Festival Sudoeste TMN 2010: Rated!

Zambujeira do Mar, Portugal - 4-8 AugustLuanna Francis and Craig Carty check out Festival Sudoeste TMN and come back completely blown away!

Festival Sudoeste TMN 2010: Rated!

Photographer: Luanna FrancisLuanna Francis on 12 August 2010

Overall - 10/10

With the expensive price tag of festivals nowadays you wouldn’t think it would be possible to give a festival full marks, but sat in the heart of the South west coast of Portugal you’ll find the Sudoeste Festival.

Close to the picturesque beach town of Zambujeira do Mar, Sudoeste is setting the bench march of modern day festivals, providing a whole hearted “peoples” festival, with fantastic value for money, 80€ for a five-day ticket which includes camping and parking, and most importantly of all, quality music!

13 years in the making and the 2010 edition is proving to be the most successful yet, attracting a sell out crowd and boasting some of music’s biggest, booming and best artists around. The main stage (Palco TMN) features the likes of Jamiroquai and Mika, the second stage (Palco Planeta Sudoeste) is a perfect mix up of Europe’s up and coming, and at midnight this arena turns into the Groovebox, where the dance worlds alternative DJ’s take over the stage until sunrise.

There is also a reggae stage (Sapo Positive Vibes) where you can see artists like The Wailers playing to a massive following from around the world.

To experience a festival like this takes you back to where festivals first began, and there is a general feeling amongst all that together you’ve found something very special.

Getting there and back  - 10/10

You can fly to either Faro or Lisbon, and there are regular bus services that will get you to the festival grounds from the airports. It's one hour 50 minutes from Faro or two hours 40 minutes from Lisbon.

The festival organisers also provide a free bus service which takes you on a 2km drive from the festival grounds into the town of Zambujeira do Mar for shopping, eating and beach activities.

The site - 10/10

The festival grounds are just what you’d hope for with plenty of bars, eateries and refreshments, and all very reasonably priced. The festival organisation runs like clockwork and there are efficient queues throughout the grounds - a welcome relief at any busy festival.

Sudoeste prides itself on being eco-friendly so no glass is allowed onto the site and cans are restricted to the camping areas only. To encourage people to recycle, there is been a designated recycling area where used plastic cups and bottles can be exchanged for drinks and gift vouchers, which makes for a tidy site and very happy festival-goers.
There are also the traditional fair rides, and for the more adventurous there’s an area for rock climbing and abseiling, which thankfully comes with full safety ropes and harness!

A major bonus to the festival grounds is a fresh water lake, where you can swim or join in with organised water sports. This is definitely the place to hang out throughout the day and the local radio station are there on hand to keep you musically satisfied whilst you spend your days lazing in the sun.

But one of the quirkiest additions to the festival is a ‘Flirt Zone’; here you can meet other festival hopefuls looking for love, complete with speed dating tables, and it’s all surprisingly popular.

Atmosphere - 10/10

The vibe all around the festival is so chilled but with a constant buzz around the place. With smiles all round it’s obvious that everyone knows they were part of something special, and they were making the most of every minute of it. The festival is trouble free, and with a crowd of 75% Portuguese, it’s clear to see that this nation know how to enjoy themselves.

Music - 9/10

Full marks go to the organisers for a fantastic and diverse line up, there are amazing sets from the likes of Friendly Fires, Colbie Caillat, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Steel Pulse, 2ManyDJs, Mike Patton’s Mundo Cane and local Portuguese artists Carminho and Expensive Soul. There is also an eccentric set from The Flaming Lips with some psychedelic instrumentals which leaves the crowd a little bemused at times. They project lead singer Wayne Coyne’s head onto a 30ft screen above the stage, which keeps things slightly trippy throughout their gig.

Sugababes are disappointing though, they aren’t giving it their all and the general feeling around the festival is that they are a bit of a odd booking.


We see many mind blowing performances, but it is London electronic duo Groove Armada (9/10) that kick off the first night’s festivities with an electrifying set. They set the crowd alight with their electro beats, a definite crowd pleaser.

One performer that pushes the bar for excellence is Mika (10/10). He explodes onto the stage with his electric energy that spreads across the crowd like wildfire, his whimsical stage performance is mesmerising and he definitely has the crowd under his spell. At one point an inflatable high-healed leg is bounced into the crowd. He is a true showman and he wanted everyone to be part of his show.

Jamiroquai (10/10) never fail to deliver an amazing show, the passion in Jay Kay’s performance is fantastic to see, and with a perfect mix of old and new songs, he takes the crowd on a journey only he could, leaving them wanting more.

Warwickshire’s finest, James Morrison (9/10) puts on a great show, the crowd are in awe of him and the response is massive when he plays ‘Broken Strings’, making a few thousand extra fans after his performance.

The closing night of the festival and there isn’t a better choice to send us off with a bang than David Guetta (10/10). He plays the last set of the evening to hungry crowd of 40,000, they want more and he certainly delivers, giving them exactly what they want. He produces a set that makes your hair stand on end and brought the crowd together in one voice, football-esque style, chanting “David Guetta”. What a way to end the festival, and he definitely set the festival up to be one remembered for a long time. Without a doubt tFestival Sudoeste TMN is “must do” festival for 2011.

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