Porto, Portugal is not only a favorite summer destination, but the city of excellent port wine and weather is famous for its music festivals too.
The pleasant weather year-round allows for many music festivals to take place, but most happen during peak season which is from June until September. From Nos Primavera Sound and Film Symphony Orchestra to International Folklore Festival and Wine & Walley Festival, the city keeps locals and visitors entertained at any time of the year.
Over the years Porto music festivals and festivals in the region are becoming more popular when the city sees even more crowds. To know how to navigate the people and the transportation, read our guide on getting around Porto. Then, enjoy the music fully! Whether it’s folklore, jazz or a symphony orchestra, you will find all kinds of festivals in the beautiful coastal town of Porto.
Getting into a concert or a festival would be hard to do with your luggage or even bulky backpacks, so make sure to store your extra gear safely at one a Bounce luggage storage service in Porto.
Carnaval do Porto
Carnaval dates in Portugal change a little each year but they are always the few weeks leading up to Lent. In Porto, for three days the city becomes a celebration of music, dancing, eating, and lots of drinking. In 2022, Carnaval is from February 12th to March 1st in Portugal, but it is the last three days when most of the fun happens.
Carnaval may have been popularized in Brazil, but it is a Portuguese tradition. The Portuguese have a saying, "Life is two days, Carnival is three" because for the last three days before Lent the partying really gets crazy. Night clubs throw special themed parties, live concerts are everywhere, and the celebration flows into the streets with parades, music, and lots of dancing.
In February and March, the weather can be a little cold and rainy in Portugal, but during Carnaval, they turn up the heat. Brazil may have made Carnival a worldly event, but the Portuguese edition is not to be missed.
Porto Interceltic Festival
Look for the Porto Interceltic Festival annually at the end of March. and enjoy one of the best Celtic music festivals in Europe. The Porto Interceltic Music Festival has been bringing together some of Europe's best traditional-music performers since the early 1990s. It is a ten-day celebration of Celtic culture from the music to the food that happens across the city.
Nos Primavera Sound
The Primavera Sound Festival happens in huge cities like Barcelona, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Santiago. But in the small city of Porto, you will find its little cousin the Nos Primavera Sound Festival taking place in June. While the city of Porto may be smaller and a little less known, it is certainly making its mark with festivals like this one.
The great thing about festivals like Primavera Sound is that the lines ups don't change much. Almost all the acts that will be performing in the bigger cities will take the stage in Porto. Nos Primavera Sound will see such international artists as Gorillaz, Tame Impala, Pavement, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, Little Simz, and Grammy Award winner Beck.
Happening the weekend after Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Nos Primavera Sound hits the stage at Parque da Cidade (City Park) from June 9th to 11th. Nos Primavera Sound is one of those festivals that is a great mix of music for a variety of fans. Tickets are available for single-day attendance or for the full event. Any tickets purchased for Nos Primavera Sound 2020 or 2021 are being honored for this year's event.
The music ranges from hip-hop, DJ sets, universal house, contemporary, rap and even Flamenco. King Krule, Jamila Woods, Maria Jose Llergo, Dinosaur Jr., and Interpol, will all be part of the over 40 artists performing throughout the weekend. With such a powerful lineup, Nos Primavera Sound is shaping up to be one of the biggest events of the year.
Serralves em Festa
June is reserved for the Serralves em Festa festival, the largest contemporary art and culture festival in Portugal and one of the largest in Europe. Set in The Fundação Serralves (Serralves Foundation), the festival is a 50 hours long event of non-stop entertainment, from music, dance, theatre, and puppet theatre, to film, video and museum exhibitions.
Both local and international artists gather in Porto for this massive event to celebrate cultural diversity, regardless of identity or nationality. The festival is becoming more popular each year, with a record of 264k visitors in 2019. Everyone is welcome and the best part of it all is that is free to attend. 2022 dates are June 4th to 6th.
The International Folklore Festival City of Porto (Festival Internacional de Folclore Cidade do Porto)
Come July, the city of Porto welcomes tourists from all around the world who rush to attend one of the many festivals. One such big music festival is the International Festival of Folklore, taking place in several locations in the city. The festival brings both local and international participants from four continents to Porto for an exciting event that lasts for four days.
Expect to see participants from Serbia, Peru, Polynesia, Poland, Thailand and more. Besides Folk dance groups and Folk music ensembles showcasing their traditional heritage, there are a few Ethnographic parades and a mass at the Church of Nossa Senhora for the closing evening.
EDP Brisa Beach Party
What started off as an electronic, pop, and hip hop music festival has become an exclusive EDP (electronic dance party) bringing the best DJs to Praia do Aterro in Matosinhos. This is the biggest beach music party in the north of Portugal. The line will feature DJs like Armin van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Mariana BO, and W&W.
