If you’ve been out and about in Lisbon recently, you might have noticed that the streets, parks, cafes, miradouros, bars, restaurants, galleries, museums, etc. have all been as packed to the gills as the current restrictions will allow. That’s because summer is here, but also because time is a flat circle, and so, like countless times before, as the government amps up restrictions to once again try to get the ‘rona out of Lisbon’s system, and as we all prepare for yet another dose of the all-too-familiar two-week-long nothingness, most of us are, understandably, once again hurrying to try and get the partying, socializing, and generally not feeling like rats in a cage out of our systems too.
So keep your nose and your hands clean, your face covered, and your head up, and see below just some of the cultural stuff theoretically happening for the foreseeable future to get you out of your house once or twice before we all go back to stocking up on toilet paper, canned food, and alcohol, cleaning our rooms, and learning to bake bread. Again…
CONCERT* (Jul 2):
The 2021 Bairro Em Festa festival is in full swing all week on the East side of town, and one of its many goings-on is a free concert by local musicians MAZE and Francesco Valente who “draw the soundscapes of a city that oscillates between the chaos of the hallucinating rhythm in which we are used to living and the ghost city that emerges from the current dystopias.”
NOTE: Entry for this one required an RSVP yesterday; but, considering the current dystopian chaos about town, you still might get in if you email them today (or just simply show up).
IMMERSIVE ART EXHIBITS (Jul 2-Aug 29):
Immersive art exhibits seem to be the latest fad in the world of high-brow Lisbon art this year. As a result, the exact definition of “immersive” becomes increasingly questionable. Nevertheless, this summer you’re invited to not one but two somewhat questionably titled but still unique art exhibits to, well, immerse yourself in. Immersivus Gallery’s Divine Michelangelo and Genius Da Vinci opened its doors to the public yesterday, while Impressive Monet & Brilliant Klimt, which opened its doors last November, keeps, in typical Lisbon fashion, extending its closing date. Tickets for each start at 10€.
REGULAR ART EXHIBIT (Jul 2-Aug 1):
Regular art exhibits are still a thing too, and this July you’re also invited to, um, immerse yourself in Francisca Sousa’s ONCE IN A WHILE THE DEVIL APPEARED — a solo painting and illustration show where “the devil is the personification of the ironic and the answer to the need to vocalize gender equality and the liberation of minority groups” and “also speaks to us of an oneiric evasion and the utopian instant in which we finally become masks.” The opening, with Francisca appearing, is this Friday eve, the show runs daily through Aug 1, and entry is free.
THREE CLASSICAL CONCERTS (Jul 2, 9, 16):
For this and the next two Friday nights, Lisbon’s Academy of Sciences welcomes musicians from the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa in their historical Noble Hall to play some Haydn, Schumann, Schubert, Rossini, Mendelssohn, and more, for your listening pleasure. Tickets are 18€ a pop.
SOLO DANCE PERFORMANCE (Jul 2-4):
One of the actual swan songs of the now-defunct Gulbenkian Ballet, Clara Andermatt’s O Canto do Cisne (“Swang Song”) is a highly relevant solo show about death, where “the present ends up revealing itself as a continuous realization that it is both past and future,” and a few last-minute 10-20€ tickets for this weekend are presently available.
ANOTHER CONCERT (Jul 3):
Another concert courtesy of Bairro em Festa 2021 is Salvador Sobral and friends’ Noche de Ronda — an evening of Mexican songs to lift your spirits happening this Saturday night, free of charge.
AN ACCORDION CONCERT (Jul 3):
Two-time winner of The Wolrd Accordian Trophy João Barradas comes to Culturgest this Saturday night, with his accordion, to “collect some moments of the mystical world brought from the European tradition of classical music to the dexterity of contemporary improvisation.” Tickets are 7€.
ART MARKET AND MORE CONCERTS (Jul 4):
Come celebrate the original Brexit, aka the U.S. of A.’s Inpendence Day, this Sunday with yet another one of Arroz Estúdios: Domingos no Arroz markets. Arts and crafts from a dozen local DIY-artists, poetry and live music from a dozen local musicians, and general fun under the sun are all in store. Also, while there won’t be any hotdogs or Budweiser, there will pizza, craft beer, and semi-freedom. Entry is 3€.
GUIDED ART TOUR (Jul 7):
And, finally, as we had mentioned in the beginning, you’re probably gonna be pretty sick of looking at your room again in a few weeks. Multimedia artist António Bolota’s solo show Mano-de-obra (roughly “Workforce”, or “Manpower”) at Culturgest aims to reexamine the way we see the spaces we inhabit by re-arranging traditional elements of construction and design, and you can get a 5€ guided tour of it this coming Wednesday night.
And so, friends — feel free to examine and reexamine our full calendar of events for what else is on in theory, but remember to check with the organizers the day of any given event. And refrain from giving in to despair, remain vigilant, have a good weekend, and rejoice at the fact that — despite the repetitiveness of recent existence — you’re still here, dammit.