The perfect blend of Techno and Nature
Last weekend we arrived to Porto and started the journey down south to Montemor to spend 3 days camping at Festival Forte.
Festival Forte, an electronic music festival, is set in some incredible surroundings. In a small village just outside of Coimbra, there is a huge castle set upon a hill, overlooking the village. Castelo Montemor-O-Velho is the castle in which this incredible Festival takes place.
It was so bizarre to find a huge escalator sandwiched in-between two petite houses in the middle of a small street, but that’s exactly what we found (and were very grateful for after a few pre-drinks!), saving us the huge climb up to the castle.
Needless to say, the views from the castle were so spectacular, particularly in the evening when the stars shone so brightly; it really added a magical effect to the ambience and atmosphere of the festival. The setup inside the castle was also refreshingly simple.
Forte has just one main stage at the far end of the castle, with bars along the side and plenty of room to dance in front. The stage itself had a brilliant lights show and awesome visuals that complemented the dark, starry sky.
At the other end of the castle, the hard party vibe gradually calms to a fantastic chill out area in the gardens on the other side. There were endless places to sit, unique, eye-boggling artwork, gentle light shows and plenty of comfy cushions and sofas to sit around whilst taking a break from dancing.
The first night began at midnight, with a great opening set from Ben Frost, and a brilliant atmosphere. The festival itself is fairly small so we met countless groups and people throughout the night who we’d bumped into earlier on in the day and taking the free shuttle to the site. However, excitement and enthusiasm got the better of us and we started partying way too early on the first day, meaning I needed to crawl back to the campsite at 5.30am.
The campsite is located just a short, 10 minute walk from the castle and if you stand at the top of the hill you can see a direct path quite clearly. Unfortunately for me I paid no attention to this and walked in the complete opposite direction! Two villages later I arrived back at the campsite, a grand two hours later… But apparently I had plenty of fun on the walk too and no concerns in the world that I was heading in the wrong direction. Thanks to good friends for taking care of me…Isn’t that what festivals are all about?!
The campsite area has plenty of trees to find a shaded spot under, but it does get hot so this is somewhat essential if you want to sleep at all during the 3 days. The campsite vibe was very chill, the showers were clean and there were enough portable toilets around, which were cleaned every morning thankfully. All in all the facilities were great. Basic but everything you need.
Across from the tents in the camping area were yummy food stalls, from greasy burgers and chips to healthy hummus dishes, smoothies and chai tea. There were also small bars, inflatable mattresses, picnic tables, and a small DJ setup with music playing throughout the day. Interestingly, the items used to create the DJ stage plus the decorations and attractions throughout are dismantled every year and reused the next, made into something completely new!
Overall the music, stage, lights, setting, and party atmosphere at Forte was hard to beat. All of their staff and security were incredibly friendly and helpful. The clever use of a pre-payment card also worked really well. No cash was exchanged inside the festival, except to top up your Forte card and this created a serious lack of queues throughout. All in all we had an incredible weekend and cannot wait to return for Festival Forte 2017!
#MayTheForteBeWithYou by Stephanie Morrison