10th Edition of Westway LAB Guimarães, Portugal – April 12-15th 2023
10 years of Co-Creation, Knowledge Transfer, and unique new music
Westway LAB is a boutique showcase festival and music conference with a focus on artist residencies, co-creation, and building the knowledge and capacity of artists and music professionals over 4 days of networking in Portugals first capital city, the creative city of Guimarães.

Aimed at all 3 sub-sectors of the industry (live music, recorded music, music publishing), for its 10th anniversary in 2023 it will celebrate its focus on co-creation and the “Avant-Trad” innovative approaches to re-inventing folk music. It will also launch a new, forward-facing focus on film and the audiovisual sector.
Its PRO conferences will feature over 30 panel sessions and 3 keynote divided among three conference tracks: Westway LAB, WHY Portugal Event and the Sound & Image Conference Track. There will also be a Europe in Synch Academy workshop run by the EU-funded Cooperation project Europe in Synch, as well as EU project presentations from BELEM, Musika Peripherika as well as the Musicaire “Digital Path to Market” Final Presentation.
This year’s keynotes include Almudena Heredero, Director of Primavera Sound, Kees van Weijen (IMPALA ex-President and Chairman and President of the Independent Trade Association STOMP in the Netherlands), and Rodrigo Areias, film director and producer from BANDO à PARTE. Other confirmed speakers include ITB’s Steve Zapp, Music Finland’s Turo Pekari, SKY’s Peter Bradbury, Virar Csiszar from Sziget Festival and many more.
Artist-wise, Westway LAB continues its export mission on behalf of Portuguese music, showcasing Portuguese Artists on the Antena 3 and WHY Portugal Stages as well as welcoming Basque artists via a special protocol between WHY Portugal and Basque Music. Other Spanish, as well as international artists, also participate in both the showcase concerts, headline concerts and artist residencies. Some names include: Nacho Vegas (ES), Criatura (PT), Ezpalak (ES), La Furia (ES), Yann Cleary (FR), B Fachada (PT), Ana Lua Caiano (PT), Linda Martini (PT), Rita Vian (PT) and others.
The full line-up of the conference and festival programmes are now online at www.westwaylab.com
Objective: to foster a creative and dynamic eco-system that enables artist development, the transfer of knowledge, networking opportunities and capacity building for the entire European Music Sector, artists and professionals, with a clear focus on the importance of co-creation as the starting point for the internationalisation and growth of artists’ careers. Its year-round Artist Development Programme furthers the mission via continued promotional support and management guidance leading to the creation of other opportunities for artists-in-residence.
About Westway LAB:
Westway LAB can be thought of as a side-project incubator” bringing together different European artists to co-create with absolute creative freedom (ie. Not a songwriting camp – there is no script.) The resulting new body of work is then performed live at the festival, filmed and recorded to be released and promoted. This results in instant new audiences for both Portuguese and European artists involved in each working group – both for the new side-project created as well as their respective original projects. After the residencies, the artists also participate in the Westway LAB PRO conference, along with key national and international music professionals that come to Guimarães to share their knowledge and experience in a unique environment that includes some of the citys most emblematic cafés and bars – the Westway LAB Artist Talks”. Then, beyond the 4 premiere concerts with brand new material, never performed before, resulting from the residencies, the Westway LAB Festival goes on with artists from Portugal, European Artists from the ESNS Exchange program, as well as other headline acts in the CCVF Main Venue. On Saturday, several other venues join the festival itinerary and Westway becomes a city festival. Overall, it is a truly unique experience in a 1000-year old city that favours life-long connections in the music industry with sound foundations built around the amazing city spots and Minho scenery. Above all, Westway LAB is an unforgettable experience for artists and music professionals alike.

Nikki McNeill | Global Publicity