On Friday the 23rd and Saturday the 24th of September 2022, the third edition of the MADEIRA ART FEST took place at Quinta Magnólia, an iconic location in Funchal (Madeira, Portugal). Over the course of the 2 day event, more than 30 different artists exhibited their work around the gardens of the venue, including various plastic artists, visual arts, literature, crafts and video / cinema. On stage, bands and performing artists, including drag queens, a puppet show and a fashion show, also gave the public over 12 hours of entertainment!
ARTISTS: Luísa Jardim, Frederico de Abreu, Michael Reynolds, Marion Loch, Rodrigo Costa, Tela Sonora, Ricardo Andrade, Estimei, Barro Crú, Assunção Varela, 7a Dimensão, Ângelo Sousa, Dead Academy, Filmoteca das Ilhas, Tatiana Teixeira, Machicurtas, Nuno Berenguer, Sara Pereira Tavares, Elas Arte & Restauro, Fernfield Crafts, Fernanda Correia, Jose Zyberchema, Coletivo Arte Sem Nome, D.S.E.A, Summy Shoes, Cajó, Pereira Rodrigues, Pascal Gangloff, João Brás & Krille Krokodil.
DAY 1 – FRIDAY 23rd SEPTEMBER
As announced, the first day set off at 2PM with the artists set up and ready to show their work, strategically placed in the gardens of Quinta Magnólia, around the main grassy area of the venue where the stage was placed. Throughout the afternoon, video was shown on the LED wall screen offset to the left of the stage, showing an assortment of visual arts, documentaries and short films.
At 6PM the music kicked off on stage with the first performance by SUMMY CANNIBAL, lyrical story telling with various personal messages sang over self-made backing tracks made up Summy’s alternative / electronic music set. He also took part in the festival with a video showcasing his work in the fashion world with the project, Summy Shoes.
SIXX & RAWR
The second act on stage was of the two up and coming rap / hip-hop artists SIXX & RAWR. The duo gave the public a taste of their lyrical talent, backed by the tracks produced by PRODTHOMAS. The performance showed the pair’s stage presence and chemistry which was later complemented after they invited their friends and fellow performers, CORVO & DUBOX on stage to collaborate with a few tracks.
DREAMING OF A LANDSCAPE
Getting into the late afternoon, and kicking off the more rock oriented part of the day, the five-piece alternative hard rock / post-rock outfit, DREAMING OF A LANDSCAPE filled the air with their melodic soundwaves, taking the audience on a journey through their multi-genre infused rock, brought together by Madalena Melim’s clean singing and Diomar Rocha’s switch between clean and guttural voices.
Next up, the rising musician and producer Carlo Rodrigues took to the stage with his hard rock / pop-rock project, KROD. Fronted by the amazing vocal talents of Lee Jones and supported by violinist Gustavo Martins, the group gave their all with an energetic performance ranging from a more comercial sound through to their heavier influences and ending the show with all out metal riffage.
UNP Music artists MERCIC took on the responsibility of not only being the heaviest band of the night, but also the first non-local act of the festival. They took the stage by storm with their heavy electronic / industrial metal. Their set was comprised of tracks both old and new with a choice of calmer tracks intertwined with their more aggressive side, taking the audience on a roller coaster ride of heavy riffs and industrial carnage.
JESSIE LA’HORE & LA AURA [DRAG QUEENS]
The first drag queen show of this year’s festival was the next on stage. Taken on by JESSIE LA’HORE and LA AURA, who gave the audience an emotional and theatrical performance, expressing their talents and taking their stance in defining drag as a performative art in Madeira, which is unfortunately, still very under appreciated.
For the final show of the day, another UNP Music artist, ALEJANDRO LOPES together with his live band, brought the energy of their powerful indie / alternative hard rock to the stage. Heavy tunes, rocking riffs, power ballads and a surprise vocal performance by Alejandro’s wife, Tetiana Strykhar, finished off the day on a high note and left the bar set for the second day of the event.
