Perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is often overlooked as a music festival destination, but the festie backpacker will find a treasure trove of events across the summer. Dramatic coastlines and friendly festival weather combined with affordable prices makes this a haven for travelers seeking out unique experiences.
NOS Primavera Sound 2020
The little sibling to Barcelona's mega-festival Primavera Sound, this Portuguese edition takes place the following weekend in the charming city of Porto. The recipe remains the same, with a staggering roster of indie rock talent. The grassy hillsides of Parque Central means that every seat is a prime location to watching the show.
Galp Beach Party 2020
It's called the biggest beach party in Europe so you're going to have to confirm for yourself at this Portuguese festival that sits just outside of Porto. The music starts at 4 in the afternoon and lasts until 4 in the morning, so make sure to recuperate on the wonderful beaches of Matosinhos before dancing the night away to some of the biggest names in electronic music.
Featured Artists: Armin Van Buuren
VOA Heavy Rock Festival 2020
There's been some name changes and some venue swaps, but fans of the VOA Heavy Rock Festival have stayed loyal to this Lisbon fest for a decade. This is a weekend dedicated to the metalheads of Portugal with Portuguese bands taking the stage along with international headliners.
Photo Credit: VOA
NOS Alive 2020
NOS Alive (formerly known as Optimus Alive), is one of Portugal's leading mega-festivals, known nationally for bringing huge international stars to the country. Be prepared for sunny weather, an eclectic lineup, and to party all night in Lisbon. The motto 'beach by day, music by night', is in full effect with acts typically starting in the early evening and lasting to the early morning.
Photo Credit: Matias Altbach Photography
Super Bock Super Rock 2020
If it's rock and it's Portugal, then it must be Super Bock Super Rock. Entertaining fans since 1994, this is one of the main music events of the summer for Portugal, with a lineup that is well worth the trip for music lovers of any genre.
Mares Vivas 2020
Praia do Cabedelo, Portugal
Loosely translated into 'seas alive', the annual Mares Vivas Festival is held in Vila Nova de Gaia each July. Elton John, Bush, The Smashing Pumpkins, Bill Idol, The Cult, and The Hives have all performed at Mares Vivas.
Photo Credit: Mares Vivas
MEO Sudoeste 2020
Zambujeira Do Mar, Portugal
MEO Sudoeste settles into a coastal Portuguese town for a marathon five days of music. The festival brings in a varied array of artists with a strong emphasis on electronic and pop. For festival-goers the fabled Alentejo coast is nearby for swimming and exploration.
Featured Artists: Major Lazer
Photo Credit: MEO Sudoeste
Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Dip your toes into the Atlantic Ocean during three days of partying at the electronic Neopop Festival. Mixing live performances and DJ sets, the Portuguese fest has become a mecca for techno fans across Europe. The tiny coastal town of Viana do Castelo where Neopop lives is filled with the character and history of the region.
Photo Credit: Neopop
Paredes De Coura 2020
Paredes de Coura, Portugal
At over 25 editions, Paredes de Coura Festival is one of the oldest and most popular music festivals in Portugal. Arcade Fire, Pixies, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Coldplay and Morrisey are alumni of this fest that draws in more than 100,000 people each year.
Photo credit Hugo Lima
The BPM Festival Portugal 2020
BPM is one of Europe's largest electronic parties of the fall. This year’s BPM edition will feature a new format for the festival – with parties taking place on the beach each day and night.
Photo Credit: BPM
Nova Batida 2020
The Nova Batida Festival is 3 days of music, art, and culture, in the heart of Lisbon. The carefully curated lineup showcases the entire spectrum of electronic music along with talks, debates, and educational experiences. Lisbon is an incredible city to visit in September, with plenty of amazing rentals, or you can choose to camp at the festival itself.
Photo Credit: Cecile Lopes
ZNA Gathering 2021
August 16-23, 2021
Montargil Lake, Portugal
Far away from the tourists in the cities and beaches of Portugal, psychedelic festies gather at Montargil Lake for the ZNA Gathering. Organized by members of the global trance scene, the mission statement of ZNA is to provide an idyllic place in nature where energy and communication flow in a retro-futuristic way. It's a beautiful venue on a refreshing lake with stages tucked away under shady pine and cork trees.
Photo Credit: Sara Constança