MED Festival returns with jazz, literature, cinema, exhibitions and more

Loulé will be the capital of World Music from June 29 to July 2, as the event returns with a cultural programme proving «it isn’t just a music festival».

The programme for the 19th edition of the MED Festival was presented last Friday at the iconic Café Calcinha in Loulé. During the event, the organisation announced the numerous other cultural components that make up the programme of the World Music Festival, which go beyond music and partnerships with local associations.

“The MED Festival lives from the international projection it gets, but, as the public entity that organises this festival, the Municipality of Loulé has the responsibility of promoting what is done locally and the excellence of local cultural productions, such as Music, Theatre, Literature and Cinema, among other areas,” said the councilman and director of the Festival, Carlos Carmo.

MED FEST Presentation

Four days, 90 hours of music, 55 concerts, more than 300 musicians and 17 nationalities represented on 12 stages (Four main stages, two small stages and other spaces) make up the 19th edition of the MED Festival, which features increasingly more diversified cultural performances.

After a year with its doors closed, Café Calcinha will once again be part of the MED Festival’s programme as one of its numerous stages. The image of poet António Aleixo at the entrance of this “Historical Coffee Shop” will undoubtedly inspire singer-songwriter Afonso Dias, who will be the resident artist from June 29 to July 1.

On each night, he will perform two 40-minute concerts (at 20h00 and 22h00) featuring different themes and “musical beacons” ranging from Carlos do Carmo’s fado to the timeless French classics by Jacques Brel and Charles Aznavour and songs by Zeca Afonso and Ary dos Santos to an incursion into traditional Portuguese music. For a complete experience, concertgoers will be able to enjoy a special gastronomic menu created by Café Calcinha to be enjoyed during the MED performances.

MED FEST Presentation

Literature has become an essential part of the Festival. In 2023, it returns to the Atlético building, the Casa da Cultura de Loulé headquarters, which will continue to be the venue where words, books and poetry are shared. The evenings will be curated by João Pedro Caliço, “Tápê”, who will invite friends of different nationalities to bring literature from their countries and encourage them to read poetry in their mother tongues, thus contributing to the multicultural wealth of the event.

In the Cloisters of the Convento do Espírito Santo, Mákina de Cena brings the MED Jazz stage to life with performances by Miguel Martins Kaleidoscópio, FUSHI and Leon Baldesberger’s Meersalz.

On rua Vice-Almirante Cândido dos Reis a new venue hosts Cinema MED this year, which will once again feature a combination of music and films. However, the cinematic highlight of the Festival will take place at the Cineteatro Louletano on the “Open Day” (July 2), at 17:00, with a screening of “A Viagem do Rei” by Roger Mor and João Pedro Moreira. The film takes viewers on a journey through the mind of poet and provocateur Rui Reininho, the unmistakable musician who will put on a show after the projection of the film.

Classical music lovers will have the opportunity to listen to performances by Duo Guirimbadu, Caminus Duo and Quintetango, organised by Sérgio Leite, director of Loulé’s Music Conservatory at Loulé’s Igreja Matriz. While on the Open Day, which is free of admission, students of the Conservatory will take the stage as an orchestra and choir ensemble. The classical music concerts are scheduled to start at 19:30, shortly after the venue opens.

The Festival’s commitment to diversity and the integration of new nationalities is revealed in the more than 100 craft stalls scattered throughout the grounds as well as its gastronomic component. “We increasingly want to attract new cultures to our festival, namely through these two aspects,” said director Carlos Carmo.

Visual arts will also be represented as yet another component of the multidisciplinary dimension of the MED. The exhibition “Corpos Celestes” by Adriana João, Bruno Silva, Joana da Conceição and José Jesus, curated by David Revés, will be open to the public at the Convento Espírito Santo’s Art Gallery.

Streets will also be filled with culture with local performers such as Rhakatta, Satori and Al-Fanfarre, and performing acts from South America, in partnership with the Casa da América Latina, who will entertain and interact with the public in Loulé’s historic neighbourhood.

Med Fest 2023

Cante Alentejano and Algarve folklore are other ethnographic expressions that will be performed during this encounter of cultures.

The younger crowds will also have their share of entertainment with MED Kids, which returns to the Igreja Matriz. While parents enjoy the Festival, children will have fun in a lively atmosphere and participate in activities conducted by the municipality’s educational services, accompanied by monitors from the Loulé Library.

Tickets are on pre-sale at reduced prices until June 25:

Daily Ticket – 10,00€

Festival Ticket (pass for the three days of the Festival) – 30,00€ €

Daily Family Ticket (Two adults and two children up to 16 years old) – 35,00€.