August has arrived and so has MEO Sudoeste, the much-anticipated week-long music festival held in Odemira, not far from the southern edge of Portugal (but still out of the way of the Algarve tourist rush). The festival provides music-lovers with the opportunity to camp out as part of the experience, and you can choose from a number of vendors who will provide everything you need to build your own outdoor oasis — from car camping to tent rental and even a pop-up hotel. Sounds fun, eh?
Schedule-wise, from August 3-6th, attendees who choose to head down early can catch an assortment of three DJ sets each day (including a “campers welcome night” on the 6th), but the lineup really blows up on Wednesday, August 7th and carries into the weekend. Headliners include Post Malone, Anitta, Russ, and Steve Aoki, making for an electronic, trap and Brazilian-vibe-heavy few days in the sun, and they’ll be accompanied by about three dozen of their peers on four stages. To help you navigate the weekend, we’ve taken a deep dive into the lineup to identify the best of the best as well as some hidden gems.
If you don’t already have tickets, grab ‘em here. Road triiiiiip!
WEDNESDAY, 7 AUGUST
18h, Santa Casa Stage
Twenty-two-year-old Mynda is a rapper from Cava da Moura who uses her talents to speak truth to power about the endless bullshit that comes with being a female rapper in a mercilessly male-dominated scene. Mynda is leading her own revolution, and I suggest you join her.
18h40, LG by Mega Hits Stage
Macaia’s roots are in gospel music, having gotten his start in a church choir. He now dabbles in neo-soul and hip-hop, coming up via collaborations with some of the tuga scene’s most established rappers and producers, and is finding his groove on his own. Peep the posi message (and adorable story) in the video below and try not to be on this guy’s side.
19h20, Santa Casa Stage
Omg, Favela LaCroix! What a fantastic surprise to find in this lineup. Miss Favela is a Brazillian drag icon who most recently collaborated with party collective I Love Baile Funk and DJ duo No Maka (who will also come together to play a set on August 7th) to create #SEXTOU, a veritable masterpiece that celebrates everyone’s favorite day of the week. Don’t miss this unique performance!
21h, MEO Stage
The former vocalist of legendary Lisbon-born afro-electronic group Buraka Som Sistema, Blaya has since taken her career solo and taken off as a hip-hop and r&b artist. Blaya blends Brazilian funk with afro beats and the sounds of Lisbon that she herself helped create, so get ready to dance!
You know it, you love it, you’re welcome.
22h30, Santa Casa Stage
Pedro Mafama is a buzzy name in Lisbon hip-hop, picking up momentum of late as a result of memorable performances at a number of festivals this summer. His sound is unique, as is his style — he blends hints of fado with American trap with Afro-rhythms like kuduro and experimental arabic vibes, and it works.
If you haven’t heard it, check out out his recent collaboration with Enchufada producer PEDRO.
00h20, MEO Stage
Anitta is the reigning queen of Brazilian pop — she’s bubbly, she’s infectious, she’s pure summer. In addition to being featured on Madonna’s latest album, she’s also recently collaborated with Snoop Dogg, Ozuna, J. Balvin, and more, proving that as long as it’s bikini season, she’s literally unstoppable.
02h, MEO Stage
It is my firm belief that you do not have to know who Steve Aoki is to enjoy a Steve Aoki show. The Japanese-American electronic DJ and producer has worked with everyone, essentially, and he’s basically everywhere, so I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say that this one’s gonna be a fucking party.
THURSDAY, 8 AUGUST
12h10, LG by Mega Hits Stage
Plenty of rappers cite Eminem as an influence, and while I’m not sure whether X-TENSE is one of them, his sound and flow are eerily reminiscent of early Marshall Mathers — with a Portuguese twist, of course.
I don’t know if I truly “get” this video… but this song is fkn dope.
21h40, LG by Mega Hits Stage
Mike Lyte, also known as Miguel Luz, is a popular YouTuber turned promising young rapper from Sintra, and a fresh face on the Portuguese hip-hop scene. Up until this point, he’s mostly been rapping about MILFs and other things teens are into, but he’s clearly having fun with it, which makes it all the more fun to watch.
Peep this video for the super-catchy “Mánada!” and you’ll see what I mean.
22h20, MEO Stage
The Atlanta-born 6LACK is the kind of guy whose verses can keep you up all night, provoking deep, occasionally dark thoughts about everyone you’ve ever loved and/or lost. 6lack specializes in smooth, artfully-crafted emo hip-hop, which can translate to an incredibly cathartic listening experience in the vein of Bryson Tiller — and it’s not nearly as depressing as it sounds.
Here’s a favorite from his latest album, the aptly-titled “East Atlanta Love Letter.”
FRIDAY, 9 AUGUST
20h10, LG by Mega Hits Stage
Chong Kwong is having a moment. The rapper, who has a background that blends Chinese, Cape Verdean, Mozambican, and East Timorese, is bringing fire female energy and fresh vibes to the Portuguese scene. She recently launched her own label, Blasian Drip, and is hard at work on her first solo album, so take the opportunity to catch her while you can!
Here’s the self-titled lead single off her forthcoming album. Turn it up.
20h35, Santa Casa Stage
Timor is a creole rapper from Horta Nova with a super-sick flow — he remains, for some reason, relatively un-played on Spotify, but racked up over 300k views on his latest video. Timor credits Tupac as his primary influence, and honestly, you can hear it. He is a welcome departure from the sometimes repetitive sounds of Portuguese trap, and his themes seek to inspire those whose talents may otherwise fall victim to sacrifice. Respect!
Wet Bed Gang
22h20, MEO Stage
Go ahead and get past the truly tragic moniker of this Portuguese rap quartet, because if you don’t know, now you know: Wet Bed Gang is a thing. This will be the group’s second consecutive year performing at MEO Sudoeste, and they’re returning to the stage with an arsenal of fresh tuga bangers.
SATURDAY, 10 AUGUST
21h10, LG by Mega Hits Stage
Biya is yet another one of the badass women taking over the Portuguese hip-hop scene, recently playing to a packed out audience for her performance at MEO’s Marés Vivas festival and continuing to drop hits on the heels of her first EP, 2018’s Listen to Me. Notably, Biya raps in English, making her flow accessible to a wide audience.
21h30, Santa Casa Stage
If you’re in the mood to catch some more mellow summer vibes, make a point to join Tainá on Saturday night. The Brazilian singer-songwriter pairs a folk sound with an enchanting voice, which should make for a soothing session under the stars.
02h, MEO Stage
First: this insane Australian electronic DJ actually plays a fucking trumpet. Second: are you bringing drugs to the festival? This would be the time to do them. I don’t really know what this is, but it seems like the best possible way to close out the weekend.
If you’re heading to MEO Sudoeste, keep an eye out for the Atlas Lisboa Press Team and say hello!