This weekend, Portugal’s Super Bock Super Rock will be taking over the city of Lisbon for another year, and it’s set to be quite the event. Hosting the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, London Grammar, Future and Deftones - as well as loads and loads more - the Portuguese weekender is set to be as memorable as it is eclectic.
To gear up for the fest itself, DIY spoke to Super Bock Super Rock’s Head of Booking, Vanessa Careta to discover just what has gone into putting together this year’s line-up, and how things are feeling ahead of the event, in the calm before the storm…
Hello! How’re things going in the run up to the festival?
Things are looking pretty great. Festival passes are sold out. Only some day tickets left for the 14th and 15th July, so we’re expecting a great turn out. All the structures are already being put together, and field team is just finalising some details in the production to have everything ready for the doors to open on the 13th July.
What’re the first few steps when it comes to planning Super Bock Super Rock? When did you first begin work on this year’s edition of the festival?
The first steps happen a couple of months before the festival; deciding on the dates and starting the conversations about the bands for the next edition. Then it’s also important to do a revision after the festival of what were our best successes and what needs to be improved for next year.
How did you come to choose this year’s headliners?
There’s a lot that goes on into the process and it goes well beyond choosing, but we are always after trying to strike a good balance. We always want to have a mix of the new scene with the talents that have been here for some time and that we consider timeless, and this is what you see this year in the festival.
Is it important to get a real balance of genres and artists when you’re booking the line-up?
Yes, there is definitely the concern of keeping the festival diverse and multiple on its offer. There are many reasons for this. From the fact that we have day tickets that make more than half of the sales, especially since we returned to Lisbon. We also have multiple stages within the festival, with some even happening at the same time, so we want to give different choices and the experience of having more than one festival to choose from. And it does seem that there is more and more diverse taste. The idea that people only listen to one genre of music seems to be a false one, especially now that the access to music and to diverse styles is so easy. And with the evolution of so many genres that are pushing the barriers of their genres and mixing different things together.
Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year’s festival? Who would you recommend most?
It’s hard to choose. We have quite a mix of proven champions like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deftones, Fatboy Slim that have a legion of fans here in Portugal that are definitely going to bring everything to the show and a slew of first timers here in Portugal that should also cause a stir. Future, London Grammar, James Vincent McMorrow, Pusha T, Seu Jorge playing the Life Aquatic songs for the first time. I’m not going to be able to watch one show from start to end so I can choose many to take bites from [them all].
Other than these renowned names, I’d recommend checking the smaller stages for some serious Portuguese talent. Portuguese music is going through a real rich moment. In terms of quantity of new acts and the quality of the music they are creating and its richness in the mix of genres. There are some larger acts like Capitão Fausto, and The Legendary Tigerman and Moullinex and Xinobi who are already selling out larger venues in Portugal. There’s also Língua Franca, this incredible hip hop super project with Emicida, Rael, Valete and Capicua. Gigantic MCs from Portugal and Brasil. Some newer acts that are already thriving are Throes + The Shine and Octa Push. Two amazing bands that are mixing african rythms with genres like more stoner rock (Throes + The Shine) or electronic music ( OctaPush) and Alexander Search, a new project from Salvador Sobral (who just turned Eurovision on its head) and the pianist Júlio Resende that takes the name of this heteronym of Fernando Pessoa and gives some of his poems a new voice
Why is Lisbon such a special place to host a festival? What are music fans like out in Portugal?
From the easy going afternoons drinking a beer at a terrace by the river, to the surprise of having music and other arts expression in every corner you turn, to the amazing light that bathes the whole city, Lisbon pretty much has it all and the city seems to be renewing its relationship with this incredible gem of a city that it is. Getting out and showing off more. Super Bock Super Rock has moved around quite a lot along its history, but returned to Lisbon for all the above reasons three years ago. It made sense especially with this site, in Parque das Nações, that has such a particular beauty in this mix of modern architecture and the closeness to the river.
The music fans here are quite warm and loud. They want to be part of the show and that just adds to the magic of it all.
Do you have any ideas about next year’s festival yet?!
We’re working on some ideas already, yes, but I’ll have to hold those scoops for next time.
Super Bock Super Rock takes places in Lisbon, Portugal from 13th to 15th July. F or more information, head to the festival’s website.