Presentation of the MED Festival

Counting down to the big start day, the complete program of the 19th edition of the MED Festival, which will invade the Historic Area of Loulé from June 29th to July 2nd, was presented yesterday.

After BTL, Cerca do Convento, and Café Calcinha, Cineteatro Loulé was the stage chosen for the final moment of publicizing this year’s lineup, on a night when the organization also wanted to offer an aperitif to the public, with a concert by Guinean Eneida Marta.

Consolidation is the word that will mark the event in 2023, both in terms of spaces, valences, or artistic quality. There will be occasional changes, such as the return of Calcinha and Igreja Matriz as stages, or the relocation of Cinema MED to a new room but, in general, the Autarchy wants to present a “mature” event, launching what will be a great celebration: the turning 20, which marks in 2024.
“We have a MED that is solid and thriving, not only in music which is always that vector that is very communicated, mediated, both Portuguese and foreign names, but in each of the valences, with a very heterogeneous program and curated by many people who give added quality to the programming”, Carlos Carmo, councilor of the Municipality and director of the event, told journalists.

Opening the night, the President of the Municipality, Vítor Aleixo, spoke of the prestige that the event has achieved in almost two decades. “It is also thanks to the MED that Loulé is known in the country”, he said.
“The city is happy to organize this edition of the Festival. We will have the possibility to listen to artists who come from many parts of the world, with their music, their culture, their diversity, everything that makes life beautiful… This is the atmosphere that we intend to create every year in that historic center from the city of Loulé and so far we have succeeded”, he stressed. Regarding the 20 years of the MED, a “round date”, he assured: “we will put all our effort to reinvent ourselves, to do even better than what we usually do”.

Through the voice of the director, Carlos Carmo, was unveiled what will happen on the 12 stages that make up the MED, “not all of them physical structure but areas of action”. There will be 5 main stages and 7 secondary ones, the latter with a smaller dimension “but with equally high quality”.
If music is the main area and the one that stands out the most, the MED Festival is above all “a multicultural experience with a lot of diversity in its offer” where cinema, literature, street arts, gastronomy, or handicrafts also fit.

As already announced a week ago, the emblematic Café Calcinha is once again part of the MED, after its reopening. Afonso Dias will have the responsibility over three days, in two daily moments of about 40 minutes, to present a different musicality, from Zeca Afonso to Jacques Brel, from Carlos do Carmo to the protest song, for example.

There are many partnerships in this MED Festival and in the field of literature there is an important one with the Casa da Cultura de Loulé. It is at its headquarters, the Atlético building located on Rua das Lojas, that João Pedro Caliço “Tápê” invites friends from Portugal and other nationalities to share books and poems in their mother tongues.

MED Jazz reissued in the Cloister of the Convent of Espírito Santo, is yet another partnership, in this case with Mákina de Cena, and which in this edition features three concerts: Miguel Martins “Kaleidoscope”, Fushi and Leon Baldesberger’s Meersalz.

At Casa do Meio, on July 1st, at 6 pm, there will be a debate on “The importance of music festivals for cultural promotion”, a conference that will feature artists, nationally responsible people in the field of culture and programmers, with the aim of involvement of APORFEST – Portuguese Festival Association.

Loulé Design Lab incubators once again take an active part in the decoration of the venue’s spaces, through the “reuse and valorization of waste that are resources, to give beauty to the space”. This was the case last year at Palco Hammam and at Cinema MED, and this year other areas will benefit from the creativity of these designers.

Rui Tendinha, the well-known film critic, is once again the curator of Cinema MED. ”Since he took over the lineup, this valence has had a very different strength and dynamics. We have been bringing many names from cinema but also from music, there is an almost perfect marriage here”. This year, the novelty is the new space, located next to the Art Gallery, with the recreation of a real cinema room where films will be shown and where concerts will take place. But the highlight goes to the presentation of the film by Roger Mor and João Pedro Moreira, “A Viagem do Rei”, with Rui Reininho, on the 2nd of July, at 5 pm, at Cineteatro Louletano, followed by a showcase with the musician.

MED Classic returns this year to your home. The restoration work on the Igreja Matriz de Loulé led to the transfer of concerts to the Igreja de S. Francisco. This 2023, Matriz will once again echo classical music to the delight of the many visitors who insist on attending these shows and appreciating the beauty of this heritage that is a National Monument. The program is in charge of Sérgio Leite, director of the Conservatório de Música de Loulé, and includes three groups: Duo Guirimbadu, Caminus Duo, and Quintetango.

With regard to handicrafts, more than 100 stalls will be spread around the venue, in a commitment to “diversify and reach more and more countries and cultures that are present”. The same goes for gastronomy and Carlos Carmo hinted that, in 2024, there will be news in this area.

Visual arts are once again in the spotlight with the Art Gallery of the Convent of Espírito Santo presenting the exhibition “Corpos Celestes”, by Adriana João, Bruno Silva, Joana da Conceição and José Jesus, curated by David Revés.

In street arts, partnerships are reinforced with Satori, Al-Fanfarre, and also with Almodôvar City Council to present Cante Alentejano, Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
But international folklore will be in force at the MED, within the scope of “a very close work that has been done with Casa da América Latina”, and in this edition, groups from Mexico, Colombia, and Paraguay. For the 20th edition, there is the promise of “inputs in this matter”.

