Once again festival season is upon us, across Europe the dates and line-ups are set whilst people plan out what to attend, who to see and with what money. Just Musically Speaking has already covered what to expect this year from NOS Primavera Sound, but I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce Portugal’s other amazing festival Vodafone Paredes de Coura, a gathering of artists, music-lovers and people of all walks of life for a magical event. For those who may not be familiar with this gathering, here is my recollection of last year’s 25th edition and who to look out for if you’re thinking of going!
Located in the northern part of Portugal, the festival’s location is ideal for hosting thousands of people; the dry hills of the region host campers, in-between them a stream of water runs by inviting everyone for a cold swim and relax whilst enjoying the blazing sun. Whilst hanging there, you find yourself surrounded by music, some jamming out, some playing it from a speaker or there’s an organised artist set. Either way, people at the festival are rocking on to the summer vibes, the sights and beauty of it all reminds some of a Woodstock-like resemblance, I wouldn’t disagree.
The nearby town hosts it’s doors wide open to the community of the festival, itself organising 2-3 days of celebrations with live performances, DJ sets and many more festivities before the start of the festival. This attracts people to enjoy more days in Paredes de Coura, giving you time to discover the area, buy provisions and settle in nicely before it all kicks off. Locals are very friendly and helpful, in a time of need, I’ve definitely had my ass saved by one of them – obrigado!
A short trek away is the main stage, the natural amphitheater of the Taboão River Beach which is perfect for seeing live music whilst a second smaller stage is hosted a bit further on. The stage has seen itself host some fantastic artists and during last year’s 25th edition, we were blessed with the presence of King Krule, Foals, Benjamin Clementine, Ty Segall, BadBadNotGood and many more; whilst the other stage housed acts like Alex Cameron and Andy Shauf.
This year, people can be entertained across a wide-range of genres with some fantastic acts such as Jungle, Arcade Fire, Skepta, Fleet Foxes, The Blaze and many more. The event keeps on delivering great performers, the producers of the festival also give room for Portuguese bands to shine in front of their home-audience. Last year we had the opportunity to see and talk to You Can’t Win Charlie Brown, who performed a great set on the main stage. Without further ado, here is a little preview of what can be expected:
The modern/neo soul band founded by Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson in London, grew to a collective of seven talented individuals that hold the foundation for a 1970-s style funk. With tropical percussions, psychedelic and wildlife noises, this group has created a unique, distinctive sound with tracks like “Busy Earnin” finding itself played across the world. With the band set to release their second album before the start of summer, there’s a lot to look forward too…
With last year’s fantastic fifth studio album ‘Everything Now’, Canadian indie rock giants Arcade Fire will be blessing Paredes with their presence so expect tunes like “Creature Comfort”, “Put Your Money on Me” and “Signs of Life” amongst the massive discography the band holds to be played – not to miss!
Boy Better Know this is going to be crazy, one of Grime’s most notorious rapper/singer-songwriter will be blasting energy on the main stage. With his last album ‘Konnichiwa’ earning him the famous Mercury Prize for Album of the Year, the London born maestro is bound to raise the roof, with tracks like “That’s Not Me”, “Shutdown” and “Man” becoming iconic in the British youth culture; finding its way across the world over the years.
The Seattle born indie/folk rock has returned to the forefront of people’s playlists following the release of their third album ‘Crack-Up’ last year, with brilliant tracks like “If You Need To, Keep Time On Me”, “Fool’s Errand” and “Third of May / Odaigahara”. With some top tunes and having performed all over the world, it is bound to be another highlight of this event with a band that fits right in the general mood as well as feeling of the festival.
Credit Pictures: @augustin_eude