In July, Viseu is the great stage of ethnography and folklore of Europe

Europeade Viseu 2018 is held from 25 to 29 July

The year that Viseu is declared “European City of Folklore”, the city receives the largest, most important and most historical European event of ethnography and folklore: the EUROPEADE.

The event has around 5400 registered participants: 203 groups, from 24 European countries. For 5 days, these will occupy the city’s squares, streets and gardens, creating a real living showcase of the diversity and cultural richness of European traditions.

The event caught on throughout Viseu, and among the groups of the region who responded to the challenge, making it the region with the greatest representation in the Festival. Of the 25 Portuguese groups registered, 16 are “Children of the Land”

From the rest of Europe, 40 groups from Spain, 22 from Germany, 18 from France, 15 from Belgium, 13 from Latvia, 12 from Estonia and Finland, 10 from Italy, 8 from Hungary, 3 from Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, Cyprus and Poland, 2 from the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia, and a group representing Ireland, Russia, Bulgaria, Luxembourg and Austria are participating.

According to the Mayor of Viseu, Almeida Henriques, “Viseu is determined to revitalize and enhance its traditions and popular culture. This central investment in a development strategy for culture and heritage distinguishes us. The strong participation of the identities of Viseu in the project and in the festival is the best sign of the opportunity of this investment.”

For 5 days, Viseu will be dressed up with the colours of Europe and will have several spaces and venues ready to welcome all those who come to the Garden City to participate in the EUROPEADE or to experience the festive environment and the sharing associated with the event.

Over the course of these days, the “Fórum EUROPEADE” will be set up in the Park Aquilino Ribeiro, which will be the heart of festival events, a place for the presenting several European cities and folk “market”, with crafts, workshops and international gastronomic options.

At the Mercado 2 de Maio the flavours of the region are on display. A Praça de Alimentação [Food Square] will be set up on both existing floors, with a dozen local food operators. Choices will be varied and adapted to the event, harmonizing street food with local cuisine. There will also be an area for drinks, where Dão wine will have its place.

“We want those who visit us to feel at home and to take a happy experience back to their countries. EUROPEADE is a golden opportunity to promote Viseu as a cultural touristic destination. We will do everything to take advantage of this opportunity”, emphasises Jorge Sobrado, Councillor for culture and tourism of the Municipality.

EUROPEADE programming promises great manifestations of European folklore diversity, thousands of participants, as well as hundreds of performances that will be spread throughout the city.

On the first night, the 25th of July, we welcome thousands of visitors just arriving at the city-garden with two shows, which will take place in the Adro da Sé. This will be an evening of great prominence for the traditions and sounds of the Beira region.

Ora Vem Comigo[Come with me] by Ana Bento and Sónia Barbosa, is the name of the show that will start this Noite de Boas-Vindas,[Welcome Evening] at 10 pm, with stories from the traditional Portuguese imagination.

Then, it’s time for Moullinex to go on stage. The musician from Viseu will present the musical project “Eletrofolk” created specifically for the “European City of Folklore” to the public for the first time. Traditional Portuguese music is the basis and the inspiration for this project that was created working hand in hand with the language of electronic music.

“We wanted to involve the artistic community of Viseu and of the country in the event and, more than that, in the reinterpretation and activation of traditional heritage. This renewal is indispensable”, emphasizes Almeida Henriques.

The project #VISEUFOLK also extends the challenge of artistic appreciation to other artists in the areas of contemporary dance (through a project of Lugar Presente and the dance company Companhia de Dança Paulo Ribeiro) and fashion. In this area, the initiative has the signature of Katty Xiomara, and will translate into creating an urban fashion line inspired by the folklore and iconography of Viseu. The project will be presented this Friday, at Oporto.

“We are bringing folklore to the 21st century, giving it new expressions, uses and languages. Preserving traditions also implies building bridges between the old and the contemporary”, argues Jorge Sobrado.

