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Music Festival Destinations: Portugal.

Andy Robertson

Portugal is located on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain and is well known for its beaches and warmer Algarve climate. Similarly to its neighbour Spain, Portugal is becoming a popular destination for music festival-goers and has secured some great summer music festivals that are worth checking out.


Portugal’s long Atlantic coastline has made it a major maritime power over its long history and is known for its seafood dishes, popular beach destinations, historical cities and port wine. The Portuguese participate in many cultural activities, indulging their appreciation of art, music, drama, and dance with a rich traditional folklore (Ranchos Folclóricos). With its long and significant European history Portugal has many cultural festivals every year but more recently there has been a growth in film and music festivals too. With so much focus on tourism visitors will find the Portuguese warm and friendly with as many as 32% speaking English.  

The Big Ones.
Portugal has a good selection of mega festivals with over 100,000 visitors to choose from most being situated in resorts along the Algarve coastline. Unfortunately there are just three taking place this year.

RFM Somnii 
Located at Praia do Relógio in Figueira da Foz, this festival is known being the biggest sunset ever, at one of the most beautiful beaches on the Portuguese coast. The genre focus is very much EDM and the annual festival attracts about 200,0000 visitors and is scheduled for 9th – 11th July this year.

Super Bock Super Rock 
Portugal's longest running music festival it has run every year since 1995 and takes place at Meco Beach, Herdade do Cabeço da Flauta, Sesimbra. The mixed genres of Rock, Alternative rock, Heavy metal, Electronic, Hip hop and Pop ensure wide appeal regularly attracting more than 150,000 festival-goers. This year’s event is scheduled for 16th - 17th July 2021.

MEO Sudoeste 
Located in the beautiful coastal town of Zambujeira do Mar this five-day festival regularly attracts about 157,000 visitors each year and the main genres are EDM plus the best of Big room, House, Hip hop and Pop. The festival is going ahead this year and is scheduled for 3rd – 7th August 2021.

NOS Alive 
Arguably one of Portugal's largest music festivals it takes place on the Algés riverside, in Oeiras, Lisbon and regularly attracts about 220,000 visitors. The genres cover Rock, Alternative rock, Pop and Electronica. The festival was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 and is now scheduled to run 6th –9th July 2022.

The Large Ones.
Music festivals in Portugal are generally smaller events than other European countries although that shouldn't detract from the experience. Many have been cancelled for 2021 and postponed to 2022. There are two smaller events set to run in 2021 that are worth considering.

Afro Nation Portugal
Situated on the beach of Praia da Rocha in the Algarve resort of Portimão the festival features Dancehall, Bashment, Afrobeats and R&B. The festival is relatively small attracting just 20,000 visitors each year but will be going ahead this year scheduled for 1st - 3rd July 2021.

Rolling Loud Portugal 
The Portuguese edition of the popular touring festival from the United States it features Hip hop and Rap and spans five days. The festival takes place at Praia da Rocha, Portimão and attracts about 40,000 festival goers. This year’s event is scheduled for 6th – 10th July 2021.

NOS Primavera Sound 
This is the Portuguese edition of the famous Barcelona Primavera Sound and has been running since 2010 in Porto. The genres are Rock, Electronic, Indie, Pop and Hip hop. The festival has been cancelled this year and is now scheduled for 9th – 11th June 2022.

Portugal did not escape form the coronavirus pandemic with most events cancelled in 2020. As with travelling internationally anywhere in 2021 festival-goers should check potential travel restrictions and likely infection prevention protocols in place including rapid COVID-19 tests and the possibility of mandatory vaccine passports. For those that make it to one of Portugal’s music festivals they will be sure to enjoy the experience.

For any event organiser planning their music festival using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their festival logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors guestlists and ticketing.

Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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