27 Jun 2018 1913
Sandra Nobre {storyteller} Short Stories

The Lisbon festival season is upon us

Music, dust, heat, fun. With summer come the festivals and with them everyone’s music idols. Rock in Rio has already opened for business but it's not over yet (June 29 and 30). Next up are NOS Alive (12 to 14 July) and Super Bock Super Rock (19 to 21 July) and that’s only in Greater Lisbon. As Bruno Mars would say: "Today I don't feel like doing anything/ I just wanna lay in my bed” (Lazy Song). Follow the music, but come prepared . ..


There are no sit-down places and even fewer feet or legs that can stand so many hours jumping and dancing to the music if the shoes are not comfortable. A pair of trainers is de rigueur, preferably already worn-in so you don’t make it even harder on your feet. 


The gates of any festival open in broad daylight, so you have to protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays. Did you know that coloured lenses have different functions? Green ones are more suitable for those who are long-sighted, while brown ones are better for short-sightedness, in other words, for people who have problems with seeing at distance. Blue ones emphasize contrast which makes looking at a screen less wearing, while brown lenses filter light and are ideal for driving. Black ones reduce glare and are good for outdoor activities, while yellow lenses are good for sunrise and sunset or on a foggy day. Polarized lenses have an extra layer of protection, reduce the impact of light and make images sharper and more comfortable on the eyes. Otherwise, it's a matter of style. Old school, aviator, rectangular and round frames are all cool at the moment. And, the day after any festival, shades are essential to disguise the effects of the previous night !!


If there is one kiss that can be deadly, it is from the sun, and at festivals it’s good to be wary of intentions. There is no need to stop using sunblock just because you are moving from one stage to the next, and spending more time surrounded by crowds or leaning against a bar. It should be applied on exposed areas - face, ears, neck, hands, feet (if you like wearing flip flops) and legs - and topped up every couple of hours. The SPF (Solar Protection Factor) on the label tells you how well the product will protect you from UVB radiation. Although it differs from one person to another, the best thing is to go for factor 50, because no one likes a truck-driver’s arms the next day. 


The sun, again, this time without the fuss - let's enjoy the moment! If you have to wear one, do it in style, whether it’s a cap, a sun hat or anything in between. For women, head scarves are back to show off your best side, so you can always wrap your hair in a headband or kerchief with knots and bows and tips - all very 90s. They all have the advantage of showing off the latest in festival hair fashion: coloured bands, braids, pony tails with a twist (anywhere on the head) or top knots. Anything goes !!


The best way to get to any of the festivals is by public transport; that way you don’t waste time trying to park, you are free to have a drink and you reduce your carbon footprint. If you travel in Lisbon, it is worth having a look at the metro stations themselves - authentic art galleries designed by some of the most renowned Portuguese artists. And on event days, the Lisbon underground, buses and trains are extending their operating hours to make it easier for festival-goers to get around. 


Besides the major festivals, there are other sounds to liven up the summer season. In Lisbon every Sunday until 30 September, Somersby Out of Jazz brings jazz, electronic music, funk, hip-hop and soul to the gardens at the Torre de Belém, Parque Keil do Amaral in Monsanto, Parque Eduardo VII, Jardim da Estrela and Jardim do Campo Grande.

Always early evenings with free admission. Cascais is the stage for EDP Cool Jazz (11, 15, 17, 18, 20, 26, 28 and 31 July), with performances by David Byrne, Gregory Porter, Jessie Ware, Van Morrison, Norah Jones and Portuguese musicians Sara Tavares, Dead Combo and Salvador Sobral. Tickets from €25 to €70.

August is the month for Jazz at the Gulbenkian, this year dedicating its whole cycle to a single musician: American composer John Zorn. The capital will be hosting a whole bunch of big names with different approaches to his work. Tickets from €5 to €20. 


Fatigue at festivals and liquid abuse mean you need to up your sugar levels, if only figuratively, so how about a dip in a pool of ... marshmallows! The Sweet Art Museum is located in Marvila, a paradise of candy filled with unicorns, hanging clouds and gums - a pink universe smelling of candy, yours to explore until the end of August, when the exhibition heads off for other destinations. Suitable for adults and children from 3 years up. Tickets €20.

Rua José Domingos Barreiros, 2F, Armazém 5, Lisboa 
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays


Detox. Relax. Breathe. In a Lisbon garden every Sunday, as advertised on social networks, the body and mind align in communion with nature. Each session has different theme - from silence to detachment, from individuality to gratitude. Sara Guedes de Sousa and Filipa Meireles are the women behind the No Teu Jardim project which is based on breathing exercises and will teach you how to relax and make your meditation less complicated. At the end there is a healthy breakfast. Each participant pays a €5 contribution.


Between festival days, it’s best to soak your feet, literally - at The Spa at PortoBay Liberdade, a Nourishing Foot Treatment will work miracles. For 30 minutes, give yourself an aromatic bath of warm water with geranium, sandalwood and patchouli essential oils, with a salt and coffee exfoliation to soften and moisturise. Fast and effective.

Tel.  +351 210 015 740
Rua Rosa Araújo, 8


Portugal is on everybody’s lips at the moment, but whatever the festival or concert, whether you’re alone or in company, it’s important to record the moment, so bring on the selfies, Facebook posts or some Instagram poses to share the festival spirit here with everyone. And make every minute special and memorable. One day, you'll enjoy revisiting these moments.

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