Ilidio Chavez – Irina Sales Grade / Festival Forte




Summer is the season of festivals and, as do most music lovers who like to share their passion, we checked some of them out. Medusa’s Bed (the collaborative project by Lydia Lunch, Mia Zabelka and Zahra Mani), Jeff Mills, Byetone, Nathan Fake, Kangding Ray, Byetone, T.Raumschmiere, Ellen Allien, Apart, Manu, Vatican Shadow, and Shlomo are just some of the names that are going to perform at Festival Forte, one of the most interesting we discovered. It will be held in the castle of Montemor-o-Velho (national heritage of Portugal) on the 24th, 25th and 26th of August. We had a quick chat about Forte with the organizers, Ilidio Chavez and Irina Sales Grade, who also manage Soniculture label.


Festival Forte 2016 editionChain D.L.K.: Hi, folks! How are you?

Festival Forte: Hello! We are fine. After the mayhem caused by the fires in Portugal, we now live in a cooler country.


Chain D.L.K.: Well, how is the organization of the forthcoming Forte festival going?

Festival Forte: It’s going quite well. We are now entering a new phase, preparing all the technical requirements to have a truly spectacular edition this year.


Chain D.L.K.: What did you learn from previous editions? Any unforgettable memories related to them?

Festival Forte: So many things have happened…we have learned a lot, especially that dreams can come true, but we need to fight very hard for them to happen. Promoting a festival centered on meaningful content versus a money-fueled industry is extremely difficult in these modern days, but we keep our beliefs strong and spirits high and do not give up even in the most difficult moments. There is a great team of believers involved in this project that has the required passion for making it successful.


Chain D.L.K.: Some words about the location…

Festival Forte: The location is perfect: a medieval castle that is a landmark of the country. It is also located beside the sea and the mountains, in the center of the country with access via highway all the way to the village. Many people stay at comfortable hotels in the beach town of Figueira da Foz and can purchase all-inclusive bundles with tickets, lodging and transportation, sold on The camping site is free and conveniently within walking distance from the castle, which is connected to the village by escalators. Apart from quality, comfort is also one of the highlights of the festival.


Festival Forte 2016 editionChain D.L.K.: …And what really matters? Some words about the confirmed line-up?

Festival Forte: Art is what really matters. Committing to it completely has really hard consequences but, in the end, it is art that makes us special in nature. The capacity of expressing ourselves in this way is unique to humans. There are so many artists with extremely high quality that struggle to survive because they are in a money-centered world that does not care for them. We are here to show them to the world and let everyone know how important they are.


Chain D.L.K.: What is the criteria you applied to choose the artists?

Festival Forte: Quality. It’s as simple as that. If you can display it in a spectacular fashion, then there will be a place for you in the castle. There are no limits; in fact, the bar is raised really high. We want people to go home thinking about what they saw, their minds filled with memories of the incredible experiences that they lived.


Chain D.L.K.: Any possible new ones who could join the line-up at the very last minute?

Festival Forte: There will be a couple of new names and surprises that will be announced very soon.


Chain D.L.K.: I read you’re preparing a stunning visual show for the stage…any anticipation about that?

Festival Forte: There are several visual shows that are being prepared and will have a huge impact inside the immersive walls of the castle. Together with the perfect sound, the results should be astonishing. There is also the generative garden that will be filled with a lot of exciting installations created by prominent artists that excel in this field.


Festival Forte 2016 editionChain D.L.K.: How are you going to care for the safety and security of all the expected attendants?

Festival Forte: Safety is a major concern, so we will be working with the best security team in the country. They will provide a completely safe environment in the village. The whole operation is a result of a global security document that is a collaboration between us, the security coordinator, police, firemen and the town hall. In this way, every angle is covered. Until now, after 3 editions, there has been no report of any violent incident at the festival.


Chain D.L.K.: Sometimes festival organizers face obstacles with the local community…did you experience any trouble of this kind?

Festival Forte: Not at all. The whole community is involved with the festival, by being hired by us or profiting with their own establishments that sell goods and services. They are very warm and excited to participate. They have also made bonds with people from all over the world and provide lodging for them like they were part of their family. This human factor has become a very special aspect of the festival, because everyone, including the crowd, is so civilized and generous, in a genuine way. It makes us feel really good to see this whole social phenomenon taking place.


Chain D.L.K.: Some words about the label you’re running… how do you relate the label and the festival?

Festival Forte: Soniculture has been around for 15 years. During this time, we have been promoting music and artists in several forms of expression, including the label and events. At this moment, all of our energies are dedicated to Festival Forte, as it has grown out of proportion. After we make this edition a huge success, then we will continue with the label and other activities that are all united by the same principle of art.


visit the Festival Forte website here:


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