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 (read here about the most spectacular Porto beaches). Does it not sound amazing? Here are 5 ideas to plan a getaway and enjoy Porto music festivals!
Primavera Sound 2023
When: June 7-10
Where: Parque da Cidade, Porto
This is the Porto music festival that has made the city known internationally. The little brother of Primavera Sound in Barcelona, but it’s not that little honestly, gathering 75,000 attendees in their last two editions! With a smaller audience than Barcelona’s festival, the organizers want to keep it this way. The festival 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 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! It can be Kendrick Lamar the first day, or Rosalía on the 8th who surprise you there. Want more? What about Pet Shop Boys or Blur?
If you are already practically sold with the lineup, let the beautiful scenery do the rest!
NOVA ERA BEACH PARTY 2023
When: 30 June & 1 July
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!
Nova Era Beach Party is the Porto music Festival that takes place right on the beach. It gathers some powerful names of the electronic scene and their fans on the beach of Aterro Norte. You’ll dance with Tiësto, Meduza and Hugel on Friday but don´t get too tired because on Saturday Morten, Crusy and many more will be giving everything on stage. Tickets are on sale from only €29. MORE AFFORDABLE, IT’S IMPOSSIBLE!
Credit: Galp Beach Party 2019
Elétrico Festival 2023
When: 30 June, 1 & 2 July
Where: Parque da Pasteleira, Porto
Elétrico festival will fill for the fourth time in a row the Parque da Pasteleira with its good energy. Expect three days of music, dance, and art: three areas innate to contemporary Portuguese culture. The lineup has yet to be confirmed but you can expect good electronic and house music. Some of the names which sound for coming are Ricardo Villalobos, Zip, Diana Oliveira or Jan Blomqvist.
Like any good festival, there are food trucks and a much-needed rest area for you, intrepid travelers! But for proper rest, please come to Cats Hostel Porto once it’s finished, just half an hour from there! Yup, This festival is super close to the historic city center, 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!
Credit: Elétrico Festival
MEO Marés Vivas 2023
When: July 14, 15 and 16
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, rock and indie music fans.
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 J Balvin, Da Weasel, The Script, Fernando Daniel and Jorge Palma.
The daily passes cost €45 and the 3-day passes are sold for €90, which makes it one of the cheapest summer festivals. With the money you’ll save, you won’t feel bad for going on a little fashion shopping and buying an authentic festival outfit, would you?? We bet you can find something in any of the vintage shops in Porto!
Credit: MEO Marés Vivas
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 2023
When: August 24, 25, 26
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 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!
Credit: EDP Vilar de Mouros
Festival Vodafone Paredes de Coura 2023
When: August 16,17,18,19
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!
There’s a lot to listen in four days, like Lorde, Little Simz, Wilco, Fever Ray and Loyle Carner among others. The audience of this festival is national and international, and one the most respectful and dedicated – and with an awesome rock and alternative music taste, of course! 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!
Credit: Festival Vodafone Paredes de Coura