The World Music Festival 2011 in Sines, Portugal was one of the best music festivals I’ve ever been to! It was a long weekend of camping, dancing, drinking, beaching, more drinking, listening to world music, getting lost, passing out, and waking up to do it all over again. Being back in city life after 4 days of camping is surreal. Hot showers, a nice soft bed, and not sitting on dirt floor are all things that I took for granted prior to the trip. This festival was the grand finale for my first month in Lisbon and it has been a whirlwind. It seems so much has happened! I’ve met amazing friends, eaten delicious food, and experienced some hilarious and exciting things. All in all, it has been an unforgettable first month. Muito Obrigado pra Todos! On to the post!
There were eight of us going to the festival, six in the mini van and two in a car. Nationalities of the occupants? 3 Portuguese, Two Aussies (G’day, G’day), One French woman, Nils the Dutchman, and one Americano/Taiwanese. If you want world peace this is how to do it. In the above photo, we are at the grocery store stocking up on food before heading to Sines. What do you eat at a festival? Noodles! Elliot, one of the Aussies, got kicked out of the grocery store for not wearing a shirt or shoes. Pretty great way to start the weekend.
We drove about two hours and 164 km South of Lisbon to reach Sines. On the way Sara kept blasting Britney Spear’s Hit Me Baby, One More Time, and Oops! I Did it Again and other “classics” from the artist’s first debut album. Let’s just say that all the men in the minivan didn’t think it was so funny. After a few torturous songs the soundtrack switched to random schizophrenic mix made by one of Sara’s previous lovers. At this point we were face deep into bags of chips hoping that the crunching sound of our gnashing teeth would drown out the music in the car. We couldn’t wait to get to Sines. Eventually, Dire Straights got put on and a cheer went up. Onwards to Sines!
We arrived at the camp site ready to scope out the digs and stake our claim. We spent some time wandering around in circles looking for the best spots. Should we go under the trees, near the bathrooms, near the water spouts, near the restaurant?
Eventually, we settled on putting our collective backs to the restaurant and forming a circle of tents. This was a great idea because we wouldn’t get surrounded by other people’s tents and we could easily find our place in the dark whilst drunk out of our minds. Location, location, location.
After settling in, that night we cooked a big dinner for all of us from our supplies. Miguel asked everyone, “what’s the best food at a festival?” We all answered, “NOODLES”. So we ate noodles. With mushroom cream sauce and canned wieners. It was delicious. After the meal our Aussie friend Elliot busted out his miniature travel guitar made by Taylor. He taught us all a song called “G’day, G’day” that pretty much became stuck in all of our heads the whole weekend, despite all the great music around. The song is about being an Aussie: “G’day, G’day, how ya goin? What’ya know? Let’s strike a light…”
Now that dinner was done and the sing along concluded, we walked from the campsite to the castle where all the craziness was happening. On the way, we found a hippie shop selling hippie clothes and sangria. I didn’t buy any hippie clothes but the sangria was one Euro per cup so I pretty much bought several rounds. With drinks in hands we headed off to see our first band of the night, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt & The Divana Ensemble “Desert Slide”, from Rajasthan, India.
Those of you who know me well know that I’m a huge fan of Indian Tabla Drums. This show was amazing to see. This band really illustrated the “World” part of the music festival in Sines. Looking at the lineup there were bands from India, Portugal, Brazil, France, Palestine, Cabo Verde, and Ghana, just to name a few. Check out this interview/video of Vishwa & Company:
Those Tabla Drums!
The show got the crowd really into it and the hippies were going crazy. There was a hippie dancing next to a yogi, and the yogi was spinning round and round so fast and the hippie was whipping his dreadlocks everywhere. Both were having the times of their lives. So were we. By this time we had gotten pretty deep into the sangria. A funny thing happens when you drink sangria: You. Get. Drunk. Period. The End.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Endangered Quadruple Papo was sighted this night. Known to be seen only in certain regions of Bairro Alto, mostly around Erasmus corner, the Quadruple Papo has been discovered here in Sines and faithfully documented for all posterity.
If only I could get a snapshot of the Near-Extinct Dinosaur Papo…
Pretty much the only reaction possible when I showed everyone the picture…I was laughing so hard I can’t believe that this photo isn’t blurry. Notice the empty cup? Yeah. We need another one.
