Written by Victor Gouveia
The Madeira Atlantic Festival, an event that sets the beginning of the summer season in Madeira, is one of the most recent tourist entertainment events.
This event consists of a diverse set of initiatives spread throughout the month of June, with emphasis on the pyromusical shows; the Atlantic Roots Festival and the Regional Arts Week.
The pyromusical shows are held on four Saturdays during the month of June, at 10:30 p.m. at the pier outside Pontinha. These wonderful and exciting performances, lasting about 20 minutes each, combine fireworks and music in a unique experience for tourists and residents, to be held on June, 8th,15th, 22nd and 29th.
In these shows, companies will compete for a trophy awarded by public vote, through the Internet and boxes located in strategic places in Funchal city (City Pier – day of the show, La Vie, Marina Shopping, Av. Arriaga Tourism Office).
Other initiatives that are included on the schedule:
Regional Bread Fair
The Regional Bread Fair is an event organised by the Funchal Lions Club for over 20 years ,with the purpose of raising funds for the club’s charity works. Each installment of this event includes entertainment by folk groups in the mornings and afternoons of each festival day, and a Serenade after the fireworks.
This year´s edition is held at Avenida Arriga central walkways between June,14th to16th.
Atlantic Roots Festival
This three-day festival (June 13th to 15th) aims to reach a more demanding and diversified audience, as well as, to attain a greater international projection for this festival contributing to heighten the Regions cultural offer,an event which will be integrated in the celebrations of the 600th anniversary of the Discovery of Madeira and Porto Santo.
This year’s edition presents some novelties, new brand, image, programme, concept and location (Praça do Povo) a festival which combines different genres, sounds, as well as new musical trends of artistic quality.
The first night of the festival will be dedicated to national music, and the second to new sounds and trends such as Black Music, Soul or Funk. The final and third night of this festival features the excellence of Portuguese music.
This edition features some well-known regional, national and international performers starring such as Rosa Soares (Brazil), the band Brigada Vitor Jara ( Portugal, Lura (Cape Vert) and the Xarabanda band (Madeira) among others.
Regional Arts Week
This is an event organized by the Regional Art Education Association - AREArtística, intended to showcase the learning and artistic skills of Madeiran students, acquired during school, through various activities that will be held in the city centre, specifically the "Feast at the Gardens", the Regional Artistic Meetings, the Regional Exhibition of Artistic Expression, and ESCOLartes. The programme includes several artistic performances in the areas of Song, Drama/Theatre, Instrumental, Traditional Madeiran Chordophones and Dance, in addition to the Regional Exhibition of Artistic Expression, which includes a Painting contest. This cultural event, held from June 4th to11th, presents the artistic work and experiments of about 4000 students from the local primary and secondary schools, and the participation of several groups in the field of Special Education, consolidating bonds between local schools and the community, from a social openness perspective.
Popular Saints Festivities
The Popular Saints Festivities are celebrations that are held in several countries, historically related to the summer solstice pagan festival, which was celebrated on June 24th. The Autonomous Region of Madeira is no exception, and a bit throughout the Region, the month of June is synonymous with celebrations in praise of the three Popular Saints: Saint Anthony, Saint John and Saint Peter. The Saint John altars, which constitute a festivity based in a neighbourhood tradition, in addition to the traditional food of the Popular Saints, holds a public contest of the Altars to the patron Saint. It takes place every year during the week that includes Saint John’s Day, usually the last week of June. It is held in Rua da Figueira Preta, Travessa dos Reis, Rua da Conceição and Praça do Carmo.