The popular floating footbridge over the Guadiana River will not be set up this year

Alcoutim Contraband Festival goes digital due to pandemic

Alcoutim Council has confirmed that the Contraband Festival has been “reinvented this year” and will take place between November 10 and 15 with a new digital format.

In a bid to avoid large gatherings at a time when Portugal is trying to keep its Covid-19 situation under control, the event will be held ‘online’.

The sad news is that there will be no floating footbridge over the Guadiana River, which is usually set up especially for the event and allows people to walk over the Guadiana River between Alcoutim and its Spanish neighbouring town of Sanlúcar de Guadiana.

The festival’s vibrant street markets and entertainment have also been cancelled.

The bulk of the event’s festivities, which will range from the online screening of films and documentaries to art exhibitions, will be shared online on its Facebook page. Local, national and international artists are expected to unveil new “works of art” in the town, the local council said.

For those who might not know, the event aims to take Alcoutim back to the times when contraband was key to survival in these communities.

However, the idea of the event is not to glorify illegal activity but instead to demonstrate how life was so hard for local communities that late-night smuggling was seen as an opportunity for a better life and future.