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 past few years (before the pandemic), Portugal was quite famous for its summer music festivals, and they usually took place somewhere along the coast. Music festivals in Portugal are not only some of the most affordable in Europe, but they also host very big names.
Fans come mostly from the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, and a trip to Lisbon can be combined with watching your favorite bands perform live for a reasonable ticket price … 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).
Galp Beach Party, 25 & 26 June, Matosihos
For some EDM coming up really soon – and for as little as 27 euros per ticket – go to Galp Beach party at Praia do Aterro Norte in Matosinhos in the north of Portugal. The festival, which claims to be “the biggest beach party in Europe, is organized by the Portuguese radio station Nova Era, which is massively popular in Portugal. Find out more about their lineup (which includes DJ Martin Garrix) here.
Afro Nation, 1 thru 3 July in Portimao
Portugal has always been a great place for afro music fusions. Afro Nation is a massive party on the beaches of Portimao in the Algarve region. The amazing Portuguese southern climate will be coupled with afrobeat, R&B, dancehall, and hip hop. The festival is making a strong comeback after the cancellation of its 2020 edition, with artists such as Chris Brown, Burna Boy, Wizkid, and so many others.
Sumol Summer Festival, 2 & 3 July in Ericeira
Sumol takes place in one of my favorite towns in Portugal, Ericeira. It is originally a fishing village with beautiful beaches, amazing spots for surfing, and really good fish and seafood restaurants. Ericeira is less than an hour away from Lisbon, which makes it an easy destination to couple with a trip to the Portuguese capital.
Tickets start at 42 euro for two full days of different music genres ranging from electronic to hip hop and Reggae. You can get them here. Oh, and camping is available.
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$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, Future, Wiz Khalifa, Cardi B and a few other world-class acts.
A two-day ticket costs around 248 euros. More on the festival can be found here.
RFM SOMNII, 9 thru 11 July in Praia Do Relógio
This is Portugal’s largest beach festival. Taking place at the beach of Praia Do Relógio in Figueira da Foz near the historical city of Coimbra, the festival promises 3 days of non-stop dancing, amazing sunsets, plenty of EDM and thousands of visitors from all over Europe. The entire lineup hasn’t been announced, but you can see it here with updates.
A ticket for the entire three days of the festival starts at 62 euros and you can get them here.
Super Bock Super Rock, 16 thru 18 July in Sesimbra
Carrying the name of the famous Portuguese beer Super Bock, this festival takes place on the beautiful coast of Sesimbra (about 45 mins south of Lisbon). Sesimbra is not only known for its gorgeous landscape, beaches, and hiking trails, but it also has one of Portugal’s biggest natural parks, Arrabida. Tickets start at 62 euros for a whole day of performing artists, such as DaBaby fresh from “Levitating” with Dua Lipa, Foals, Kali Uchis, Hot Chip, and A$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.
MEO Sudoeste, 3 thru 7 August in Zambujeira do Mar
This is another beach party in Zambujeira do Mar in the Alentejo region.The stellar lineup includes some of the biggest names in the pop, raggaeton and EDM genres such as Bad Bunny, Major Lazer, Ozuna, Timmy Trumpet, and Lewis Capaldi. The small town lies within the Natural Park of the Southwest Alentejo and St. Vincent Coast. One of
the great things about this festival is that you get free camping included in your
ticket, which you can purchase here starting at 110 euros.
Neopop Festival, 11 thru 14 August , Viana do Castelo
For 15 years, Neopop festival has been one of top electronic dance music festivals in Portugal, if not in Europe. People usually go not only for DJ sets, but also for the artists who perform live. Neopop takes place in Viana do Castelo, a coastal town in the north of Lisbon which is well-known its warm summer climate. Techno fans come from all over Europe to enjoy the festival as well as the beautiful Portuguese town.
The 2021 lineup hasn’t been announced, but you can rest assured it will include serious Names from Portugal and across Europe.
Tickets start at 90 euros for a free pass for the four nights of the festival and you can get yours here.
Evanescence, 9 October in Lisbon
In case your summer is packed; now you have something to look forward to early autumn.
My generation would not want to miss this for the world! We were young when the band Evanescence boomed and for many of us they were the soundtrack of our childhood and adolescence. The worldwide rock band is coming to Portugal in October.The weather in Portugal is incredible in October, not too hot, yet you still can walk around in a t-shirt and hit the beaches. The band will perform in Lisbon at Altice Arena. I could totally see the nostalgic fans looking forward to some good rockin’ time.
What is even better is that tickets are only 43 euros (rather than hundreds of euros you’d pay in London or New York) and you can get yours 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 NOS Alive 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.
Those 10 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.