Land that once gave potatoes and vegetables consecrated Rock in Rio Febras today

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The agricultural land that once served to grow potatoes and vegetables is today the stage of Rock in Rio Febras and fun space for four thousand festival-goers, in the quiet parish of Briteiros São Salvador, in the municipality of Guimarães.

The curiosity, the publicity and the dimension that the small festival reached after the controversy with Rock in Rio Lisboa, due to the name, surprised Fernanda Oliveira, who gives part of the land, where, at 20:30, there are hundreds of people listening to a Dj, expecting the organization that the peak of the capacity will be reached from 21:00. The festival will take place “until the GNR arrives”.

The now retired woman, who lives next to the enclosure, explained to Lusa agency that the land, bathed on one side by the small river Febras, was once used to grow potatoes and vegetables, showing pride in the festival, which was embraced by the entire local community as a common design.

Throughout the afternoon, the parking lots filled up as festival-goers arrived. In groups, in families, with young people and children.

Outside the enclosure, on one side of the street merchandising is sold, on the other is the Casa do Povo de Briteiros, headquarters of the organization, and where the media has the right to a room with all the conditions to work.

At the entrance to the Parque Fluvial de Briteiros, a billboard with a map of Europe and a red wheel signaling the quiet parish of Briteiros, which reads: “Rock Festival that takes place near the Febras River” and “The Festival with them in place”.

Entry to the venue is made after exchanging free online passes for a wristband and a search carried out by elements of a private security company. In the space is visible the presence of military GNR, an ambulance and firefighters with first aid equipment.

In addition to being able to enjoy the various local bands and DJs, who will be performing throughout the afternoon and evening, festival-goers can eat and drink at the various points of sale in the enclosure, charge their cell phones, but there are also those who take the opportunity to take a dip in the small river beach (outside the enclosure) or even cut their hair.

“Today I’ve already cut five [hairs], but there are always people passing by and asking to reserve a spot,” Pedro Cunha, who has a barbershop in the neighboring village of Taipas, tells Lusa, and who decided to place a ‘spot’ at the festival also for publicity.

Turning to food and drink, a “febra no pão”, bifana or vegetable bifana costs €3.5, bread with chorizo €3 and caldo verde €2. The small fino costs €1.5, the large €3, juices cost €1.5 and for a bottle of water you pay €1.

All the work done in this festival that “breathes rock, solidarity and joy” is carried out by about 80 volunteers and the proceeds go to social causes related to the local Casa do Povo.

At one of the stone tables and benches next to the Febras River is the couple José Teixeira and Maria Luísa, 71 and 67 years old, accompanied by their grandson Guilherme, 13 years old, who lives in Figueira da Foz, but who is on vacation with his grandparents in the neighboring town of São João de Ponte.

They tell us that it was the “curiosity” aroused by the controversy with Rock in Rio Lisboa that made them go to the festival, considering that “it was even good” that it happened, otherwise it would not have reached the dimension it did.

“It was also a bit of arrogance from those Rock in Rio Lisboa people,” José Teixeira said.

The couple believes that, from this year on, Rock in Rio Febras will never be the same, as it will have the attention and interest of other bands, recalling that the organization had to turn down bands that offered to play this year.

As for the future name of the festival, which is not yet closed, grandson Guilherme suggests to the organization “Roquim Rio Febras”.

Sitting on the grass are Raquel Almeida, Vera Andrade and Rita Silva, aged 46, 42 and 44, all from Guimarães. The three friends are also of the opinion that Rock in Rio Febras, from this year’s edition, will have more attention and interest. Last year, during the first edition, about 1,500 people attended.

As for the organization, they consider that everything is very well organized, underlining another aspect that caught their attention: the different age groups present at the festival. From older people to children.

Raquel, Vera and Rita say they will be “enjoying” the Rock in Rio Febras festival “until the GNR arrive”.

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