Named artists include: Kabaka Pyramid (Jamaica), UDJAT and Pedro Jóia (Portugal), Balkan Taksim (Romania), Nancy Vieira (Guinea-Bissau), Moonshiners and Samuel Úria (Portugal), Nicola Conte & The Spiritual Galaxy feat (Italy), Zara McFarlane (Italy/UK), Monda (Portugal), Poil Ueda (Japan/France), La Sra. Tomasa (Spain), Zeca Medeiros (Portugal), Jean Christian et le Quator des Rêve Enfouis (Canada/Portugal), Tomoro (Japan), Caemaño&Ameixeiras (Spain), Carpideira (Portugal), Svetlana Bakushina Quartero Fusão (Russia/Portugal), Miguel Calhaz (Portugal), Marco Martins’ Low Profile (Portugal), and Venga Venga DJ Set + Live Act (Brazil).
These artists will join the names already announced back in March, at Lisbon’s Bolsa de Turismo, totalling 35 artists that are known as of now who will perform in Loulé old town between the 29th of June and the 2nd of July.
From latitudes so distant geographically like Jamaica or Japan, nations at war like Syria, or the ever-present PALOPs like Guinea-Bissau, MED is again putting their stake in multiculturality and the “musical elasticity” of the world’s sounds, showcasing in many cases bands with some history or with recent projects. Truthfully, if it wasn’t for events such as this dedicated to the world music niche, these projects would find it hard to enter the Portuguese mainstream.
Of the new names announced, one of the highlights goes to reggae: from the home country of this style, Kabaka Pyramid, Grammy winners in 2022 for Best Reggae Album, are spreading as one of the biggest names to join the MED roster. They’ll be another confirmed reggae artist alongside the fellow Jamaican Horace Andy, who was announced on the 1st list of artists.
Lusophony is once against in the focus, and Guinean Nancy Vieira will be one of the representatives of this linguistic universe. The singer was supposed to have performed in 2022 but at the time was infected with COVID-19, which led to the cancellation of the concert.
The spotlight also goes to new partnerships and joint concerts, like UDJAT joining guitarist Pedro Jóia on stage, or the Moonshiners, who’ll be doing a special concert alongside Samuel Úria.
It isn’t the first time Japanese projects are featured at MED, but this year Japan will be in double dose with the Tomoro band and the debut of Poil Ueda. The latter is expected to be a surprising spectacle as it comprises of an improbable meeting of the French rock/contemporary band PoiL and Benoit Lecomte (bassist for the band Ni) and the traditional Japanese music singer/satsuma-biwa player Junko Ueda.
Omar Souleyman, a legend of Syrian music, who’s been living in Turkey since 2011 after war broke out in her home country, who’s been on the big stage at Rock in Rio and who’s now coming to Loulé, will be making an electronic adaptation of traditional music.
These are names who will be acting on the 4 main stages of the festival – Matriz, Cerca, Castelo and Chafariz, but also the Hammam Stage (next to the Islamic baths). Meanwhile, the total stage count will be 12, “not necessarily physical structures but performance spots, with few itinerants,” the director of the event and member of Loulé council, Carlos Carmo, explained.
During the presentation, the organiser emphasized the “cultural and musical diversity as the great wealth of the MED Festival,” but also the fact that it’s “an experience for who comes,” not just in terms of ambience and public space but also “through the elasticity that MED offers in musical terms. Today we can see just that, diverse musical genres from various points on the globe, but with a common trait: a great musical quality and a roster that is on another level to those of the previous years.”
In 2024, the MED Festival celebrates two decades of existence and Carlos Carmo guarantees that work is already being done for this landmark edition so as to make it even more special, with more care put into it, and with lots of new features and surprises.