Top Festivals in Lisbon
Going to festivals is so much fun! In this article about the top festivals in Lisbon, I will introduce you to some of the best festivals you’ll get to experience while in Lisbon!
I’ve been to many festivals over the last years, and I have to say that the festivals in Lisbon are amazing! The atmosphere is extra convivial, the camping facilities are very decent, the festival enclosures offer many stages for everyone’s taste, the people are friendly, and the drinks and food are probably the cheapest of Europe! You will definitely meet many people and make friends with them if you go to one of the festivals in Lisbon, because people are open-minded and won’t mind helping you or sharing with you anything you need if they have it.
During festivals, people try to disconnect from their daily routine, so they are more care-free, more relaxed, and open to conversation. They leave all their worries behind and enjoy the most of the time they spend at the festival. You should do the same!
From international artists and bands, popular festivals, to national bands and artists, festivals in Lisbon are the opportunity to getting to know new artists, experiencing good vibes, while connecting with the locals. I’m pretty sure it will be an amazing enriching experience for you! Read on and learn more about the top festivals in Lisbon!
For enjoying national and international artists: Rock in Rio
The first edition of Rock in Rio took place in 1985 and happened in Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. At that time, it was the greatest festival to ever happen, it brought fifteen Brazilian artists and sixteen international artists to the city. During ten days, concerts took place every day. In 1985, the Queen sang “Love of my Life“, which was an unforgettable moment! Many other important bands also got on Rock in Rio stage, such as Guns’n’Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, but also pop artists like Justin Timberlake and Shakira.
The Brazil Rock in Rio festival was internationalized in 2004 when it was organized in Lisbon for the first time. Since then, Lisbon hosts the Rock in Rio festival every two years. It usually happens during the month of June in the Parque da Bela Vista. If you want to enjoy amazing perfomances, of both Portuguese and world-renowned bands and artists, you will love this festival! However, you will have to buy your tickets in advance, because they tend to sell out!
For Heavy Metal fans: VOA
The greatest Heavy Rock festival happens in Lisbon! It is the VOA, which stands for “Vagos Open Air“! It first started in 2009. Bands like Amon Amarth, Meshuggah, Opeth, We Are the Damned, Arch Enemy, Gojira have already performed at the VOA Festival. For the year of 2019, we can count with the presence of bands like Spliknot, Lamb of God, Slayer and many others! If you’re a fan of Heavy Metal music, this is the best festival for you!
For listening to Fado: Festival Santa Casa Alfama
Fado is a traditional music genre that is charged with strong emotions. It was born centuries ago in Portugal! People used to sing to express their sorrow, their pain, but also their joy and victories. The feelings and emotions fado singers pass to their listeners are palpable through their voice but also through the lyrics. And there’s no better place to listen to Fado than in Alfama! The neighborhood of Alfama is definitely the place to be at if you want to listen to this emotional music genre! In particular, during the Santa Casa Alfama Festival!
The last editions of this festival happened at the end of September. During two days, the festival presents more than forty concerts, in twelve different stages, right in the heart of Alfama! The evenings concerts usually take place at the Museu do Fado, the Fado Museum.
For allying the beach with music: Sumol Summer Fest
The Sumol Summer Fest is one of the summer festivals happening in Lisbon. It usually happens at the beginning of July, in Ericeira. This festival is very popular, especially among the youngsters, because of its location by the sea. You can take part in many activites, such as skating and surfing. The young people gather to see and enjoy their favorite hip hop, reggae, dancehall, house and pop artists, both national and international.
One of the most famous festivals: NOS Alive
Organized by the Everything is New sponsor and also funded by the NOS communications company, the NOS Alive happens in Passeio Maritimo de Algés in Oeiras. This festival is increasingly well-known world wide, because it brings the greatest names of the music industry. There are concerts for all the tastes! From Metallica, The Prodigy, Coldplay, Blondie, Iggy and the Stooges, to Black Eyed Peas, Steve Aoki, and many others!
For partying with the locals: Super Bock Super Rock
The Super Bock Super Rock is one of the most famous and preferred festivals of the Portuguese. Every summer, the festival invites international artists and bands to perform at the Parque das Nações
Despite the fact that the name of the festival suggests that rock, indie and alternative rock prominent in the festival, the organization chose to expand the music genres of the event over the last few years, by inviting artists like Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott and Future.
For the 2019 edition of the Super Bock Super Rock, since it is the twenty fifth aniversary of the festival, it will take place in its former location: the Praia do Meco. You and the festival go-ers will be able to enjoy a great festival by the sea.
For jazz lovers: Jazz em Agosto
The Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian hosts the Jazz em Agosto, which is a whole festival dedicated to jazz music. In 2019, the festival will begin on August, 1st and will end on August, 11th.
During these days, jazz concerts are organized in open air at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The prices can vary from five euros to twenty euros, if you want to go to one single concert. If you want to go enjoy the concerts several days, the passes can cost between fifteen to 135 euros. It’s up to you to check the festival’s program and see which concerts you wish to go to. Then, you’ll have to decide what are the best options for you.
For jazz, soul, pop lovers: EDP Cool Jazz
The EDP Cool Jazz is another jazz music festival. This one happens in Cascais, close to the city of Lisbon. You will be able to see the performances of many stars from different generations, from jazz, soul, pop, to other jazz-inspired music genres. The festival has already received several important figures of the jazz scene, such as Van Morrison and BadBadNotGood.
If you’re a jazz enthusiast, you will love both the EDP Cool Jazz and the Jazz em Agosto Festival!
For experiencing Portuguese culture: Festa do Avante
The Festa do Avante is a political, cultural, and sports event. It lasts for three days and is organized by the Portuguese Communist Party. Every year, about 12 thousand volunteers work for this event to happen. The visitors can attend many different kind of events, such as plays, Folklore Rancho traditional Portuguese dance, choir groups, dance shows and concerts in different stages!
The Festa do Avante happened for the first time in 1976. Every year, many locals gather at this festival. If you want to join them while experiencing the Portuguese lifestyle and culture, the Festa do Avante is perfect for you! Don’t miss it if you’re in the city at the beginning of September!
For understanding technology: Web Summit Lisboa
Considered to be one of the biggest technology, entrepreneurship and innovation event of Europe, the Web Summit is a different kind of festival! It is dedicated to anyone who’s interested in entrepreneurship and technology. It’s the opportunity to find out new products, meet new people, find investor and partners. You will also be able to participate in conferences and lectures, learn more about the companies that now rule our world, hear the biggest names of the industry talk. It’s an unmissable festival if you’re interested in new technologies! The Web Summit is very different from the other festivals I’ve suggested earlier in this article, because it is not only about entertainment but also about knowledge, exploring and understanding how our world now works.
My article about the top festivals in Lisbon is now over! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it! There are many other festivals happening in the city throughout the year, I will be progressively adding them to this article, for you to be updated about the greatest events that take place in Lisbon. There’s a festival for everyone’s taste, so I’m pretty sure you won’t get bored while in Lisbon! Keep in mind that the locals are much more relaxed when at festivals, so they will be a lot more open to strangers, don’t hesitate to talk to them! They will be more than pleased to share a few words with you and show you some insights of their culture! Also, if you need further information about anything, feel free to contact us. I hope to see you soon in one of our tours in Lisbon!