The Atlantic Festival, an event that sets the beginning of the summer season in Madeira, is one of the most recent tourist entertainment events, held for the first time in June 2002.
This event consists of a diverse set of initiatives spread throughout the month of June, with emphasis on the pyromusical shows; the Madeira Music Festival and the Regional Arts Week.
The pyromusical shows are held on four consecutive Saturdays of the month of June, at 10:30 p.m. at the pier outside Pontinha. These wonderful and exciting performances, lasting about 21 minutes each, combine fireworks and music in a unique experience for tourists and residents.
In these shows, companies will compete for a trophy awarded by public vote, through the Internet and boxes located in strategic places in Funchal city (City Pier – day of the show, Dolcevita, Marina Shopping, Tourism Office).
Other initiatives that are included on the schedule:
Regional Arts Week
This is an event organized by the Regional Art Education Association – AREArtística, intended to showcase the learning and artistic skills of Madeiran students, acquired during school, through various activities that will be held in the city centre, specifically the “Feast at the Gardens”, the Regional Artistic Meetings, the Regional Exhibition of Artistic Expression, and ESCOLartes. The programme includes several artistic performances in the areas of Song, Drama/Theatre, Instrumental, Traditional Madeiran Chordophones and Dance, in addition to the Regional Exhibition of Artistic Expression, which includes a Painting contest. This event, in its third instalment, shares the artistic work and experiments of about 4000 students from the local primary and secondary schools, and the participation of several groups in the field of Special Education, consolidating bonds between local schools and the community, from a social openness perspective.
Madeira Music Festival
The Madeira Music Festival is a prestigious event that significantly enriches the cultural offer of this Autonomous Region. Promoted by the Regional Secretariat for Economy, Tourism and Culture through the Regional Directorate for Culture , this Festival takes place in the month of June, with a programme aimed to appeal to multiple audiences by offering very diverse genres, repertoires, styles and performers, thus seeking to maintain the quality that keeps this event in our cultural calendar. Organised for over thirty years, the Madeira Music Festival is a prestigious event in the classical music world. The multiplicity of its musical offers enables musical concerts to be held at several of the most emblematic heritage venues such as the Casa das Mudas Art Centre, Baltazar Dias Municipal Theatre and the Santa Clara Convent, thus bringing a wider enjoyment to those audiences who seek out the uniqueness of our cultural tourism offer. From sacred music to contemporary dance, not forgetting the repertoires for piano and cello da spalla and the new Madeiran traditional music, the Madeira Music Festival has established itself as the greatest cultural event in June’s cultural agenda, which every year has progressively attracted more public, both residents and visitors.
Regional Bread Fair
The Regional Bread Fair is an event organised by the Funchal Lions Club for over 20 years and usually takes place at Largo da Restauração, with the purpose of raising funds for the club’s charity works. Each installment of this event includes entertainment by folk groups in the mornings and afternoons of each festival day, and a Serenade after the fireworks.
Popular Saints Festivities
The Popular Saints Festivities are celebrations that are held in several countries, historically related to the summer solstice pagan festival, which was celebrated on June 24th. The Autonomous Region of Madeira is no exception, and a bit throughout the Region, the month of June is synonymous with celebrations in praise of the three Popular Saints: Saint Anthony, Saint John and Saint Peter. The Saint John altars, which constitute a festivity based in a neighbourhood tradition, in addition to the traditional food of the Popular Saints, holds a public contest of the Altars to the patron Saint. It takes place every year during the week that includes Saint John’s Day, usually the last week of June. It is held in Rua da Figueira Preta, Travessa dos Reis, Rua da Conceição and Praça do Carmo.
The marches are attractions that also mark the neighbourhood tradition of paying homage to the Popular Saints. They are held throughout the island, particularly in the villages where there is great devotion to the saints being paid homage.