run, and the location. Now that we are based here, it seems that summer festivals will certainly become a part of our budget. Here’s hoping we have more opportunities to see a wide variety of acts as time goes by!
*Please note, this list is only about Portugal. We haven’t even begun to touch on other festivals in the area, namely, Spain and France. Europe is a hotbed of awesome musical options. So grateful!!!
Afro Nation (August, Portimão) – Urban music
Debuting for the first time in 2019, it promises to host some of the most interesting names in Afrobeats, hip-hop, R & B, dancehall and bashment.(https://afronation.com)
Boom Festival (August, Idanha-a-Nova) – Portugal’s answer to Burning Man
Occurring every two years, this festival is more of a ‘happening’ than a concert. With attention to environmental and psychedelic consciousness, their ultimate goal is to facilitate individual and collective transformation. One love! (https://www.boomfestival.org)
BPM Festival (September, Portimão) – Electronic music
This festival has her feet rooted firmly in the sand. Billed as four days of celebration, exploration and community, this all-day party vibe will probably require a long rest at the end. (https://thebpmfestival-europe.com)
EDP Pilar de Mouros (August, Pilar de Mouros) – Rock, indie and alternative
Hard core and hard driving, this festival promises an ode to rock (example: The Offspring and Prophets of Rage headline in 2019). (http://www.edpvilardemouros.pt– website in Portuguese)
MEO Marés Vives (July, Vila Nova de Gaia) – Multi-genre
Held near Porto, this venue checks all the boxes for Northern Portugal dwellers to see top mainstream acts, without the need to travel to Lisbon. Members of the 2019 line-up include Sting and Keane. (https://maresvivas.meo.pt/pt/- website in Portuguese)
MEO Sudoeste (August, Zambujeira do Mar) – EDM, pop and rap
Located near Odemira, the festival has three stages: one committed to mainstream acts, the second committed to a more alternative vibe, and the third for reggae musical acts. (https://sudoeste.meo.pt/en)
Neopop Festival (August, Viana do Castelo) – Underground house and techno
Known as Portugal’s most respected electronic music festival, it has become a ‘bucket list’ festival for techno fans. The beautiful historical surroundings of Viana do Castelo add to the enjoyment as well. (https://neopopfestival.com/home/home)
NOS Alive (July, Lisbon) – Multi-genre
Perhaps the most popular music festival in Portugal, it was named to the Top 12 Festivals in Europe (2009) and received a 10/10 ranking in 2012. Having visited this event, I will say that it’s highly organised, the talent they attract is solid (Thom Yorke!), and it is a safe, friendly and highly popular summer festival. (https://nosalive.com/en/)
NOS Primavera Sound (June, Porto) – Indie
Portuguese cousin to Barcelona’s Primavera Sound (already running 15 years), it has become a must stop among European festivals. (https://www.nosprimaverasound.com/en/)
Nova Batida (September, Lisbon) – Underground electronic, rap, funk, soul, jazz
Hosting talks, debates, yoga and wellness, as well as vegan/vegetarian-friendly food, this festival is dedicated to a carefully curated line-up that showcases emerging talent. Billed as ‘3 Days of Music, Art and Culture’ – definitely looks interesting! (https://novabatida.com/en/)
RFM Somnii (July, Figuera do Foz) – EDM, house, DnB, rap and reggaeton
Billed as a sunset dance party, this event attracts some of the hottest names and emerging talents in electronic music. Think Afrojack. (https://rfmsomnii.com/en/)
Sumol Summer Fest (July, Ericeira) – Urban music
Three days of reggae (and all that goes with people who dig reggae!) located near the sea. Caution: chill vibes ahead. (https://sumolsummerfest.com/en/)
Super Bock Super Rock (July, South of Lisbon) – Multi-genre
Huge. Originally initiated in 1995, this festival has grown into one of the country’s most important and well-known festivals. A plethora of excellent musical acts reigns supreme. (https://www.superbocksuperrock.pt)
Vodafone Paredes de Coura (August, Paredes de Coura) – Indie
Perhaps the oldest summer festival in Portugal, Paredes de Coura celebrates her 26th birthday in 2019. Perhaps that’s why they have so many musical acts I want to see, spread across three days? Oh boy. (https://www.paredesdecoura.com/en/)