The educational services of the Municipal Library are once again in charge of promoting MED Kids, a space dedicated to the youngest that receives children from 6 to 12 years old daily, for activities related to this spirit of the cultures of the world.

On Open Day, Sunday, July 2, the organization wants to “allow all the people who could not be present in the 3 days, to understand a little about the dynamics and environment of MED”. Without the big concerts, some programming is foreseen, such as the performance of the Coro Conservatório, in Igreja Matriz, Cinema MED in Cineteatro, and some show-cookings of the Mediterranean diet.

Also on this free entry day, the Loulé Jazz program will be presented, the festival organized by the Casa da Cultura for many years, “taking advantage of all the structure that is still in place”.

Cineteatro Louletano once again hosts the opening concert of the MED Festival, on the eve of the venue opening its doors, on June 28, at 9 pm, with the debut in Portugal of the artist from Haiti/United States, Melanie Charles. Festival Ticket holders have free entry.

On the Bicas Velhas Stage, curatorship is by Bóia – Associação Cultural, with an interdisciplinary program “out of the box”. Here will perform Rastafogo (June 29), Meta- (June 30), and a live act with the Brazilians Venga Venga (July 1), a band that will also be on one of the main stages for a DJ set.

An ever-present figure at this festival, “Vagabundo” Nanook takes over Palco Arco for three days, while Amar Guitarra, another presence almost since the genesis of the Festival, returns to liven up Palco Mercado.

On the Main Stages, Cerca, Castelo, Fountain, and Hammam, the artists Amadou&Mariam (Mali), Amaro Freitas (Brazil), AYWA (Morocco/France), BandaAdriatica (Italy), Bandua (Portugal), Bateu Matou (Portugal) will take to the stage. , Bia Ferreira (Brazil), Bulimundo (Cape Verde), Club Makumba (Portugal), Horace Andy (Jamaica), Lavoisier (Portugal), Omar Souleyman (Syria), Onipa (Ghana/UK), Sara Correia (Portugal), Sarah McCoy (USA), Sétima Legião (Portugal), Pedro Mafama (Portugal). Kabaka Pyramid (Jamaica), UDJAT invite Pedro Jóia (Portugal), Balkan Taksim (Romania), Nancy Vieira (Guinea-Bissau), Moonshiners invite Samuel Úria (Portugal), Nicola Conte Umoja feat. Zara McFarlane (Italy/UK), Monda (Portugal), Poil Ueda (Japan/France), La Sra. Tomasa (Spain), Zeca Medeiros (Portugal), DJ Nuno Galopim (Portugal), Jean Christian et le Quator des Rêve Enfouis (Canada/Portugal), Tomoro (Japan), Caamaño&Ameixeiras (Spain), Carpideira (Portugal), Ana Lua Caiano (Russia/Portugal), Miguel Calhaz (Portugal), Marco Martins´Low Profile (Portugal) and Venga Venga DJ Set + Live Act (Brazil).

Sustainability is once again associated with a Festival that is also made of causes and this year MED is committed to fulfilling 7 of the objectives for sustainable development: promoting gender equality (5), decent work and economic growth (8 ), reducing inequalities (10), promoting sustainable cities and communities (11), sustainable production and consumption (12), combating climate change (13) and promoting partnerships for development.

Tickets are on pre-sale, with reduced prices, until the 25th of June: Daily Ticket – €10.00; Festival ticket (pass for the 3 days of the Festival) – €30.00 €; Daily Family Ticket (2 adults and 2 children up to 16 years old) – €35.00.
All information is on the new MED Festival website.
RTP, Antena 1, Antena 2 and Antena 3 are the media partners of Festival MED.

Eneida Marta and Huca brought Africa by night

It is the first confirmation for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the MED Festival, in 2024, and as such it had the honor of giving a concert that night. From Guinea-Bissau to the world and to Loulé, Eneida Marta had a very special audience: 50 Guineans who are part of the municipality’s community and who were invited to join this moment.

“Guinea-Bissau is a country that has a very special relationship with Loulé, as a result of the twinning with the city of Bissora, but also because of the large immigrant community that, with their work, contributes to enriching the county. We want to cultivate these ties with the country”, considered Vitor Aleixo.

A concert aimed mainly at his countrymen but also at lovers of African music. Songs interspersed with words about the country’s socio-economic context and next Sunday’s elections. “They promise and don’t deliver. In my country we are still living with this disease”, he told artists that, like many young Guineans, “he still has hope of seeing a prosperous Guinea-Bissau”.

The stories of people and a nation where, on the streets, poverty still prevails, are portrayed by the voice of one of the most genuine and vibrant African artists in the world music scene.

The multi-award-winning Eneida Marta, who is also a woman of causes, and UNICEF ambassador for Guinea-Bissau, featured in this concert with the special participation of the Mozambican singer, Huca, another “hurricane” of the PALOPS. It was undoubtedly an incredible meeting, experienced in a very special way by the Guineans who were at Cineteatro Louletano tonight. A commission for the MED Festival surprised me by the synergy of the two artists and by the vocal and interpretive capacity of Eneida and Huca.

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