Lifestyle & Culture

Portugal’s magical, musical summer: Three top festivals you can’t miss include the biggest acts in EDM, rock and hip-hop

music festival portugal

Music festivals in Portugal are not only affordable, they host very big names

With Lisbon entering gradual “deconfinement”, hopes are high for a summer with easy travelling, multiple outdoor activities, music festivals, and generally…mmmm…some long awaited sense of normality.

Over the last few years (before the pandemic), Lisbon was quite famous for its summer music festivals. They usually took place somewhere along Portugal’s coast. Music festivals in Portugal are not only some of the most affordable in Europe, but they also host very big names.

Fans would come mostly from the UK, Germany, and France to those festivals, and a trip to Lisbon could be combined with watching your favorite bands perform live at a low cost, and the added bonus of Portuguese beaches, fresh seafood, and great weather.

(PS: Here are a few tips to being a good tourist in Portugal).

Photo by Jo Kassis from Pexels
Photo by Lisa from Pexels
Photo by Jo Kassis from Pexels

Last summer, due to the pandemic, all music festivals in Portugal were cancelled. This summer, with vaccination taking place all over Europe, the festivals are back on. However, they must follow certain restrictions such as taking place outdoors and applying strict safety measures. And it’s possible some will be cancelled.

You might want to save the following dates for some of Portugal’s most famous summer music festivals:

Super Bock Super Rock, 16 thru 18 July in Sesimbra

Carrying the name of the famous Portuguese beer Super Bock, this festival takes place on the beautiful coast of Sesimbra (about 45 mins south of Lisbon). Sesimbra is not only known for its gorgeous landscape, beaches, and hiking trails, but it also has one of Portugal’s biggest natural parks, Arrabida. Tickets start at 62 euros for a whole day of performing artists, such as DaBaby fresh from “Levitating” with Dua Lipa, Foals, Kali Uchis, Hot Chip, and A$AP Rocky. The festival will take place on the beautiful Meco Beach (one of my personal favourites). The festival also offers camping options at affordable prices.

You can buy tickets and find more information here

Rolling Loud Portugal, 6 thru 10 July in the Algarve

The world’s biggest hip-hop festival is in Algarve, particularly in Portimao this year. If you’re willing to take a three-hour road trip from Lisbon, it’s worth it. The nice thing about Portimao is that it is also close to other Algarve cities such as Lagos and Albufeira. The incredible five-day party will take place on Praia da Rocha beach. Their headliners this year are A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, Future, Wiz Khalifa, Cardi B and a few other world-class acts.

A two-day ticket costs around 248 euros. More on the festival can be found here

Nos Alive, 7 July thru 10 July in Lisbon (just postponed till 2022)

This is probably the most popular music festival in Portugal. It started in 2007 and has been running every year since (except for summer of 2020). In previous years, they had many artists, such as Vampire Weekend, the Chemical Brothers, Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters, Alt-J, and Radiohead. This year, they are making a strong come back with Haim, the Strokes, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Da Weasel, and once again Alt-J. 

Well, they were until it got postponed till next year.

But a word to the wise – monitor the situation because once tickets are available, they’ll be gone in a matter of hours. Tickets start at 74 euros for a whole day of several artists performing. You’ll be able book your ticket here, though not right now.

Final thoughts

Those three music festivals are just some of the highlights of Portugal’s 2021 summer. The coming months will witness many more festivals covering different music genres and targeting various audiences (family-friendly festivals, youngsters, etc).

Check out this page for a more comprehensive list of all the music festivals taking place in Portugal this summer. You can narrow your search down by region and genre. And if you want to party some more before or after the festivals, here’s a list of clubs in Lisbon for an unforgettable night!

Have a musical Portuguese summer! 

About the author:

Sarah Nagaty is a PhD researcher of cultural studies in Lisbon. She’s lived in Portugal for three years.

As a student of cultural studies, Sarah is drawn to what connects people from different backgrounds to new cultures and places, how they relate to their new surroundings and what kind of activities they could engage with in their new hometowns.

See all of Sarah’s Dispatches posts here.

See Dispatches’ Lisbon story archive here.

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