The Porto Blues Fest returns on the 30th and 31st of July to the acoustic shell of the Palácio de Cristal Gardens, in Porto. Free to access, the festival, this year, focuses on the universe of Portuguese bands and a more educational aspect.
After a year of absences, the intention is “to bet on Portuguese bands” with the aim of “supporting Portuguese musicians who have suffered a lot from this pandemic and have been stopped for a long time”. After describing to Lusa the festival’s fourth edition, Adalberto Ribeiro, the festival’s programmer, also mentioned names like Dog Bollocks, who “will present their own originals” and Kikko and the Blues Refugees, a band from Porto that “makes a blues” not very traditional, a blues that crosses the sound and beats a little jazz”, which will be part of the festival’s program.
Budda Power Blues & Maria João will also be present at the festival with “Blues Experience II”, an album described by Adalberto as “a happy marriage that happens between a blues band, perhaps the best national blues band, and the voice of the diva from jazz, a multifaceted singer”.
Not stopping there, join the Portuguese Delta Blues Riders and the North American singer Trudy Lynn, marking herself as a special invitation.
This year, Porto Blues Fest has the Porto Blues Guitar Fest Summit, a project curated by Portuguese guitarist Budda Guedes, in honor of the best Portuguese guitarists. In addition to the curator, João Cabeleira dos Xutos & Pontapés, Frankie Chavez and Vítor Bacalhau will participate.
At the same time, there will be an exhibition of ‘cigar box’ guitars, a vinyl fair and music workshops.
The organization explained to Lusa that the festival intends to “show a little the root of the blues that started in the soul of the people, in the population that arrived in the United States to work in the cotton fields and had no possibility of buying guitars”. As such, the adaptation of the materials available to these blues founders resulted in the creation of guitars in cigarette cases, cigar boxes or oil cans, among other materials.
In terms of teaching, the festival has a partnership with Escola do Porto PG – Guitar Studio, which will include workshops organized by the festival’s musicians and the participation of the school’s best student, in a concert with one of the invited groups.
Taking into account the measures made available by the Directorate-General for Health, the festival has a reception capacity of 250 to 300 people. It will have seating, chairs with a distance of 1.5 meters, a delimited area, mandatory use of a mask and respiratory label, alcohol-based solution dispensers for hand hygiene and signaling of entry and exit circuits for the public.
With the support of the Competitiveness and Internationalization Operational Program COMPETE 2020, and the Porto City Council, through the municipal company Ágora, the festival is part of Warm Up, a cycle of six weekends of music that anticipates the Porto Book Fair.