Tickets range in price but a VIP tickets get you access to a special lounge area and even an exclusive front stage area. The festival lasts for three days from July 1st to 3rd so make sure you have plenty of sunscreen.
MEO Mares Vivas Festival
After being canceled two years in a row, the MEO Mares Vivas Festival is back! The festival will be taking place at the Rio Douro estuary in Vila Nova de Gaia from July 15th to 17th. The Mares Vivas Festival is not just about music, it is one the most important events taking place in the north of Portugal. The festival is also about heightening awareness of culture, art and sustainability.
The popularity of the festival has attracted some big names in the music industry such as Elton John, Goo Goo Dolls, David Guetta, Billy Idol, and Jamiroquai. This year's lineup will include international stars Bryan Adams, Jessie J, and Anitta. Recently added to the list for the 16th of July, is Colombian singer and actor Maluma, who has a large following in Portugal.
Tickets purchased for the previous two festivals will be honored, which makes finding a ticket a little difficult. All VIP and full event tickets have been sold out but day passes are still available. The festival has been described as an "all-encompassing and an absolute must".
Noites Ritual Rock
Noites Ritual Rock (The Ritual Rock Nights) is a festival that has been going on in Porto for 30 years, with a hiccup due to the pandemic. You won't see any superstars, and you probably won't even recognize a single name, but that is because it is a festival for upcoming local bands. Throughout the month of August concerts and other activities will be held in the gardens of the Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace) artists trying to make a name for themselves. Dates are yet to be finalized.
The festival not only promotes Portuguese music but is also a symbolic signal to the end of the rock festival season within the city of Porto. The festival also puts on workshops and exhibitions of art and photography. The crowd for the events are normally younger but don't let that stop you from enjoying the music. Who knows, you might be listening to the next Amalia Rodrigues or David Carreira.
One hour north of Porto you will find the Portuguese city of Viana do Castelo which will be hosting the 15th edition of the Neopop Festival. Viana do Castelo is often referred to as the 'Capital of Techno' and this electronic music festival lets you embrace the music and surrounding nature.
Taking place in the stunning surroundings of the Forte de Santiago da Barra, you have a chance to listen to a mix of some of the best and up-and-coming DJs in the world. Top mixers like Nina Kraviz, Amelie Lens, Jeff Mills, Honey Dijon, Paco Osuna, and others create a stimulating atmosphere of vibes from August 10th to August 13th.
Paredes da Coura Festival
From August 16th to 20th one of Portugal's most beautiful nature areas becomes home to the Paredes de Coura Music Festival. The festival is one of the most established alternative music festivals and has always attracted some of the greatest alternative artists. Arcade Fire, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Coldplay and Morrisey have all graced the stage here.
This year the Pixies are back to take center stage along with Beach House, The Blaze and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. The festival also provides a stage for new talent like Princess Nokia, Parquetcourts, and Molchatdoma get to showcase their skills. It all happens on the weekend of August 16th to 20th when over 100,000 fans will show up, so make sure you get your tickets in advance.
EDP Vilar de Mouros Music Festival
"For those about to rock, we salute you", and that is exactly what will be happening the weekend of the 25th to 27th of August. Vilar de Mouros is home to one of the biggest and oldest rock music festivals in Portugal. Some iconic bands have played at the festival and this year is no different.
This year the lineup consists of Hoobastank, Bauhaus, Wolfmother, Placebo, Limp Bizkit, and the larger-than-life Iggy Pop. The music festival also supports other fantastic bands just starting out in the rock world. What was once called the "Portuguese Woodstock" has become a loud and fun head-banging experience.
Wine & Music Valley Festival
What goes better with music than some vinho (wine)? Every September (dates not determined) in the Douro Valley is a festival you certainly don't want to miss, the Wine & Music Valley Festival. A celebration of some of the finest wines from one of the oldest wine-growing regions in the world. And while enjoying the wine your ears will delight in the sounds of national and international music artists.
This year the festival will feature performers like Bryan Ferry, Xutos & Pontapes, Mariza, and The Black Mamba. Performances will be spread across three stages including demonstrations on the chef's stage. World-class music, wine, food and a whole host of other activities with surely make this festival a most unforgettable experience.
Planning to stay some more days in Porto?
The fun doesn’t have to stop when the music festivals are over. There are tons of music venues to enjoy live music in Porto, from fado performances in bars and port wine cellars in Ribeira and Vila Nova de Gaia to jazz, electronic and classical concerts in the famous Casa da Música.
And while here, be sure to see more of this beautiful region. Take a hike in Porto or meander through museums. Seeing this region of Portugal is a must no matter why you've come. Explore and visit!
If you're planning to stay longer in Porto, take a look at our other Porto guides for other fun activities!