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Country Profile: Portugal

The world’s leading promoters & the 55 top markets they operate in.
Click the interactive map below to explore the top 55 global markets.

Portugal has consistently maintained its standing as a vital destination for international artists – whether it’s a festival slot, a new album tour, or a one-off performance.

Renowned for embracing an eclectic music scene that combines hip-hop, pop, rock, Latin, and Afrobeats, it’s no wonder that Brazil shared its massive Rock in Rio festival with the Portuguese capital Lisbon. As it runs every two years, the 80,000-capacity extravaganza will make its return in 2024 after a 2022 that saw Muse, the Black Eyed Peas, Duran Duran, and Post Malone headline the four-day event.

While key promoters such as Música No Coraçāo, Everything is New, Live Nation-owned Ritmos E Blues, and PEV Entertainment have focused on booking major acts for the country’s thriving festival market, smaller-scale companies such as UGURU specialise in more intimate settings, bringing in artists whose genres range from jazz and the blues to adult contemporary.

“Our biggest success so far has to be the three-date Ludovico Einaudi concerts we held across Lisbon and Porto,” says general manager António Cunha. “We sold out three arenas in July, making it our best-selling event of 2023 so far.”

“We sold out three arenas in July, making it our best-selling event of 2023 so far.”

With the world’s biggest artists performing at stadiums and festivals this year, Cunha admits that it’s been a challenge trying to book more acts to the indoor venues that are his firm’s bread and butter. “We’d like to promote and book more artists, but they mostly want to play at festivals,” he says.

“It’s always been like this over here, though, so we have had to adjust our priorities a little and find the best possible venues to cater for our events.” However, UGURU isn’t completely out of the festival circuit and booked artists such as Makaya McCraven, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Nadine Khouri for Misty Fest — a month-long festival that takes place throughout November.

Additionally, with Portugal registering a record number of foreign visitors in the first half of 2023 (nearly 8.2m foreigners stayed in Portuguese hotels in the period, up from 6.3m a year ago and 7.4m in the first six months of 2019), the live entertainment sector has reaped major benefits.

“Portugal seems to now be a trendy place for tourists, which is great because they have more money to spend than the locals themselves.”

“Portugal seems to now be a trendy place for tourists, which is great because they have more money to spend than the locals themselves,” says Cunha, who adds that the most affected – the Portuguese “middle classes” – are their main clientele. “It’s very difficult to say if everything will be fine again in a few months.”

Meanwhile, beachside summer fiestas such as the Algarve’s 40,000-capacity Rolling Loud (held at Portimāo) continued its hot streak with headliners such as Travis Scott, Playboi Carti, and Meek Mill, while NOS Alive — located near Lisbon at the Algés riverside – and played host to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sam Smith, and Lil Nas X, attracting 55,000 attendees per day. Up north at the picturesque Viana do Castelo, just outside of Porto, renowned techno haven Neopop Festival held an audience of between 5,000 to 8,000 revellers per day.

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