6 cultural events to discover in Madeira Island.

If you think that Madeira it’s only banana trees, flowers and levadas, you are very wrong! This “rock” in the middle of the Atlantic has a cultural life that animates the island all year round!

Throughout history, Madeira Island has aroused the curiosity of many, not only for its natural beauty, but also for its customs, people and cultural richness that is rooted throughout these six centuries of history. Nowadays, Madeira is an island with its own movement, where big events are part of the locals routine and offer remarkable experiences to those who visit us.

From Carnival to the Flower Festival, treading the grapes at the grape harvest with a glass of Madeira wine and ending with the famous and award winning New Year’s Eve, Madeira offers events with international projection for a public looking for entertainment and culture.

Madeira’s cultural offer goes far beyond the world class tourist attractions! Diversified and eclectic, small and medium sized events have been appearing, bringing new life to the cultural movement, with new concepts and initiatives that could be on the cultural offer of any European capital.

If you are planning to come to Madeira Island and want to enjoy the local events, here is a list of 6 cultural events related to music, cinema, literature and arts in its various forms of expression.

1 – Aleste

Music Festival
When: Throughout the year
More information: https://www.aleste.pt/

The Aleste Festival is one of the youngest events to mark Madeira’s cultural life. Since 2014, the festival occupies, three times a year, noble spaces of Funchal’s shared identity, discovering them new potentialities and promoting the diversification of the public space.

Aleste is born under the sign of music, proposing alternative music posters that, while keeping up with current affairs, promote the most relevant Portuguese artists each year.

2 – Funchal Book Fair

Book Fair
When: Annual – Traditionally in May
More information: https://www.facebook.com/feiradolivrodofunchal/

The Funchal Book Fair began in 1974, seeking to follow the models applied in the rest of the country with the objective of promoting literature and local authors, but also providing a set of cultural and entertainment activities in the different spaces in which it is held.

In the last years, the event has a wider offer, associating music, cinema and theatre in small events that happen in parallel in Avenida Arriaga, place where the Funchal Book Fair happens.

3 – Madeira Dig

When: December
More information: https://digitalinberlin.eu/

The International Digital Arts Festival – “Madeira Dig” is a unique event in the field of alternative music and highlights Madeira as an attractive tourist destination for a young and active public.

The Mudas. Museu de Arte Contemporânea and Centro Cultural John dos Passos are the hosts of this event, a cultural initiative of great reference and artistic quality inspired by a philosophy in favour of ecological awareness, where relaxation in nature and pure fun combine with culture and an urban lifestyle.

4 – Shortcutz Funchal

When: 1st Wednesday of each month
More information: https://www.instagram.com/shortcutzfunchal/

Shortcutz is an international short film movement and is an integral part of Labz, Subfilms Creative Network project.

More than a festival, more than a showcase, Shortcutz is an urban revolution of ideas, projects and people in the area of short films, becoming an inseparable and constant part of the creative, cultural and artistic life of the cities involved.

This initiative began in Lisbon in 2010, having subsequently expanded to the cities of Porto, London, Berlin and Amsterdam. 2016 marked the arrival of the movement to Funchal, thus joining this restricted group of cities that are part of this prestigious international platform for the promotion and dissemination of short film cinema.

The Shortcutz Funchal events take place on the first Wednesdays of the month.

5 – Screenings Funchal

When: Monthly
More information: https://screenings.pt/

Screenings Funchal promotes film culture, bringing a selection of films that are outside the so-called commercial circuit.

Through regular screenings of the best independent cinema from all over the world, Screenings brings previews and premieres of films from emerging and established directors. In parallel with the regular screenings, events are held around the screened films, where directors, actors and/or technical crew are often invited to present the film and hold a Q&A session.

6 – Fractal

When: once a year
More information: https://www.fractal-fest.com/

FRACTAL is a project of cultural activism in the public space of Funchal. Organized as a festival, whose fragmented form intends to create remarkable moments in urban living for all citizens.

This festival brings a series of artistic events of the most diverse forms, with moments and happenings, offering the city a differentiated cultural event.

TMBD – Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias

Municipal Theatre – Events Venue
When: All year long
More information: https://teatro.cm-funchal.pt/

Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias presents itself with open doors to the city and the community as a cultural space at your disposal. Of this list is the only one that can not be considered as an event, but for its diversity as an aggregator of events, we put this space on this list.

With a full schedule of shows, this theatre brings cultural life to the city of Funchal. With concerts, plays, cinemas, exhibitions and conferences, the TMBD is home to many regional and national productions. More than a theatre, the Baltazar Dias is a space that breathes and offers culture.

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