There's every chance you won't have heard of it, but VillaMix is kind of a big deal. Having hosted a series of events across their home country of Brazil, the festival brought the party to Europe for the first time in 2018 with a debut edition in Lisbon.
Now, with the organisers preparing for a triumphant return to the Portuguese capital in September, we've decided to give you the lowdown on why you should know about VillaMix.
Header photo: Alisson Demetrio
This being a music festival, you might expect that the lineup of performers is central to VillaMix identity (and you'd be correct). At their core, every single one of the events is about celebrating Brazilian (and Portuguese language) talent, regardless of genre.
That means international dance music stars and modern pop favourites sit on the lineup alongside proponents of more traditional Brazilian sounds, from sertanejo with its roots in Brazil's countryside in the early 20th century, to the Afro-Carribean inspired axé of the Bahia region.
While the names might not ring too many bells to those outside Brazil, or Portuguese-speaking countries, the lineups regularly showcase the biggest acts from their respective scenes.
The Online Presence
This being 2019, we inevitably find ourselves using social media followers as a measure of success. But when the numbers stack up in this manner it's a pretty clear indicator of how big a deal this festival is.
Admittedly, being in the world's fifth-most populous country certainly helps when it comes to posting impressive figures, but nonetheless, there's no denying these numbers – more than 1.1 million subscribers on YouTube, and around 50 videos that have over one million views, over 500k likes on Facebook, and nearly 750k Instagram followers.
The World Record
Back in 2015, the festival cemented their place in the record books – quite literally – when the organisers embarked on a mission to construct the biggest ever stage rig for a music concert, at their Goiânia edition.
Comprised of 628 tons of equipment – including over 1000 square metres of LED screens – and put together by 1500 people, the imposing backdrop to the festival's main stage measured nearly 2800 square metres and stood 52.34 metres in height, surpassing the previous record which was held by rock icons U2 (no strangers to an elaborate stage setup).
The impressive feat was also the first time that a world record had been attempted in the Brazilian state of Goiás, putting it on the Guinness Book of World Records map. The festival have since broken their own record again, with a mammoth stage set up the 2017 edition of the Goiânia event (below).
The size of VillaMix is not just limited to the enormous stages, crowds, or online fanbase. Part of what has made the brand so popular across Brazil is the sheer number of events spread across the country.
While the Lisbon debut last year might have the first VillaMix event outside of Brazil, up to that point there had been editions in more than 20 cities, each bringing the same commitment to showcasing Brazilian talent and putting on a spectacular show, wherever they went.
Between now and the end of 2019, in addition to the Lisbon edition on 13-14 September, there will also be VillaMix festivals in Uberaba, Palmas, Salvador and Fortaleza.
VillaMix Lisboa 2019 takes place on 13-14 September at Altice Arena.