‘Açoteias’ festival brings rooftop entertainment to Faro

‘Açoteias’ festival brings rooftop entertainment to Faro

Açoteias are a typically Algarvian type of flat roof

Faro is preparing to host the second edition of ‘Açoteias‘, a festival which will bring a variety of events to around 35 rooftops across the town on July 7 and 8.

The festival is named after a typically Algarvian type of flat roof which were used to dry fruits and fish and collect water from the rain. They can be found across the Algarve, giving many homes their unique regional twist.

Over 130 events are planned, including exhibitions, concerts, theatre and dance performances, DJ sets, talks and much more.

‘Açoteias’ festival brings rooftop entertainment to Faro

The festival will have a pre-launch event on July 6 at 7pm near Praça da Liberdade (Pontinha), which will include a concert by Portuguese band Bateu Matou, known for featuring three drummers.

‘Açoteias’ is organised by Faro Council and the municipal theatre and aims to allow local residents and tourists to “get to know iconic buildings in the town and visit around 35 rooftops that are usually not accessible to the public, thus offering a different perspective of Faro and the opportunity to enjoy various unique initiatives and experiences.”

According to the organisers, the festival is based on “three main pillars”: Culture, by “combining architectural heritage with various artistic performances”; Sustainability, by “promoting the capacity of these spaces to be active agents in energy transition”, such as water retention systems, energy production, or green roofs, making cities cooler; and Community, by recognising the potential of rooftops as spaces for community gatherings, fostering dialogue and intercultural exchange.

To bring the festival to life, the local council worked together with around 15 local associations, public institutions, public and private companies and citizens.

The initiative is also supported by the European Creative Rooftop Network (ECRN), which Faro is a part of along with several other European cities, including Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Antwerp, Chemnitz, Nicosia, Belfast, and Gothenburg.

The first edition of ‘Açoteias’ was held in 2019 and featured 18 rooftops, a number which has nearly doubled for its second edition.

The entertainment programme includes over 130 events, including exhibitions and performances by national and international artists, a live piano-accompanied cine-concert,  sand animation, a music and storytelling show, visits to the tower lookout of the Municipal Museum of Faro (which was once the only place where cloistered nuns could gaze at the outside world), a sunset harp concert by Helena Madeira, and Açoteia Talks, a series of evening conversations on topics related to greener cities.

Events will begin 6pm and run until midnight. Tickets, costing €5 per person per day, can be purchased at the participating rooftops. Admission is free for children up to 12 years old, and some rooftops will have free entry.

By Michael Bruxo

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