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The Rise of Portugal - Lisboa Dance Festival

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 10/03/2016 Sean Bradford

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There is something special about the first of anything. The excitement of the unknown, the blind dedication it takes to bring a vision to life. And it isn't until that "thing" is finally finished, that you can see the results of your hard work.
This past weekend in Lisbon (one of most magical cities on the planet), the very first Lisboa Dance Festival took place. Modeled partially after Amsterdam Dance Event and promoted by entertainment company Live Experiences (whose mantra is "creating new emotions"), those in attendance witnessed something special. It was more than just a party. The Lisboa Dance Festival was a collective exploration of electronic music at its finest.
Four venues inside of the LX Factory complex (situated near the 25 de Abril Bridge) and an alleyway filled with local food trucks and bleacher style seating comprised the urban festival area. From a massive warehouse space drenched in state of the art visuals and sound, to a small upstairs room where bicycles hung from the walls, there was much to discover and applaud. This included Afro-Portugese Techno from label Principe, and the consistently exciting soul laced house and techno of Motor City Drum Ensemble.
Much of the festivals success has to do with the passion of promoter Karla Campos and her staff. Campos has an undeniable passion for all kinds of music, already running two separate festivals in Portugal. Her vision for this new venture was to focus on electronic, and to spotlight local, homegrown talent. As a result, the line up was 90 percent local, with 16 different labels presenting showcases.
Though Lisbon is known as more of an indie rock city, there is a growing passion for electronic here, evident by the always packed and always strong line up at Lux Fragil. And by the end of Saturday night, as brilliant visuals engulfed the LX Factory during Sven's Väth closing set, this passion had grown to a whole new level.
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It continued onto the dance floor of The Ministerium Club, which hosted the after party for the festival both nights. The Ministerium Club is top notch,with a dance floor length visual wall, acoustic paneling on both the floors and ceilings, and a balanced Funktion One System. And with Alex.Do lighting fire from behind the decks, at 6.30 am this was one of the best electronic parties anywhere in the world.
Stand out sets of the festival included Vakula from Ukraine, and Lisbon local Moullinex, known for a bit more mainstream sound, but who delivered a funky and flirty deep house set in the well designed Sala Zoot. And of course, the maestro Move D, owning the warehouse space, waving his vinyl selections in the air, while dancing around and sipping on red wine.
The mix of a great location, passionate locals, and a strongly curated line up make Lisboa Dance Festival, without question, one to watch.

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