The beautiful Embaixada commercial centre is home to Sunday nights Fado concert

Fado club launches morning brunch, adapts to pandemic lockdown

A Fado club in Portugal has adapted under the pandemic and to the new COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, launching Brunch Fado mornings to show that passion for the melancholic Portuguese folk music tradition is “still alive,” local newspaper Observador reported.

The Fado brunch starts at 6.30 am at the Clube de Fado in the Alfama neighbourhood of the Portuguese capital Lisbon, and ends at 12.30 pm, just in time for the lockdown at 1pm. Money from the tickets goes to União Audiovisual, an informal collective helping workers from the audiovisual industry affected by the pandemic.

“The idea arose from the need to say that we are alive, to show that fado is alive but that, like other cultural activities, it needs everyone’s help,” Nuno Fernandes, director of the Fado & Food Group, which includes historic Fado houses like Adega Machado, Café Luso or Clube de Fado, told Observador.

Tickets are 15 euros and include a bruch and several concerts by Fado stars like Pedro Moutinho, Ângelo Freire, Ana Sofia Varela or Rodrigo Costa Félix.

“The reaction was extraordinary, the attendance list grows hourly, either for those who are part of the universe of these fado houses, or for others who are joining. It was, without a doubt, a spontaneous movement ”, Fernandes said.

The idea of the Fado Brunch is to show that culture is safe and that fado houses will be able to overcome the crisis.

“We want people to feel safe coming back, to feel free to discover or rediscover fado”, Fernandes went on, according to Observador.

He also emphasised financial losses due to the pandemic, saying fado houses had seen losses of one million euros in the first ten months. He also assured that all health and safety rules defined by the General Directorate of Health (DGS) would be in place.