Paredes de Coura Festival turns 30 with a “youthful air” in the line-up and audience

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Age doesn’t seem to weigh on the Paredes de Coura Festival, which at 30 years of age appears with an ever-younger “face”, whether due to its priority focus on emerging bands or the audience that is renewed with each edition.

The 2023 edition kicks off today and runs until Saturday. According to the director, João Carvalho, between 20,000 and 25,000 people are expected each day.

In addition to the line-up, or even regardless of the line-up, festival-goers point to the location of the festival, the Taboão river beach, as the factor that weighed most heavily in their choice of “Paredes”.

“This is the best stage in Portugal, it’s beautiful,” said Cláudio, who along with three friends was resting on the beach grass, recharging his batteries for the concerts.

Some of Cláudio’s group, also made up of Rafael, Luís and Roberto, confessed that they didn’t even know which bands were on the bill.

Having fun, being with the guys, eating barbecues, enjoying the beach and socializing were the group’s priorities.

As for the music, we’ll see about that.

Matilde Ferreira also admitted that she went to the festival “more for the atmosphere, the community spirit and the landscape”.

However, he has his eye on names like Sudan Archives, Jessie Ware and Little Simz.

João Carvalho says that, after 30 years, the festival “has renewed its audience”, as it always bets on “novelty”.

“This is a festival of trends, we always bet on novelty, the public comes to discover. But we don’t just have up-and-coming bands, there are also established bands,” he said.

He stresses that the festival “is good and recommended” and is now “a success story”.

“It’s an internationally respected country festival,” he says.

For João Carvalho, “Paredes is a home for many people”, offering “all the conditions” for a comfortable stay, whether it’s the amphitheater, the beach or camping.

The Paredes de Coura festival was born in 1993 by a group of young people, including the current mayor, Vítor Paulo Pereira, who wanted to “shake up the quietness” of the town.

However, the mayor admits that the festival was born above all “on the back of” the redevelopment of the Taboão river beach.

At the end of the work, he said, “it was just asking for a party or a festival”, because it was “so beautiful and pleasant”.

Vítor Pereira was playing in a band, there were contacts with other bands with whom they had relationships and within a week the first edition’s line-up was finalized.

“Today, the festival is a very important brand for affirming the territory. It’s a business, a factory, it boosts the economy, generates wealth, creates a sense of pride and identity,” the mayor stressed.

As in previous years, Vítor Paulo Pereira will be there at Taboão beach, so as not to miss a moment of the festival, especially the Wilco concert, of which he is a fan.

This year’s line-up includes Jessie Ware, Little Simz and Fever Ray.

There are also names like London post-punk band Dry Cleaning, singer and guitarist Snail Mail, musician Loulé Carner, The Walkmen and Black Midi, Wilco and Explosions in The Sky.

In total, around 50 bands and artists will be performing on three stages.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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