Lopes Says Viva Mares

Portoventos chief Jorge Lopes shelved his ongoing row over Vilar de Mouros Festival for long enough to launch a new event on the River Douro near in Portugal.

More than 60,000 turned up to the July 17-19 Mares Vivas Festival, which is on the Cabadelo Park on the opposite bank at Gaia, providing Lopes with what he describes as "a more positive story."

The further it went the better it got. About 15,000 came for the first day headlined by Peter Murphy and Sisters Of Mercy, 20,000 came for Prodigy and Tricky the following day, and 25,000 – and a further 10,000 who couldn’t get in – came for the final night with James, Macy Gray and Riders On The Storm.

Lopes faces more Mares Vivas ("choppy waters") at Caminha, where his disagreement with the local authority means there won’t be a Vilar de Mouros this year.

"I don’t know what the future holds for it now," he said of the festival that started in 1968 and became known as "the Portuguese Woodstock."

Lopes wouldn’t explain the cause of the dispute beyond saying it’s thanks to "money and politics."

"The people want the event but I don’t believe the authority wants it, although it’s Portugal’s oldest festival and therefore it has to have it," he said.

Despite being the country’s oldest outdoor it’s been staged only 13 times in 40 years, with eight of those coming since Lopes took over the running of the event in 1999.