Westway LAB, now in its sixth year, invites eight musicians from different parts of the world for a week-long artistic residency. The festival puts together the artists in pairs and each duo presents the result of their work at the end of the week, in a showcase at the Café Concerto of the Centro Cultural Vila Flor. This year Westway LAB is excited to host the Portuguese musicians Beatriz Nunes, João Pascoal, of The Happy Mess, Sofia Ribeiro (Lince), Pedro Ribeiro (Captain Boy); the Venezuelan singer, Yosune, who lives in Porto; Italian singer-songwriter, Violetta Zironi; Slovakian indie-pop creator, Mickey, duo based in Austria; and the Canadian pop-rock band, the Tribe Royal.

At the end of the week in the Candoso Creation Centre, the eight musicians will present the results of their collaboration during Westway LAB. This 40-minute showcase is the only requirement placed on the participating artists and of the 20 musical collaborations that the festival has fostered since 2014, several have given rise to new musical projects, for example when We Bless This Mess (PT) got together with Ivan & the Parasol (HU) the side-project Melonas was born. The 2-day showcase therefore offers a unique first-hand opportunity to listen to new music that may make its mark in the future.

Artist Residency Showcases
Yosune (PT) + Tribe Royal (CA)
Captain Boy (PT) + Violetta Zironi (IT)

João Pascoal (PT) + Lince (PT)
Beatriz Nunes (PT) + Mickey (AT)

As well as the artist residencies Westway LAB combines in an innovative way the realization of an event based with three dimensions: Process (artist residencies), Thought (PRO Conferences) and Product (showcases and headline concerts) across 4 days from 10th to 13th of April in Guimarães.   Founded in 2014 with a clear mission: to operate a cultural, social and economic transformation through music, crossing borders enabling the construction of sustainable internationalization of artists and professionals from Portugal.

Since its inception, Westway LAB has always had a strong sense of collaborating internationally and this year the event will realise this by presenting Canada as the spotlight country.  On April 12th, the Canadian representation at the Westway LAB 2019 will be fueled by folk territory, which intersects with pop in compositions for female voices by singer-songwriters Sarah MacDougall and Megan Nash and the trio of boys The East Pointers. The music of the duo Les Deuxluxes will be more electrified and will make rock its strength, whereas the band Tribe Royal bases its music in the pop-rock.

On the same night, and similarly to last year, Westway LAB once again hosts the WHY Portugal Event, organized by the Portuguese music export office. From the pop built between guitars and synthesizers by Neev, to the traditional Fado Portuguese guitar of Marta Pereira da Costa, passing by the delicate indie sounds of Vaarwell.

Similarly, the European networks (ETEP and INES) in which the festival is integrated contribute decisively to the important architecture of relationships that are propagated by bringing cultural and economic value to this particular ecosystem. This is the case of the Dutch musician Jacco Gardner who brings to Westway LAB his latest album, “Somnium”, in what will be the opening concert of the festival (10 April), as well as the Italian singer-songwriter Violetta Zironi, who promises a performance where the guitar will need little more company than its powerful voice (April 11).

With the Vila Flor Cultural Centre as a base of operations, the 6th edition of the event will once again be spread to various places in the city, through the city showcases that will transform Guimarães into a great stage, taken by artists and the public, who intertwine with magic from music. During the afternoon of Saturday, April 13, it will be possible to listen to the indie-pop of Mickey, a Slovak based in Austria, the American pop of Swedish influences Elin Namnieks or the indie-rock of Izzy and the Black Trees, of Poland, three projects that are part of the selection of the INES network for 2019. From Greece comes the multi-instrumentalist and composer Theodore. The national performance is well delivered to Holy Nothing, one of the most promising national bands, creating the frontier between electronic and post-rock, as well as guitarist Francisco Sales, singer Beatriz Nunes and rock-dirty quartet Smartini.

On the last night of the festival, the music spread by the CCVF in a great celebration. Through a general pass, for the value of 20 euros, it will be possible to attend the concerts of The Black Mamba, Tashi Wada Group feat. Julia Holter, Batida apresenta: The Almost Perfect DJ, Captain Boy, Mister Roland, Paraguaii and Whales. The first 150 passes also give exclusive access to the opening concert with Jacco Gardner.

Artist Line Up (A-Z)
Beatriz Nunes (PT), Captain Boy (PT), Elin Namnieks (SE), Francisco Sales (PT),Holy Nothing (PT),  Izzy and the Black Trees (PL), Jacco Gardner (NL), João Pascoal, Happy Mess (PT), Julia Holter (US),  Les Deuxluxes (CA), Marta Pereira da Costa (PT), Megan Nash (CA), Mickey (AT),  Mister Roland (PT), Neev (PT), Paraguaii (PT),  Sarah MacDougall (CA), Smartini (PT),  Tashi Wada Group feat. Batida apresenta: The Almost Perfect DJ (PT), The Black Mamba (PT),  The East Pointers (CA), Theodore (GR), Tribe Royal (CA), Vaarwell (PT), Violetta Zironi (IT),  Whales (PT), Yosune (VE)

More info and tickets here: https://westwaylabfestival.com/

WESTWAY LAB – PRO Conference 2019
For the upcoming 6th edition of Westway LAB, Portugal’s first showcase festival & conference expands its three main conference streams, Westway PRO, INES Sessions and the WHY Portugal Event through the addition of a central Westway LAB Lounge, a permanent networking lounge open throughout the event, offering registered delegates a space dedicated to their formal & informal networking, besides the conferences, roundtables and panels. An environment that constitutes another step forward, as the LAB monicker does not apply exclusively to the Artist Residencies: Westway is also a LABoratory for new projects, new ideas, new partnerships and new horizons. From Westway LAB’s first edition, back in 2014, to the present, this has always been an intrinsic part of the Westway DNA.

As such, in addition to the above-mentioned three conference streams, the Westway PRO, INES PRO and WHY Portugal Event, the on-going partnership with AMAEI, the Portuguese Independent Music Trade Association brings to Guimarães a new European project, Europe in Synch: a Music Moves Europe preparatory action of “Training of Young Professionals”.  It is also fitting in that the idea for the project was born at Westway LAB, precisely two years ago.

Furthermore, the partnership with the GDA Foundation also affirms, this year, the dedication of the GDA Foundation in utilizing technologies as tools for music circulation. The GDA panel will thus present us with two Portuguese home-grown platforms seeking new solutions to this age-old challenge: how to tour more. Finally, through a new partnership with Audiogest, the phonogram producers society, we are happy to feature a Portuguese Keynote speaker and “State of the Art of the Portuguese Industry” roundtable, as well as host not just the second edition of the WHY Portugal Event, run by Portugal’s export office for music, but also a meeting of EMEE – European Music Exporters Exchange, bringing 28 European Export Offices to Portugal.

Full conference programme and registrations here: https://www.eventbrite.pt/e/bilhetes-westway-lab-pro-music-conference-2019-50355372274

Nikki McNeill | Global Publicity