DAY 2 – SATURDAY 24th SEPTEMBER
The second day of the festival set off at the same time as day 1, with the artists set up with only a couple of minor alterations in their placement around the venue. The video LED wall started on time, providing the afternoon entertainment for all those present. The weather held out and made for a calm and relaxed atmosphere before the days performances started on stage.
AHAU MARIONETAS [PUPPET SHOW]
At 5PM the first act set off, with AHAU MARIONETAS taking to the stage, a non traditional puppet show using spoken recordings over backing tracks together with live guitarist, Bruno Lucas (TIN CAN MAN) supporting and complementing the show. Their performance told an emotional and educational story of discovering friendships from all walks of life and that the most supportive can sometimes come from the most unexpected places or people, thus strengthening the importance of never judging by appearances. Their act attracted dozens of children and parents to the front of the stage providing a family friendly session for the afternoon.
ESTIMEI [FASHION SHOW]
Focusing on the upcycling and re-use of worn clothing, ESTIMEI, who also had a stall within the venue, put on a short fashion show to present their collection of menswear repurposed into women’s clothing, proving that upcycling can be a viable and sustainable option to create new and fashionable pieces.
CORVO & DUBOX
Another rap / hip-hop duo started the days musical performances, this time with CORVO and DUBOX showcasing their lyrical prowess and on-stage chemistry. As with the first days rap performance, they were supported with PRODTHOMAS‘s backing beats nexand also invited the first days performers, SIXX and RAWR for another round of collaborative tracks.
TIN CAN MAN
Next up was one-man alternative / progressive rock project, TIN CAN MAN created by Bruno Lucas. With well composed and atmospheric backing tracks together with his technical mastery of the guitar, Lucas took the audience on a journey through electronic, progressive and post-rock soundscapes and set the foundations for the rest of the nights rock and metal acts.
Melodic death metal masters and UNP Music artists, KARNAK SETI were next in line for the nights entertainment. With a set list composed of tracks from their latest EP and others well known to their local fans, the quartet brought on an onslaught of their fast-paced and heavy riffage infused with their signature melodies and powerful compositions.
MISS ALICE [DRAG QUEEN]
Maintaining the standard of inclusivity and defining drag as a performative art, MISS ALICE took the stage by storm with an energetic and in-your-face performance keeping the public in high spirits as they cheered on and danced along.
Melodic heavy metal veterans, OUTER SKIN were the penultimate band of the night. Fronted by Duarte Santos with his powerful and almost operatic voice, the four-piece band performed some of their classic songs released throughout their career, as well as debuting their brand new power ballad as a pleasant surprise for the audience.
DEBBIE BOOH [DRAG QUEEN]
The final drag queen performance of the event was taken on by DEBBIE BOOH, who provided yet another fierce and energetic performance that got the spectators singing and dancing along, proving once again the value and appreciation given to the artists from the general public.
Closing the second day and ending the festival on a high note, was the second non-local act, MALABOOS. The four-piece alternative rock band from mainland Portugal, provided a non-stop barrage of their progressive riffs, melodies and drum beats in a journey through their latest album which they are currently promoting.
In all, the festival managed to showcase a wide range of artists from various styles and areas of expertise. The selection of bands and performing arts also proved the variety of talent that exists on the Atlantic island of Madeira. The venue itself proved to be an excellent choice, with the surrounding gardens and general setup creating a calm and relaxed atmosphere for festival goers and passers by alike. The weather also held out beautifully throughout both days of the event and there was no shortage of food and drinks that were provided by three stalls, BANANAS PUB with the traditional poncha and a selection of cocktails and soft beverages, the local craft beer brewery ALMIRANTE DO ATLÂNTICO with their beers, soft beverages and home made food and SABORES DE A-Z providing beers, soft beverages and ready made sandwiches. The sound, lights and stage crew AM SOM also did an amazing job, complementing all acts perfectly and providing the best possible service for the event. The festival as a whole, was relaxed and inviting and provided 2 days of amazing entertainment, wonderful people to meet and a new perspective on the Madeiran art and culture scene and surely left all who were present, looking forward to future editions.