The Guadiana International Music Festival celebrated its sixth successful year over three days in mid-October. This multicultural, multi-musical festival takes place on the banks of the Guadiana River in Alcoutim each year. Run by a team of hardworking volunteers, the festival is financially and logistically supported by Alcoutim town hall.
The festival has gone from strength to strength over the past six years. The 2018 festival, which took place over the weekend of October 19-21, saw performers from the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Spain and Holland as well as local artists, playing to capacity audiences each night in a marquee on the riverfront and at the Tá-se Bem Beach Bar on the final day. The music ranged from fado, rock, blues, flamenco to Irish and folk.
The festival is the brainchild of Paul Doody, a music-loving Irishman who, like many of the foreigners living in the area, arrived by yacht many years ago. Paul sees this eclectic music festival as a way for the yachting community and other foreigners living in the area to give something back to the local community, as a thank you for the welcome and support they have shown them over the years.
Paul’s vision for the festival is shared by a team of volunteers and by Rogério Jacob, a local businessman and owner of the Tá-se Bem Beach Bar, who works tirelessly in the background each year, recruiting new acts and providing catering and a venue for more intimate acoustic performances.
This year, for the first time, the festival used crowd funding to help cover some basic costs, such as the music licence.
With the final notes of the 2018 festival still in their ears, Paul and his team have already started to think ahead to 2019. In the next few weeks, work will begin to seek sponsorship for next year’s event and to raise the money needed to help this festival to grow and flourish, so that the expat inhabitants of this stretch of the Guadiana River can once again use their musical, organisational and communication talents to bring this festival to the people of Alcoutim and to showcase our adopted home to the many visitors we attract to the festival each year.
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Photo: The ‘Dream Team’: Paul Doody and Rogerio Jacob (Tá-se Bem Beach Club), founders of the Guadiana International Music Festival and the driving force over the past six years
By MARTINA TYRRELL
Photo by: ROGER LEE