Vishwa ended and we started wandering to the Av. Vasco Da Gama: The Beach Stage. We saw the statue of Vasco overlooking the ocean that he conquered centuries before in the Portuguese Age of Discoveries. Later on, I come back here during the day to photograph this statue again. If you look closely to the right, you can see the Bipolar German “Whatever” Girl. She is sitting above the Benfica graffiti.
The story goes: Elliot the Aussie walks up to her and says “G’day, G’day, how ya goin’?” and she shrugs and says, “whatever” and walks off. Mind you, this wouldn’t be abnormal if they had never met before. But earlier they were making out. The day before she came by the camp site and was super nice to all of us. Now apparently she has flipped. After the initial Whatever Incident, Bipolar German “Whatever” Girl comes by our campsite and asks for some wine. Elliot responds to her previous Whatever Snub with a Rebuttal Whatever Snub:
BPGWG: “Hey guys! What’s up? You think I could have some wine?”
Elliot the Aussie: “Whatever”
Ryan the Aussie: “Haha, Whatever”
BPGWG: *Someone pours her wine*,*Walks off*
Cool story? We thought so. But I digress, we move on to The Beach Stage!
So it looks pretty empty now but it filled up really fast. We took this opportunity to get a really good spot near the stage and set up a rally point near “the second palm tree on the left”. Great nav point, guys. The fog started to settle in and with the lights from the bay it cast a misty glow over the boardwalk. A light rain started to fall but we were undeterred. We will continue to party!
The rain eventually stopped and the crowd filled in. Since we had gotten there before the crowd we were really close to the stage.
So this is the World Music Festival 2011 in Sines, Portugal. The last band I thought I’d see would be a band from my home town of Detroit. They played some funky jazz and got the crowd dancing. After this point it was all a blur and the camera got turned off. Eventually we stumbled back to our tents and passed out.
It was a grey morning and they all wondered how they would fare…Yes, that is a Dispatch lyric. But the Old General didn’t tell us to go home, he told us to go to the beach! The sky reflected our moods: groggy. We piled into our cars and headed off to Alentejo.
Here is where the time-warp happenes: Basically the rest of the day was super cloudy and all my photos were coming out grey and blah…Fast Forward!
What would be a good photoblog post without some sightseeing photos? Sines is a quaint town with a castle and beach. I bet many quaint towns would love to have these things too. Portugal, you don’t know how charming you really are
I told you that I’d come back here and photograph Vasco Da Gama during the day.
It looks much more picturesque during the day where there aren’t drunken revelers around.
It was pretty early in the morning, around 9AM and everyone I was with was still passed out in their tents. I wanted to sleep too but I couldn’t miss this rare opportunity to wander around and take pictures for all of you to see.
Yes, even at this early hour there are still people drinking and dancing on the beach. The DJ was playing house music and you could hear the bass from at least 100 yards away. I felt like I was back in Miami Beach.
I literally did a double-take when I saw this procession of giant plastic swans. I realize two of them are slides but from a distance they looked like swans.
The early morning sun over Sines. After this photo I promptly passed out on the beach and woke up with a sunburn.
Fast Forward again to that night. We are back at the Beach Stage to check out some more bands. What can I say at this point? It was pretty much the same as the other nights, pre-game, wander to the castle, see a band, drink some more, go down to the beach stage, and party until the early hours.
Here I encountered a throng of people trying desperately to kill their drunk munchies with some cheap and greasy food. We found a stand selling quiches and other fried pastry pocket type things. We ate many of them. After the binge eating late at night on fried foods, we somehow made it back to the campsite and passed out. The next morning we headed to Vieirinha Beach in Porto Covo.
This beach is amazing, one of the best I’ve seen in Portugal. This one rivals the Setúbal beaches. There is even a Heineken beach club here that plays chillout/beach house music with lounge chairs and tables. How very Nikki Beach of you.
Actually, I think this place is cooler than Nikki’s in Miami Beach. It’s the location. And the lack of douchey…well…douches. Everyone still wears sunglasses though.
Do you want a caipirinha with that view?
I have to say, the World Music Festival in Sines 2011, (FMM Sines, Festival Músicas do Mundo 2011) was one of the coolest events I’ve ever been to. The people were super nice and the music was eclectic and funky. What makes this festival experience truly unforgettable were the moments partying and hanging out with my Portuguese friends and friends from around the world. You all truly inspire me. So long, Sines!