Maré de Agosto Festival

A few weeks ago, Henry, a buddy of mine from Azores (a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean), told me about a festival that would be taking place on his island. I asked him if he would be so nice as to write a post about it for M Dash, and a few threats and embarrassing negatives later (okay, not really XP), he agreed. So here is Henry’s post with a few videos of the festival added =3

Two weeks ago, the 25th Maré de Agosto festival of world music took place in the island of Santa Maria, Azores. The name comes from the potent tides that usually hit the island around this time, (Maré de Agosto being portuguese for “Tide of August”). This music festival focuses on the different music styles and cultures from the world, however, the DJ’s sound pretty much all the same.

This year Reggae, Rock, Trance, Hip Hop, Folk, Dance, Celtic Rock, Percussion and African sounds could be heard in Praia Formosa (the island’s most popular bay) in the 4 days of the festival, which had its 25th anniversary this year, and if you ask me, it was well planned.

Two stages were set for this festival: The Main Stage, where two main concerts took place until 2:30 am,~when the next concert would take place in the Castle Stage, leaving the main DJ on the Main Stage. Also, activities such as percussion workshops, concerts and shows would take place in the Castle stage from 3 pm until 7.

So, usually everybody goes camping around the bay, either in the camping park (which got full by the first day) or in the surrounding fields. By the second day there was no place to leave a cooler at. Due to bad camping experiences last year, I begged my cousin (wub youz :3) to save me a seat on my aunt’s Nissan.

So, everyday I had a ride to Praia Formosa at 10 pm and a ride back home around 5 am, and stood by the main stage through the whole festival. The first day was cool. The festival was opened in the 20th of August at 10:30 pm by the local scout’s percussion band, BEY JÁ’ TUM (love you ^^). With only one band acting, the Portuguese WOK, the night was reserved to the french DJ Click. Best DJ I’ve seen.

In the 21st, the night started with Lura, a cape verdean singer, and was succeeded by Wolfstone, who I didn’t see, though I completely sorry being on the beach during that concert since it sounded fucking amazing. I returned later and the DJ turned out to be a total piece of crap.

The third day was amazing. Starting with the Cuban Kumar’s Hip Hop (whose band had an extremely hot singer), the show went on with the British band Fiction Plane, who threw one of the best concerts of the festival. For some fucking reason I only remember the last song from that concert, and I usually got drunk in the break between the second concert and the DJ. Stupid memory of mine. >_>

The last day was marked by Warsaw Village Band from Poland, whose concert was hit by a brutal shower, which caused everyone to open their parasols, run to the WC or shelter under the entrance. I picked the latter, and boy was it crowded. All I could move was my head, but fortunately I could reach my friend’s straw and drink his RedBull (]:D). Next came the reggae of Gentleman, from Germany, who gave us one hell of a show as well, specially when he went into the middle of the crowd (I wanted to jump high and scream, but had a beer cup on each hand. Fucked luck >_>).

This edition of Maré the Agosto was by far the most crowded one. A friend of mine who came from another island had to wait 3 hours for a ticket. I could barely move inside the main stage and going to the bar to get some beer and come back was a pain in the ass during the concerts, specially after you drink some of it. That’s why I always bought two beers at a time, since the first would end before I’d find my friends. Also, if anyone had a seizure outside the area, it would probably die, since most of the ambulances were parked at the festival. Same works for firefighters. Parking on the area was also terrible, and once we even had to hitch-hike to get to our car. Huge drug-smelling dogs intimidated everyone, specially those who hid their weed in sensible spots. At least we could drink safely. Amazingly, it rained scarcely, in the final day, which is something uncommon since it seems to ALWAYS rain during festivals and fairs. It’s frustrating.

Overall, this was the best festival ever for me. Great music, lots of fun, all my friends, amazing beach and light hangovers. What do you need more?

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