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Why Portugal for summer music festivals? Our Top-5 for 2023 is why

(Editor’s note: For a more extensive list of the biggest music festivals in Europe this summer, check out Dispatches’ list of 2023 music festivals.)

This is the time of the year when many people visit Portugal for almost everywhere for its big music festivals. There is always a music festival to look forward to between June and the end of August (and sometimes even early September). Portugal, from north to south, is probably the best place in Europe for music festivals at the moment. And I am not saying that from a place of bias, but so many of my friends from the UK, Germany, France and Italy come especially for summer music festivals in Portugal.

Ticket prices are usually the most affordable in Europe for the big names which perform at those festivals.

Last year, the Portuguese festivals hosted The Strokes and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. This year we are expecting Arctic Monkeys and David Guetta among many others.

In addition, music festivals in Portugal offer a big combo of a beach holiday, a city get away, great food, along with world class artists on a budget.

Here are the Top-5 music festivals in Portugal to keep an eye on this year:

No. 5 Nos Primavera Sound

7 thru 10 June in Porto

You can still purchase your ticket for that one. But it is 4 days away, so hurry up!

If you feel like enjoying a bit of cooler weather, farther north is where you need to be this summer. Nos Primavera is just the perfect festival for you. In the city of Porto, wine tours and unique architecture will not be the only things to enjoy. This festival has one of the most consistently outstanding lineups in Portugal. The festival started out in Barcelona, yet its Portuguese editions seem to attract more and more people each year.

This year’s lineup presents big names such as Kendrick Lamar, Rosalia, and Blur.

Tickets start at 120 euro for the entire festival and the VIP full festival ticket for 225€. You can get them here

Neopop 2023 poster

No. 4 Neopop 2023

10 thru 12 August, Viana do Castelo

Another sought after festival up north is Neopop 2023 which takes place in Viana do Castelo in the region of Braga. This festival is known for its electronic and techno music. You can camp by the river beach side with 24/7 security provided for by the festival. The festival is located within the walls of the 16th century historical fort in Viana do Castelo, just 45 minutes away from Porto which makes the location of this festival really exquisite. Tickets start at 50 euros and they could be purchased through the the official ticket website.

No. 3 Meo Sudoest Festival

9 thru 12 August, Zambuieira do Mar

The coast of Zambujeira do Mar in the Alentejo region hosts one of Portugal’s biggest summer festivals. Meo Sudoest usually has it all: DJs, pop, reggae, rap, and Indie. Having held its first edition in 1997, this music festival has established a solid reputation as a “must-go-to” music festival.

Ticket prices used to start at 50 euros, if you buy your ticket now, it starts at 125 euros with a camping option. The lineup includes David Guetta, who’s crazy hot after “I’m Good (Blue)” with Bebe Rexha, and Metro Boomin among many others.

You can get tickets here.

No. 2 Super Bock Super Rock Festival

13 thru 16 July, Meco, Sesimbra

Almost as cool as No. 1 Nos Alive is Super Bock Super Rock (which carries the name of one of the two major beer brands in Portugal, which sponsors the festival). This huge festival also takes place near Lisbon, on one of my favourite beaches in Portugal, Meco, and always presents impressive lineups, not only from the world of rock, but also from pop, EDM and hip-hop.

This year, the lineup includes The Offspring, The 1975 and Steve Lacy. Americans won’t want to miss a a chance to see hip-hop legends Wu-Tang Clan in Europe while most of them are still alive. A three-day ticket, with a camping option included, costs 115 euros. Not going to get a deal like that in Croatia or the Netherlands.

You can get tickets here.

No. 1 Nos Alive Festival

6 thru 8 July in Lisbon

Nos Alive is the most popular music festival in Lisbon. Even those who don’t go to any other festivals are likely to turn up to Nos Alive. In the lineup this year are Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Keys (Pat Carney and Dan Auerbach), Arctic Monkeys and Sam Smith. This festival is known for attracting some of the best Indie and Rock artists from all over the world, so any artist you find on a Nos Alive stage will be a really cool one.

Tickets start at 74 euros per day For all three days, tickets start at 179 euros and you can get them here. However, many of the ticket options are sold-out, so hurry up if you still want to make it.

Whether you are aiming for June, July or August, and regardless of the music genre you are looking for, Portugal will have something for you this summer.

Let us know if you have been to any of those festivals before (or others) and if you are planning on going to one or more of them this year.

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Sarah Nagaty has a PhD in cultural studies, She’s lived in Portugal for six 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.

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