Thousands of people are expected at the 22nd Meo Southwest Festival that will warm up the days and nights in Zambujeira do Mar (Odemira), starting Wednesday, despite falling temperatures.
Since Sunday they arrive in groups, alone or with their parents who travel hundreds of kilometers to leave the children, anxious for their mini vacations, in the Alentejo coast.
“We are on vacation and we stop here in the Southwest to leave our son, 17, who joined a group of friends who came earlier to reserve the space,” says Carlos Batista, of Guimarães, moments after saying goodbye to son who makes his debut in festivals.
With an anxious air, at the door of the grounds, at the White House Hermitage in Zambujeira do Mar, Odemira (Beja), Inês Inácio, 16, looks for her companions who had traveled from Faro days before to guarantee “the best place “to set up camp.
“I’m coming now and I’ve brought the tent with me, lots of water, canned goods, some changes of clothes, comfortable shoes and the rest is to hope it goes well,” says the young Algarve.
At his side, the father, Sérgio Inácio, who took the trip to get to know the region better, feels confident because the daughter “is integrated into a group of friends and colleagues who have known each other for some time.”
Campaigned since Sunday at the Herdade da Casa Branca, João Palma, 21, and a friend from Leiria, repeat the festival for the fifth time, not only for the musical experience, but mainly for the conviviality.
“It’s not just about the concerts, but meeting new people, participating in activities and going to the canal and to the beach is always an adventure and for us both is still bigger”, says the young student of computer engineering, who identifies changes “for best “in the campers’ camp.
“The communal kitchen, the restricted camping areas, the mobile phone charging and the constant animation” are some of the cases pointed out by the young man, who fights the heat of the days in the channel or the beach of Zambujeira do Mar.
At a festival, where the average age is low, there are those who get caught in the middle of the festival. Towel in hand, bathing suit and shorts, Filomena Henriques, from Lisbon, came, for the first time, to the Southwest to celebrate the 70th anniversary.
“My family wanted me to have a big party, but one day I saw the Southwest announcement and decided to do something that I never did, let alone when I’m 70 and still feel physically and head-on.” says.
She has packed her husband with her husband and since Sunday, the couple, together for 13 years, have shared the camping with “the miudagem”, which, he says, are “excellent” neighbors and with whom he hopes to celebrate on Thursday the birthday.
With temperatures forecast to decrease over the next few days, the venue prepares to warm the days and nights of the thousands of young people who are challenged every year for a musical adventure.
For Sílvia Braga, from the artistic direction of Música no Coração, promoter, the poster is thought of the new generations, who, in the end, are the target audience of the festival.
“The big highlight goes to Shawn Mendes, the pop artist of the moment and the online streaming champion, J. Balvin, who is going to be a debut in Portugal, Jason Derulo, a North American artist who is performing for the first time in our country, and the famous rapper Lil Pump, whose day is the most sought after in terms of box office, “he says.
“Since the first day that music, activities, workshops and curatorships have not stopped in the venue with numerous proposals and this year we wanted to give a great prominence also to Portuguese music, because the new generations are very attached to the projects national “, he emphasizes.
After the festival received around 200,000 people in 2017, the organization estimates that the number of festival festivities will be surpassed until Sunday.