28 June 2023

Meo Kalorama is the festival marrying Lisbon’s rich culture with music’s most iconic names

Blur, The Prodigy and Aphex Twin are all set to take to the stage at the event this year.

Festival season is well and truly underway. By now, you’ve probably secured your summer fits, bought enough sunscreen to last a lifetime, and curated your pre-festival playlists. And while you’ve most likely meticulously planned your festival itinerary months in advance, there’s never any harm in adding one more spontaneous event to your summer schedule. Well, Meo Kalorama is set to take place in Lisbon this August and not only features some of the biggest names in music but also showcases the strength of community that shapes the city’s intersection between culture, art and sustainability.

Meo Kalorama recently announced that Britpop icons Blur will be headlining the first night of the three-day festival in Portugal, taking to the mainstage alongside acts such as The Prodigy, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, M83, Metronomy and more. The event will also see Lil Silva, Aphex Twin, and Shygirl, while native talent will also be highlighted with appearances from Portuguese stars, including Dino D’Santiago, Pongo, Selma Uamusse and Scúru Fitchádu, just to name a few. Meanwhile, José González will play his classic debut album Veneer in full as a celebration of its 20th anniversary. And if electronic music is your thing, then the festival’s new Panorama stage will probably be where you’ll spend most of your hours; with the stage being the first to open and last to close, it’ll be a non-stop rave.

As previously mentioned, Meo Kalorama is so much more than just a music festival. A key aspect of this year’s event is ‘WE ARE KALORAMA – 7 people, 7 hills, 7 stories’. Inspired by the seven hills of Lisbon, the festival will showcase what it means to live in Lisbon in the modern day – highlighting both locals and foreigners, visual artists, ceramists, tattooists, skaters and more who find inspiration in the Portuguese capital’s beauty. 

As a result, seven short films have been produced by those who reside in the city and will be available to view on the festival’s social media channels in the coming weeks. The films feature a variety of stories from individuals from all walks of life, including professional dancer Carlota, Ukrainian tattoo artist Sasha, and French ceramist Cécile Mestelan. Meanwhile, the founding partner of Livraria da Travessa, Rui Campos, the skaters who founded the women’s magazine Betesga Skate Magazine, English painter Helen Butler and the Batukadeiras Orchestra of Portugal will also have their unique stories told. 

This year, the festival’s Art Project will also be returning with installations that will not only be adorning the stages but will also be dotted around the grounds as part of a collaboration with Underdog (a street art gallery and platform in Lisbon) as well as Lisbon Art. 

Sustainability also takes centre stage, with Meo Kalorama recently receiving the prestigious B Corp certificate. The festival has invested in more artists from the local area to perform, provided designated spaces for deaf people to enjoy the music, and introduced genderless toilets. Other contributions include the donation of food and tickets to disadvantaged people and ensuring that 0% of waste ends up in a landfill. 

So, if you’re looking for a festival overseas that includes iconic names and will also thrust you into the local culture and community, Meo Kalorama is set to be an event to remember. 

Day tickets and three-day passes are available to purchase here. Camping, bungalows and Glamping are all available as accommodation options for the festival.

  • Writer Chris Saunders
  • Banner Image Credit Meo Kalorama

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