Summer means music festival and surf lessons on the beach… but why choose one of them when you can have both? We know about a place between the sea and the city, which is perfect for this type of event. A city very dear to our hearts as it is the home of the third Cats hostel.
The city of Porto is the perfect “stage” for your summer adventures. Imagine spending your morning walking around the historic district, which is a Unesco heritage site. And enjoying an evening of eclectic sounds in an outdoor festival surrounded by cool people. With the beach nearby to go for a swim the next day and recharge. Does it not sound amazing? Here are 5 ideas to plan a getaway and enjoy Porto’s music festivals:
NOS Primavera Sound
📅 When: June 6, 7 and 8
📍 Where: Parque da Cidade, Porto
This is the festival that has made Porto known in the international festival scene. The little brother of Primavera Sound in Barcelona, but it’s not really little anymore! Last year it hit a record average of 30,000 attendees a day! But the organizers don’t want their audience to reach the size of Barcelona’s festival. This is meant to be smaller, created with more care, and with gourmet food to top it off. It’s for festivalgoers looking for something different, like our Cats travelers!
This eighth edition will once again take place in the Parque da Cidade, the largest urban park in the country! It is easily reached by public transportation from the center of the city. Or, if you’re excited about bikes, you can use the flat bike lane while thinking of the river and the sea! You can leave it in the bike park at the entrance.
And what kind of music will you find there? Something you’ll love, for sure! The festival will have a lineup of 70 artists. Singers and groups of different musical styles. Solange‘s R&B and Stereolab‘s indie pop-rock will warm up the stage on Friday. The reggaeton of Colombia’s J Balvin, and the rock of the New York’s Interpol head the list of names on Saturday. And a trio of empowered women –Erykah Badu, Rosalía, and Nina Kravitz– will headline the closing day!
If you are already practically sold with the lineup, let the beautiful scenery do the rest!
Elétrico Festival 2019
📅 When: 26, 27, July 28
📍 Where: Parque da Pasteleira, Porto
After the success of the first edition, the Elétrico festival will once again blanket the Parque da Pasteleira with its good energy. It will be three days of music, dance, and art: three areas innate to contemporary Portuguese culture.
It is a unique opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and the sun. You can dance to electronic music with renowned artists such as Kerri Chandler or Levon Vincent and enjoy an area of food trucks and wine. And also, there is a much-needed rest area for you intrepid travelers!
It’s half an hour from the historic city center (and Cats Hostel Porto). So, you won’t have any problem hitting all the tourist sites in the morning, before going to fully connect with nature, urban art, and music in the afternoon.
A fun fact: Elétrico is the name by which typical Porto yellow tram is known, that’s why last year’s DJ’s “booth” imitated one of these trams. Will they repeat that this year?
GALP BEACH PARTY 2019
📅 When: 28 & 29, June
📍 Where: Praia do Aterro Norte, Matosinhos
Matosinhos is a fishing town just a few kilometers from the center of Porto, famous for its white sandy beaches, and especially popular among surfers, bodyboarders and kitesurfers. In June, it also hosts Europe’s largest beach party. For real! With its stages, lights and even pyrotechnics!
Galp Beach Party festival gathers some powerful names of the electronic scene and their fans in the beach of Aterro Norte. This year’s line-up is headed by the mysterious producer Marshmello, the Israeli duo Vini Vici, and the Australian DJ Timmy Trumpet, whose performance was one of the best moments of 2018 edition. Two days of celebration for only €35.40 the two-day ticket. MORE AFFORDABLE, IT’S IMPOSSIBLE!
MEO Marés Vivas
📅 When: July 19, 20 and 21
📍 Where: Vila Nova de Gaia
Vila Nova de Gaia (better known as Gaia) is just opposite the city of Porto. Due to its proximity, many are unaware that it is a distinct Portuguese city. Actually, you just have to cross the bridge and get to the other side of the river! Here you will find wineries, fishing villages, and this magnificent festival with the capacity for 50,000 pop music fans.
There are five stages each with their own space so that several environments can be created. The festival’s signature views have the Douro River and the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop. This year’s lineup is consists of acclaimed artists such as Snow Patrol, Keane, Mando Diao, Morcheeba, Sting, and other well-known names with the Portuguese that are played on most commercial radio stations.
The daily passes cost €33 and the 3-day passes are sold for €61, which makes it one of the cheapest summer festivals. That’s why we never get tired of saying we love this city!
MUSIC FESTIVALS NEAR PORTO
And what an awesome trip to Porto be without also escaping north to one of these legendary music festivals in the surrounding area? They both have a camping area, but of course, we offer our comfortable beds in Porto for you to stay prefestival or postfestival!
EDP Vilar de Mouros
📅 When: August 22, 23, 24
📍 Where: Vilar de Mouros (100km from Oporto)
The Vilar de Mouros Festival is celebrated in the northwest region of Portugal in a village of the same name. The first festival was held in 1965, following the lead of other folklore events of the time. By 1971 it was so big that it was considered the Portuguese “Woodstock”!
It is a festival that brings together several generations, with hits of the past from legendary artists, but without forgetting the emerging artists. This year’s performances will be a delight for rock & alternative music fans. The Offspring, Prophets of Rage, The Sisters of Mercy, Manic Street Preachers, and Skunk Anansie join an increasingly eclectic line-up.
There will be two stages, a lounge area for reading and rest, and a camping area with a breakfast zone. The location is especially appealing in the summer: it is on the banks of the River Coura, so you can take a dip before going to dance and give your all!
Festival Vodafone Paredes de Coura
📅 When: August 14, 15, 16 and 17
📍 Where: Paredes de Coura (115km from Oporto)
The oldest and most charismatic Portuguese festival so we could not fail to mention it, even if it means traveling from Porto. Something you won’t mind at all when you see the area where it’s located. The main stage is on the side of a hill, which offers great visibility from several points. And the camping area is next to the riverside beach of Taboão, a spot on the banks of the River Coura, in the village of Paredes de Coura… an idyllic setting!
For four days there will be groups like The National, New Order, Father John Misty, Spiritualized, Suede, and Patti Smith, among others. The audience of this festival, apart from having an awesome rock and alternative music taste, is known for being respectful and dedicated. The good atmosphere and tranquility are shared equally. If you want to listen to music surrounded by trees and good people, don’t think twice!