For those who have raved and partied in the beautiful and sunny city of Lisbon, they are conscious about its fast-growing electronic music scene. Sustaining this growth, there’s Lisb-ON Jardim Sonoro, a festival that has the city center as main stage and is located on the most iconic park of the portuguese capital, Park Eduardo VII. It’s a party during daytime that lasts for three days, nonstop from 2pm-12am, in an almost secret corner of the garden.
With names like DJ Harvey, Dixon, Tale of Us and Nicolas Jaar on their wall of fame, the fourth edition’s lineup got me excited from the moment it was announced: Sven Väth, Nina Kraviz, Amp Fiddler, Kiasmos and Tony Allen were just some of the artists that I had the pleasure to watch perform from 1-3 of september 2017.
Location: Parque Eduardo VII, Lisbon, Portugal
Timeline: 2pm-12am, during 3 days
Spaces: 2 stages + food and drinks court + lounges + babysitting and kids area
Stages: Red Bull Music Academy Main Stage and Carlsberg Hillside Stage
Arriving at the sound park on the first day of september gave me mixed feelings. I had the responsibility of exploring the area, acknowledge the vibe and be able to describe it. For those who know Lisbon, they are familiarized with the light, easy and happy energy of the city: the buildings are bright, the people are welcoming and there’s so many sightseeing locations that will knock you out of your feet, and this park is not an exception! The tall trees made it almost impossible to realize that I was actually in the middle of the city, the lounge areas and floors covered with grass provided a relaxed mood. There, friends, families, clubbers, youngsters, seniors, couples came together to enjoy a time-out from their almost ending summer anti-routine.
There was a space for everyone to enjoy the party: during daytime, from 2pm to 6pm, I saw families with kids listening to soft house and jazz on the hillside stage, couples holding hands, groups of friends laid down smoking joints; as soon as the sun went down, everyone stood up, the front lines were filled and the vibe got heavier. It was time to dance, and dance…
On Friday all the artists played on the main stage: the festival kicked in with Space Machine, a group of Portuguese ex-participants of Red Bull Music Academy International editions. They played from 2pm and set up the standards for a great mood, with a tech-house set that followed throughout the afternoon. The live act by Kiasmos was a complete knock-out for the crowd: the syntony between Ólafur and Janus contaminated the whole park. Dark blue laser lights gave that minimal piano and string compositions with electronic sounds the necessary stand-out for an incredible performance.
But it was “Papa” Sven who the majority of the people went to see, and that was the act of the night, or of the actual festival. I can say that at that point, the standards were growing. There was a clear excitement among the audience to see one of the main pioneers of the clubbing scene in the world. From 9pm until 1am, Sven Väth created something that I had never experienced before. An hypnosis of music with a perfect set that took me from Berlin to Ibiza and back to the underground dark techno of the German capital. Almost 4 hours of nonstop bliss allied to the unbelievable opportunity of assisting to such a living legend of electronic music allowed that no clubber left the park indifferently.
The daily tickets for Saturday sold out. The jazzy funky vibes created by Amp Fiddler’s brilliant live performance and Tony Allen’s exquisite act softened the electronic scenario and installed a chill mood. Cassy’s house set was delightful, all you could ever ask for on a Saturday sunset, with the temperature around 30ºC and a fresh breeze holding a cold beer on the reusable designed glasses. The ex-resident of Panorama Bar and now resident of Circoloco drove me crazy with her genius music and a constant smile on her face. The star of the night, however, was Nina Kraviz. The frequently called ‘Princess of Techno’ prepared a set dedicated to her tech-house and acid roots with some hits that created a wave of harmony in the crowd. Everybody was dancing, I saw people’s ecstasy smiles, people wearing sunglasses, some of them half-naked, a spirit of togetherness. Like we were all there to have a great time and enjoy the music. After all, Nina’s connection with the audience was what made the difference between her and the other artists I had the pleasure to watch. She makes everyone feel special and unique, an amazing smile followed by her signature gazes to infinity made us trip side by side with one another for almost 4 hours. About the last day of the festival, all I have to say is that the lineup, specially MCDE and DJ Koze, made me dance like no one was watching – and that’s all I needed for a perfect closure of another edition of LISB-ON.
If you plan on going to Lisb-ON Jardim Sonoro Music Festival 2018, I would advise you to be prepared for an urban festival with all kinds of people. Diversity is a key factor for this festival but sometimes it also means that there could be people that do not come for the music but for the status. It is something that can not be avoided but can be dealt with. It’s in the middle of Lisbon and it is reasonably accessible regarding the ticket price, so there’s chances that you could bump into kids, seniors, teens and adults coming from all around the world. Just make sure you surround yourself with the right people and allow yourself to enjoy the hypnotic energy filled with ecstatic melodies and beautiful smiles.