Categories
live

Primavera Sound Porto 2024: a preview

PRIMAVERA SOUND PORTO 2023 _ DAY 4 / 10JUN _ © Hugo Lima | hugolima.com | www.fb.me/hugolimaphotography | instagram.com/hugolimaphoto

On Saturday, June 8th 2024 I was supposed to see my 15th Shellac show. Three weeks after Steve Albini’s sudden passing, it’s still hard to imagine we’re not seeing their name on Primavera’s lineup ever again. Shellac is an impossible band to replace, and the organisation knows it well: it was either silence or a celebration, and we got a Shellac Listening Party instead, where their first album in ten years, To All Trains, will be played in its entirety.

In 2024 we also mourn the loss of the Bits stage, which is unavailable for this year’s edition. We lose the clubbing part and a nice shelter from the rain, but there are good news, too. Music starts earlier, with the first shows starting around 16:30, and it stops earlier, too: expect to be home before 3 am. What a dream.

Expect the best food court of any music festival, maybe a little bit of rain, stunning headliner sets by Pulp, Mitski and Lana del Rey, and the greenest the park has been in recent years, as per the festival’s director. Read on to know about our top ten non-headliner sets for this year, and listen to our special Spotify playlist.

Primavera Sound Porto 2024 runs from June 7 to 9 and full festival tickets (plus day tickets for Thursday and Saturday) are still available on the festival’s website. As usual, you can download our printable timetables here (Excel/3-day view) and the mobile PDF version here.

Categories
live

MENT Ljubljana 2024

Los Bitchos. Photo by Tina Stariha (MENT)

Don’t get me wrong, I love all the festivals I made a habit of visiting every year, both in my home and my adopted countries. You know the ones: festivals where 90% of the acts either sing in English, and/or come from the Anglosphere. Just like I’m writing these lines in the current lingua franca instead of my own language so you can understand me. But there was something refreshing about my first trip to MENT Ljubljana, and that had to do with the variety of latitudes and, most importantly, languages and regional traditions you get acquainted with on stage, without any pretence of the whole thing being labeled a world music festival.

Because it isn’t – it is a showcase festival, with mainly 30-40min long shows, aimed at discovering new-ish artists from all over Europe, where you’re surrounded by professionals from the music industry – around 700, according to MENT – but also music lovers from all around the region (7000 across 4 days). Except for the odd loud conversation at one of the shows of the opening night, this was probably the nicest and most polite audience I’ve been surrounded by, and that’s something.

Categories
live

Preview: MENT Ljubljana 2024

Showcase festival MENT Ljubljana‘s tenth edition kicks off next week (21-24 February), and we’re going to be there for the first time. Tipped by industry insiders as one of the best events in Europe to discover new talent, we were drawn to it by the focus on European artists (not exclusively, from all over the Balkans, Central, and Eastern Europe), the iconic venues, and, of course, the charming capital of Slovenia. Labels, collectives and other entities (public radio station Val 202, legendary local label Moonlee, or Belgrade-based tastemakers Hali Gali) curate stages during the two main days of the festival, and are the best way to get a sense of regional scenes. To top it off, this year’s edition boasts an extra segment (and an extra day), CE/MENT, focused on clubbing and electronic music, and features an extensive three-day conference, the largest in the region, with over 120 industry representatives spread by 33 panels.

Our thirteen artists to watch all come from different European countries, and most sing in their native languages. A breath of fresh air from your typical anglocentric festival. (Yes, I’m writing this in English so we can understand each other, I’m aware.) We’ll be posting on our Instagram throughout the festival, so make sure you follow us there, too. MENT Ljubljana 2024 runs from 21 to 24 February, and both day tickets and passes are still available.

We have created a Spotify playlist with our top picks (see below), but the festival was kind enough to put together a playlist with all the artists on your favorite streaming service.

Categories
live

Vodafone Paredes de Coura 2023

Death, taxes, rain at the Vodafone Paredes de Coura festival. This year, it fell in fewer people than usual, though: the festival reported a 80k attendance figure (an average of 20 thousand people per day), as opposed to the usual 100k. The result was a (even more) pleasant experience for everyone: there were virtually no queues (except, of course, for food at peak hour), most grass stayed green for most of the festival, as it should, and shows didn’t feel crowded. It was a difficult festival to book bands for in 2023, according to the festival director, as the only big headliner capable of drawing thousands by themselves was Lorde. On the bright side, there was only one late cancellation, as The Last Dinner Party could not travel to Portugal; MДQUIИД., who had already performed in the first of five official warm up nights at the town centre, took their place in the lineup.

The next edition of the festival – which already has five “incredible” confirmed bookings, although it will take a few months until they’re announced – will take place from 14-17 August 2024.

Categories
live

Vodafone Paredes de Coura 2023: our picks

© Hugo Lima | fb.me/hugolimaphotography | hugolima.com

Well, it’s that time of the year again. First things first. Let’s start with what 99% of the people want from us every single summer: our printable blocky timetable, which you can download below, in a variety of formats:

PDF | PDF mobile, wed/thu | PDF mobile, fri/sat | XLS

And, while you dream about the current weather predictions actually happening…

…keep reading to find out about our top 10 picks for this year’s festival, as always mostly focused on the smaller names of the lineup. And scroll to the bottom for a Spotify playlist featuring not only the artists featured below, but also acts like Dry Cleaning, Jessie Ware, THUS LOVE, or Crack Cloud.