A wealth of Roman architecture, Manueline manors, dazzling beaches and a weekend of underground musical delight—these are just a few examples of how we’ll be spending our time at Neopop this year. Each summer the festival, located at the historic setting of Viana do Castelo, Northern Portugal, invites a stream of techno royalty and local talents to the historic port for three days of musical transcendence. Born in 2005, the festival is now celebrated as a capital for electronic music by those in the know; from its pastoral scenery on the Atlantic to its canny programming, Neopop certainly knows its crowd.
This year, the festival kicks off with a nighttime concert by the legendary St Germain, alongside an array of internationally renowned artists taking center stage. Among them is Lisbon’s very own Rui Vargas, who at a young age found himself starting a lifelong career as a local radio host, but grew up to become one of leading DJs at Frágil, a small steamy club that would forever change Lisbon’s nightlife. Not only has he witnessed the explosion of house and techno music in Portugal since the late ’80s; he directly contributed to it.
When the sun ascends after opening night, it’s three days of techno heaven. Here, at this solar-coated festival overlooking the sea, you’ll be welcomed like an old friend. And speaking of old friends, Tijana T will be there to fuel your festival experience. This Serbian talent is one of the most prominent figures in Belgrade’s club scene and is currently on a winning streak taking over the world. Hearing her high-amped techno sets drenched in Chicago, acid and Detroit influences in full flare, one thing is certain: keeping dry would be impossible.
As you may expect, the festival is leading the international techno community to higher grounds. Artists like Nina Kraviz, Jeff Mills, Paula Temple, Recondite, Josh Wink and DAX J will take the audience on a fine journey of musical delight. But among such greatness, make sure not to miss out on Trikk. Praised as a young talent and embraced by many as rising star to look out for, Trikk is one of Porto’s finest exports; the city that is gathering a reputation as a great incubator of underground movements and the ultimate place for musicians of the most obscure sub-genres. Exploring house aesthetics in complex tracks, Trikk is fast, slow, rough and smooth all at the same time: a must-follow member of today’s underground.
And what’s a royal line-up without a queen? Known as “the Techno Queen of Tel Aviv”, Anna Haleta needs no introduction in Israel. Born in Ukraine and relocated to Jerusalem in 1995, Haleta organized her first rave in 2002. Just one year after, she founded her own event Pacotek, which she has been running ever since—making her one of the few leading female DJs in the Israeli underground scene today. While we are at it, there’s more talent from Ukrainian ground this year. Previously crowned as one of the Top 20 DJs of the World, it’s safe to say that Nastia knows dance floor dynamics. Her flawless blend of techno and electro mixed with acid textures is one that surely will make your journey unforgettable, from passing out on the beach to watching the sunrise break.
With both full festival passes and day passes available now, Neopop Festival is one not to miss. And in case you don’t have the funds, Glamcult is giving away 1×2 festival passes for the techno connoisseur that sends us a photo of their best festival footwear.