This year celebrates the 33rd annual Festival Internacional de Música da Baía das Gatas and my sixth consecutive one. Always held on a full moon weekend in August, this year’s festival will be on the 4, 5 & 6th at Baia das Gatas on the island of São Vicente, Cape Verde. It seems all of São Vicente, people from the other nine islands, the Cape Verdean Diaspora, and lovers of international music converge for a massive beach party. The crowd is estimated at 15,000 people—some erect tents others drive in from the city each day. The music starts in the afternoon and continues until just before sunup. Make sure you drink your water, it’s hot outside and the breeze off the ocean is refreshing. A true celebration of the beauty of life, you can eat and drink anywhere from a small barraca selling typical ponche and grog to more formal restaurants—the is something for people on any budget.
Enjoy the Festival Safely
Keep an eye on your wallet pickpockets are plentiful. Be careful putting stuff in loose back pockets more than on friend has lost a phone that way. If you have a high-end camera wear it in front of you, not in your backpack. I suggest you buy your local booze from an established vendor as there are rumors of harmful chemicals employed to rapidly ferment the grog sold at small stands. A quick plug here for Sympatico Beach Bar, there is one in Baia and one in Mindelo.
You can catch a bus or hi-ace (pronounced a yes) to the festival from Mindelo
Buy a car pass for the whole festival for ~$20