By Iemke Postma posted March 14, 2018
If you’re looking for something to do in Cape Verde, you’ll usually find it regardless of the season (although coming here to do absolutely nothing also has its magic). A quick look at the cultural agenda will tell you if there’s something interesting happening in town and through our Whatsapp service (In Dutch, English, Portuguese and Spanish), you can also stay up to date. On the more populated/touristy islands, there’s definitely always something to do and if you’re anywhere else, you’re usually more lucky to find something in the weekend if you’re looking for a party. Check with locals for events anyway!
When it comes to the big stuff, throughout the year there are events which you can keep an eye on. They are the following:
Carnival in February/March, probably best experienced in Mindelo and on other Barlavento islands. Praia is now also trying to introduce Carnival but it isn’t experienced and felt in the way the people of the Northern islands experience and feel it, so go there for a more authentic experience (or find some emigrants from Mindelo in Praia to hang out with).
The Atlantic Music Expo and the Kriol Jazz Festival in April in Praia.
The Flag Feast on April 30th in Fogo.
The Gamboa Festival in May in Praia.
Tabanka in June in Santiago.
The Festival of Sao Joao on June 24th.
The Violin Festival in June in Santo Antao.
Baia das Gatas in August in Sao Vincent.
The Sal Music Festival in September (in Sal obviously).
Sete Sois e Sete Luas in November in Santo Antao, although I’ve seen their events on other islands as well like Santiago and Fogo.
Most of this info I got from here, as from the above list, I’ve personally only experienced a handful of them. At the Gamboa Festival, I’ve had an especially good experience because that’s where I started my relationship with the mother of my unborn son: you never know who you might meet! I personally would like to experience Carnival in Mindelo one day, just to know how it differs from Carnival in Praia.
When it comes to music in Cape Verde however, anytime is a good time to experience this. Especially in cities like Praia and Mindelo, there’s always something going on as the Cape Verdean people breath music.
Living in Praia, I can tell you that Quintal da Musica will always have something going on in the evening (music related), where Tuesday will usually be a Batuk day, and they have pretty decent food too. During the day there are also numerous artists playing for lunchtime concerts at various restaurants and cafes, mostly in the Plateau area.
To summarize, anytime is a good time for music, although agreeably with varying degrees of intensity. If you’re able to catch a festival here, good for you! There are plenty of opportunities throughout the year so come around and consider checking in with us if you’re in the area. We’ll be glad to at least give you some pointers 😉 peace!