Europe is blessed with a booming electronic music scene whose sub-genres are just as vast as its people. Now condense that richness of sound into a quaint seaside town near Porto, Portugal and you have Neopop. After a two year break, the docks of Viana do Castelo transformed into the “capital of techno” from 10 – 13 August. The festival’s return was extra special this year as 2022 marks Neopop’s 15th anniversary. As a celebration of rave culture, it did not disappoint.
Neopop is a charmingly intimate festival that packs a punch. When you first enter its grounds, it’s impossible not to be struck by the captivating scenery. The festival sits by the water, between a 16th century castle and a shipping dock. A couple who met at Neopop even held their wedding nuptials on the sunny festival grounds this year. The historic-meets-industrial backdrop made every evening that much more magical and escapist.
Neopop is a lesson in the art of live music. Its pulsing light effects only elevated Neopop’s lively lineup. The festival’s first headliner was Peggy Gou whose magnetic hold on the crowd was palpable. Cobblestone Jazz was another first night standout playing a refreshing blend of improv Jazz with complimentary electro beats. Other festival highlights include electronic DJ and Beyoncé collaborator Honey Dijon, techno legend Jeff Mills who ignited crowds until the early hours, and DJ Solomun whose infectious set and light production were spectacular.
Neopop’s international crowd and harmonious atmosphere had festival goers dancing non-stop from sunset to sunrise, a much-needed catharsis after so long without live music events. For a satiating taste of beating music and joyful vibes, Neopop is a summer must-see for all music lovers.
words. Shama Nasinde