The EUROPEADE festival has two large-scale events at the Municipal Stadium of Fontelo: the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. With more than 5500 people in the audience, this will be one of the most intense moments of performing and sharing of the enrolled groups, with the unified participation of the 16 groups from VISEU in the joint dance “Encadeia”, a theme of folklore of this region, especially prepared for this occasion, by invitation of the Municipality. It is also in the closing ceremony that Viseu will symbolically deliver the flag of the EUROPEADE to the city that will host the 56th edition of the Festival: Frankenberg (Germany).

Also in the Parque do Fontelo one of the most anticipated moments of the festival begins: the EUROPEADE Parade. In a route of around 2 kilometres, passing through the Historical Centre, all the participating groups take part in this parade full of vibrant colours.

The Choir Concert will take place on Friday, July 27th, at the Parque Aquilino Ribeiro. All attention will turn to the voices and the traditional songs of each country.

During these days, the Historical Center will be transformed into an “Europeade Village“, and on several streets and squares 10 (Un)likely Stages will spring up in which more than 150 daily performances will occur. All registered groups will have the opportunity to present themselves to the public here, with their dances and traditional songs.

Children also have an important place in the EUROPEADE. There are several moments dedicated exclusively to young people, particularly the Children’s Groups Concert, which will be held on Friday, 27th, in the Parque Aquilino Ribeiro, the Children’s Ball, which will take place on the same day by 7:30 pm, in the Rossio and the joint presentation by all the children participating in Europeade Viseu 2018 of the traditional dance of our folklore “Doba Dobadoira Doba”, especially prepared by the Municipality of Viseu for the closing ceremony.

Beyond the previewed performances and shows, there is a place for moments of cultural and international interaction. One example is the “Baile EUROPEADE” [EUROPEADE Ball], the festive encounter between groups and participants. In Viseu, this will take place on Saturday, at 9 pm, in the Adro da Sé [churchyard of the Cathedral].

Additionally, “EUROPEADE By Night” reflects the most informal aspect of the meeting. On Thursday and Friday participants will dance for the night through at the Mercado 2 de Maio, at the Parque Aquilino Ribeiro, in the Praça D. Duarte and in the Parque Urbano de Santiago. On Saturday, the night of the event has a special program, in one of the most emblematic night spots in the city: the discotheque The Day After. Under the theme “Let’s Dance”, and incorporated into the Folklore Festival program, the discotheque The Day After reopens for a night with 5 dance floors, 9 bars and an outdoor terrace.

On Sunday morning, the “Serviço Ecuménico [Ecumenical Service], which will gather together participants from various doctrines in a ceremony that will be held at the Sé de Viseu [Cathedral of Viseu].

From the 25th to 29th July, sharing and celebrating the cultural diversity of European traditions is the catchphrase. This movement will circulate through the region, in municipalities such as Nelas, Castro-Daire, Mangualde or São Pedro do Sul. In the afternoon of the 27th and during the night of July 29th, the municipality of Viseu extends the performances of some groups to these municipalities, in an initiative that intends to take the “EUROPEADE out of Doors”.

The organisation of the event relies on the registration of more than 360 volunteers, of 16 different nationalities, which will have an essential role in contacting and monitoring the groups participating and their interaction with the city and the program.

Also the schools of the region will be important spaces for the event, as well as the Centro Pastoral, Pousada da Juventude and the Seminário Maior de Viseu. Nineteen schools guarantee accommodation for all groups signed up.

The EUROPEADE Folk Festival Viseu 2018 is an initiative of the non-profit Association EUROPEADE, organised in partnership with the city of Viseu. Partners organising the event are the VISEU MARCA, the Associação Comercial do Distrito de Viseu, Super Bock and Coca-Cola.

Altice is the official sponsor for telecommunications of the Europeade.

This is the 55th Edition of the festival, created in 1964, in Antwerp, with the aim of safeguarding and promoting Intangible European Cultural Heritage.