Paredes de Coura still

Paredes de Coura: 30 years

It is one of the oldest festivals in the country. He made the rural and peaceful village receive thirty thousand people a day during the festival. However, anyone who thinks it started like that is wrong.

The first edition was made with just over 1300 euros. Thirty years later, it is a staple of international festivals where music, more than anything else, is at the center of attention. There has been sun and rain. Laughter and crying. Losses and profit. The world was changing and Coura changed with it. But, in the end, how did you get here?

By  Pedro Neves



Pedro Neves


Tiago Ferreira, João Calheiros, Melanie Pereira and Pedro Neves


Ricardo Leite


Red Desert


ICA - Development of Audiovisual Documentaries, Ritmos and Canal 180

Director’s notes

Paredes de Coura: 30 years

By  Pedro Neves

Paredes de Coura is a festival of emotions. It is where the river flows among the green trees of a peaceful village that few people knew three decades ago. It's a festival made by a group of friends who love music and value friendship. It went from being a free-entry modern music show for hundreds of people to a festival of tens of thousands of people that began to appear on the international calendar.

Gone are the days when Jó, João, Filipe and Coli pasted posters on the walls, traveled across the country by car to deliver tickets to stores and had no idea, on the day itself, how many they had sold. Gone are the days when thousands of people crowded the train station in Valença without knowing how to reach the music that was there, as close as it was far away. Gone are the days when bands like National or LCD Soundsystem played in small New York clubs.

The party that grew non-stop, between sunny and rainy days, between discouragement and great joy. The markedly rural village where they grew up received a crowd with open arms and without the misgivings that existed in Woodstock or Glastonbury, as seen in Julien Temple's film about the festival (Glastonbury 2006). Times were different, it is true, but live rock also arrived much later in a democratic Portugal just 15 years ago.

This documentary tells stories. The public is connected to the village and is shown the music, backstage, backstage and the atmosphere that has lived in the last thirty years. We will see images and sensations captured by the public, by the bands, organizers and by the director himself.

In this film full of music, we will tell well-known but also unpublished stories, we will show images that no one has ever seen, we will go through the places of memory, transporting us to the present and to the future of a festival that could never exist only virtually. Paredes de Coura is as sensitive to human touch as the rock that passes by. Also because, for many years, nothing has been programmed that you can't hear at home.