About This Festival
A Marathon of Cultural Activities
The best time of year to get to know the small Portuguese town of Ãgueda is during the music and arts festival AgitÃgueda, a celebration of local pride that residents and tourists alike can appreciate. Spanning almost the entire month of July, the festival brings live music, DJs, performances, street art, sporting events, and more to the city's streets. Best of all, all of these activities are free.
The municipal government of Ãgueda started the festival in 2006 as part of an extended celebration anchored around the FIFA World Cup in Germany. Since then, it has grown into an annual tradition that inspires civic pride. While the festival features some international musical acts, it's an opportunity to catch a wide variety of Portuguese talent you may not otherwise hear about. And since the concerts are spread out over the course of over three weeks, visitors can pick and choose who they want to see rather than committing to an entire lineup.
The action-packed program has something for everyone: nightlife, street shows, kids activities, and art installations that make the city feel like enchanted wonderland.
Musical Offerings From All Over The Map
Every day of AgitÃgueda features a packed lineup, with live bands playing into the late evening, followed by DJ sets that last into the early morning hours. Past years have featured rock, blues, traditional Portuguese music, hip-hop, reggae, jazz, and more.
The 2016 edition of the festival featured Portuguese singer-songwriters Antonio Zambujo and Ana Moura; British new wave band Gene Loves Jezebel; Grammy-winning reggae band Inner Circle; Portuguese indie rock band Atua; Ãgueda's Jazz Orchestra; Senegalese singer and multi-instrumentalist Cheikh Lo; Portuguese rap group Daelema; and a tribute to Queen by Ãgueda's Conservatory of Music.
Live music programming generally usually starts at 10:30 pm, and most nights also have DJs spinning well into the night. Attendees curious about Portugal's nightlife scenes will have lots to explore, as DJs from all over the country come to play at AgitÃgueda. 2016 alone saw acts like Chinelos Com Vida, a multicultural trio that spins Afrobeat, kuduro, and other types of African dance music; Russian house DJ Olga Ryazanova; NO MAKA, a Portuguese duo that spins house music, hip-hop, trap, and EDM; and Stickup & Sensi, who specializes in moombahton and dancehall. And in addition to all of this, AgitÃgueda's popular silent disco is always going off.
Fun for the Whole Family
Apart from music, there's plenty to see and do throughout the three-plus weeks of AgitÃgueda. Events like a colorful parade called Carnaval Fora D'horas brought out samba musicians and dancers in colorful, feathered outfits inspired by the ones at Brazil's world-famous Carnaval. There's also a "Gathering of Human Statues," where over twenty immobility artists in elaborate costumes stand like living mannequins as amazed passersby walked past. And several circus shows delighted festival-goers of all ages with acrobatics and theatrics.
AgitÃgueda even offers locals and visitors that chance to compete in various sports: a youth basketball tournament, canoe races, obstacle courses, a tennis tournament, hiking, and more.
If you're attending the festival with little ones, they'll enjoy AgitaKIDS, an enormous playground complete with a ball pit, inflatable slides, and bounce houses.
A Public Art Extravaganza
While the term "street art" calls to mind contemporary mural painting, the public art projects at AgitÃgueda range from traditional two-dimensional works on walls to installations that make use of existing structures. One of the most famous pieces from the event is a permanent work from 2012 called the Colored Umbrellas. A lively canopy of neon umbrellas hang above an alleyway to make it appear as if they're floating in mid-air. Photos of the installation, which the production company Sextafeira created, went viral and were featured on prominent art blogs all over the world. "The motto is coloring life, bring color to the gray areas of the city," festival organizers wrote of the installation on AgitÃgueda's website.
Permanent murals from previous years of AgitÃgueda can be found all throughout the city — at the local skatepark, on electrical boxes, and on water towers. While some are purely decorative, others tackle important themes such as preserving the natural world.
Every year, Ãgueda becomes an urban canvas open to infinite possibilities, and, thanks to AgitÃgueda, the small town has become one of Europe's most exciting street art destinations.
From the Organizer
“AgitÁgueda Art Festival” is an initiative of the Municipality of Águeda held annually for 23 days of July, with free admission, offering residents and all visitors a diverse cultural program. Daily concerts, sports competions, urban art, street entertainment, crafts, food and many other surprises are the main reasons that have attracted a number of tourists never seen before – an average of 3000/day. Águeda offers every year a Summer full of light, colour, creativity and imagination. The city streets are filled with thousands of colourful umbrellas and countless urban art installations transforming the streets into authentic open-air art galleries.