Festival Forte: Unplugged
It isn’t every day you get to dance in a castle older than Portugal’s nationality itself. Dating back to the 11th century, the medieval fort at Montemor-o-Velho is a national monument which over the years has doubled up as an ancient battlefield and a notorious destination for techno raves in the nineties. With the music of thousands of years embedded into its walls, the Montemor-o-Velho castle was crying out to be used as something more than an afternoon tea spot for the OAP tourists of the Coimbra district, and so was born Festival Forte.
The festival, which this year will celebrate its fifth edition, promises “the most unique experience imaginable” to the lucky ticket holders of this intimate 5000-person event. This is quite a claim, for a festival which only has four years of experience, and sets itself up against much bigger European electronic music festivals such as Outlook, Sónar and Tomorrowland. So how exactly does it make itself unique?
More than the music
Firstly, Festival Forte offers entertainment beyond the music. In addition to embracing some of the world’s most exciting and experimental electronic talents, the festival also exhibits generative and interactive art installations. Each piece of art is produced with leftover materials from the local area that would generally be considered waste. Each year, in a sort of art reincarnation, the same materials are re-used and reformed into new works of art by different artists.
Locals love it
Secondly, the festival has a unique relationship with the Montemor-o-Velho locals. Many festival-goers reside in home stays in the local town during the festival, creating lasting bonds with the Portuguese families who host the festival goers year after year.
Those fearing the welfare of the national monument surrounded by 5000 young ravers needn’t worry too much. Festival Forte commits a portion of its profit to the reconstruction of the heritage site. Thanks to the festival’s income, the Church porch and path leading up to the fort have already been restored.
Furthermore, whilst modern day music festivals are constantly criticized for the environmental damage that they cause, Festival Forte offers a proactive approach towards reducing litter and improving the environmental impact that festivals impose on the land. In 2017, Portugal’s sustainable government program Sê-lo Verde provided Festival Forte with funding to implement pioneering eco-friendly measures. Boasting compostable loos, cup deposit programmes and an active decision to use zero printed campaign materials, Festival Forte is paving the way for all future eco friendly festivals.
But even before Sê-lo Verde, Festival Forte were ahead of the eco game. In 2015, the festival began theircollaboration with Glownet. Experts in live-event technology, we have implemented our cashless payment system at Festival Forte for three years consecutively.
Festival Forte’s unparalleled benefits from adopting Glownet’s live event technology can be seen all across the festival. Our cashless system eliminates the need for festival goers to carry cash and therefore eliminates theft. Furthermore, our contactless transactions have been proved to take as little as 0.5 seconds, meaning less time spent queuing for drinks and more time spent enjoying the festival. Furthermore, each cashless card is collected at the end of the festival each year and returned to Glownet. The cards are reused the following year to eliminate the plastic waste that would otherwise be produced.
Glownet are proud to have contributed to the digitalization and ecological welfare of Festival Forte for the last three years. We look forward immensely to future editions of the ‘most unique experience imaginable’.