Ask most people what comes to mind when thinking of music festivals and the answers are likely to be similar: big name bands, big stages and a vast open space (be it field, beach or forest). While that sort of experience is obviously great, that's not the only form a music festival can, or should, take.
It's important to recognise and celebrate some of the smaller festivals that aren't always able to shout as loudly as those with bigger budgets and grander set-ups. Festivals that have their own unique charm, and portray exactly what is so great about the huge diversity in music festivals across the globe.
Next up in our series of lesser-known gems is the captivatingly creative Festival Forte, held in the Coimbra district of Portugal.
What is the festival's ethos?
Unbounded artistic creativity is central to what Festival Forte stands for, and this is materialised not just in the musical programming, but also in the visual installations and performance art pieces on display across the four day event.
What kind of music am I going to hear?
Underground electronic music at its most undiluted and unapologetic, from the 'conventional' sounds of techno, to more experimental club music and boundary-pushing production.
Who's on the lineup?
One of the world's most exciting DJs Helena Hauff brings her techno/electro hybrid to the festival this year. She is joined by hugely respected DJ, producer and selector Lena Willikens, as well as a favourite of UK's experimental club scene in Mumdance, and purveyor of unrelenting techno I Hate Models, among others. See the full lineup below.
Where is the festival set?
As the festival's name suggests, proceedings are housed in a historic fort. Castelo de Montemor-o-Velho is actually older than the country of Portugal itself, and its imposing stone walls provide the perfect backdrop for the festival. In some cases quite literally, with visual mapping and projection transforming the fort into an artistic centrepiece of the whole artistic affair.
What kind of people am I going to find here?
Passionate and engaged fans of electronic music and art. Everyone is naturally there for the same reason, to have a good time. But they are also willing to explore new sounds and enjoy new experiences.
Book tickets, accommodation and extras for Festival Forte here.
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