Bernardo Bernardes, one of the ceos, unveiled the amazing things there are to be known about Sound Waves Festival in Portugal


  • What inspired you to start this festival, and what is its overall vision and mission?

The main objective of the Soundwave’s brand was always to bring back the old schooled raves. But by being safer and more comfortable than they were in the past.

Evolution / Highlight

  • How has the festival evolved since its inception? Are there any significant milestones or changes that you’d like to highlight?

The festival was founded in 2005 and started being a small party in the center of the country in Leiria. And nowadays the festival is Esmoriz, it’s a little bit more in the north of Portugal. 

I think the biggest change is really the organization because when you do a bigger festival or a bigger event, you need to change  the organization. And we tried to, year after a year, find the best artists that we think are suitable with the festival.


  • What sets your festival apart from other similar events in the industry? 

First of all, we are a 21 hour non -⁠stop rave and I don’t think that we can find this kind of event. And our DNA is really specific and the energy of our crowd and our ravers too, because we are a festival with 18 years of experience.  This year is the 16th edition since we needed to stop two years due to the pandemic.

I think the energy is completely different than the other festivals because the electronic music has 30 years of history. And the festival with 18 years in this industry and in this music genre is a lot. So I think what makes us different than the others is the 21 hours nonstop rave and our DNA and history.


  • How do you go about selecting the artists, performers, and attractions for the festival lineup? What criteria do you consider? 

We are always updating with new artists and new music and new trends. We also take care about our social media and see what our ravers like. We like to study the industry, what makes us do the lineup as it has been now is to try to find the next trends because in our lineup we not want to look for the number one DJ of the underground, no, we try to look for the artist that we think in a space of three, four, five years will be at the top.


  • How do you ensure a positive and memorable experience for attendees? What measures do you take to prioritize their safety and comfort? 

In electronic music events we need to take care about the safety of our crowd and our staff and all the organization, and we really take care about it, we have a lot of security.

In 18 years of history of Sound Waves, we never had one problem, it’s unbelievable, not one fight, nothing. That’s why we are really different than the others because the energy that we have is really high, the people love the energy of the festival and I don’t think that we have people that are going there to provoke a fight or something like that.

I think everybody will go to the festival to feel the energy and the music and the love for the music is what unites us together.

Regarding the comfort, we try to do our best to give all the comfort for the attendees. And year after year, we try to do a good job on the comfort. And I think this year we will give next step comparing with the last edition.


  • Are there any specific initiatives or programs that the festival supports, such as sustainability, community outreach, or social causes? 

We have a car park for our ravers to put their car in a safe space. In all editions, we give all the money that we do in the car park to the IPO, it’s like the Portuguese cancer institution, so we give all the amount of money that we do in the car park to the institution.

Future Projects

  • What are your plans for the future growth and development of the festival? 

This year, 2023, will be a big step for our brand, we cannot speak about it now because we will have news very, very very soon regarding this situation. But we believe that this year will be one of the most important year since the beginning of the brand. And I think maybe in one, two years, everybody will know some of it.


  • How do you incorporate feedback from attendees, sponsors, and other stakeholders into improving the festival experience? 

After all the editions we review all the positive and negative critics of our attendees, when they have a positive critic, we try to keep the thing in the next edition, but when we see something that is not good or some negative critic, we try to change it year after year to try to improve the festival.

Regarding sponsors, nowadays, we don’t have sponsors, but we are looking for sponsors that have the same image as the festival. For now we do the things for ourselves, me and Wilson. So the only thing here is the critics of our attendance, that is the most important thing for us to change for the next edition.


  • Finally, what advice do you have for aspiring festival organizers or individuals interested in the events and entertainment industry?

The biggest advice that I can give to someone that wants to start working in this industry is first to be persistent. This is not an easy industry and in the beginning it’s really hard because it’s a closed industry It’s not easy to get in.

The second thing is to always believe in your ideas, and if someone said to you, Oh, no, I don’t believe in that. If you believe, you need to move forward because if you believe, you need to do it.

And the third and most important thing is you need to love music. I think the most important thing in these industries is to do what you love, and fortunately, I’m a lucky guy because I love what I do. The love for music is the most important thing for someone that wants to work in this industry. Music is the answer.

Music is the answer