Twenty thousand revellers each year come to Boom, Europe’s greatest outdoor dance-music festival, which takes place for a week over the August full moon on a lakeside ranch about 60km from Lisbon. In true summer-of-love fashion it combines non-stop dance music with eco-idealism: here you’ll find sustainability workshops, recycling and composting bins, a permaculture garden and generators powered on vegetable oil and solar power. In the meantime dancing goes on throughout the days and nights – on a beach, in a forest where an ambient music stage is set, or in the world music area based around a huge campfire.
For people wilting under the heat, the shallow hilltop lake provides the perfect place to cool off (and acts as a glistening mirror when the full moon rises). By late morning it’s dotted with people lolling on inflatables or sitting half-submerged on deckchairs that they have sunk into the lake’s bed. Further relaxation is on offer at various tents and stalls selling a range of massage, yoga and other alternative therapies to restore tired bodies and minds.
And when the week-long party is finally over, there’s still the option of more to come – a three-day afterparty in the surrounding forested hills, where you can hike wooded paths or just lie back in the shade and wind down to ambient beats.
You won’t see many wellies at this festival, however. There’s little chance of it raining in Portugal in August, and even if it did people would be more likely to run out for a cool shower than hide in their tents. This is a party in the sun – and in this scorched part of Europe, that’s about as guaranteed as it gets.
For further info see www.boomfestival.org; +351 277 208 138. Ticket prices vary depending upon when you buy, how long you come for and where you live. Shuttle buses to the festival run from Madrid, Lisbon and Porto; see website for details.