For the 16th consecutive year, Neopop unfolded in the Portuguese town of Viana do Castelo – find out about our trip to Portugal.

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Neopop positioned roughly 70 kilometers north of Porto, this peaceful harbor settlement graces the mouth of the Lima River as it meets the Atlantic.

The fortress of Forte Santiago da Barra, nestled in the estuary, consistently provides the esteemed backdrop for Neopop.

Neopop’s lineup has consistently showcased diversity, drawing in an audience with a spectrum of musical tastes. From techno at – or even pushing beyond – the boundaries to more refined live sets, this year’s program covered a wide musical spectrum.

Although posing challenges for music enthusiasts at times, the varied mix was warmly received by the attendees.

The Neopop festival, coupled with the tremendous visuals crafted by DUBLAB, once again transported attendees to an unparalleled realm of sensory bliss, solidifying its status as a visual and auditory feast for the senses. Against the backdrop of Portugal’s enchanting landscapes, DUBLAB’s magnificent visuals became an integral part of the immersive experience that Neopop consistently delivers.

The synergy between the music and visuals was nothing short of magical. As beats reverberated through the festival grounds, DUBLAB’s visual artistry painted the atmosphere with a kaleidoscope of colors, patterns, and captivating imagery. The visuals became a living, breathing entity, dancing in harmony with the pulsating rhythms, creating a synesthetic experience that transcended the boundaries of traditional performance.

The lineup, carefully curated to cater to a broad range of musical tastes, became a melting pot of sonic expressions. For those who thrive on the relentless pulse of techno, the festival offered an immersive experience, pushing the boundaries of the genre and challenging enthusiasts to embrace the avant-garde. At the same time, the inclusion of live sets brought a refreshing contrast, showcasing the versatility of electronic music and inviting attendees to explore the subtleties within each performance.

Chris Liebing pushing the boundaries during his performance

The Neopop grounds appear easily accessible. Two stages were positioned along the southwestern corner of the fortress walls: the expansive Neo Stage on the west wall and the slightly smaller Anti Stage, designed in a rave hall, on the south wall.

Although merely a minute’s walk apart, the stages were surprisingly insulated from each other, owing to their layout and the fortress wall serving as a barrier – a vital precaution given the powerful sound. Neopop deliberately limited additional attractions, offering only a well-equipped food court and a modest mirror installation.

Equally enthralling was Richie Hawtin’s performance, a maestro well-versed in the grandeur of stages like this. His seasoned expertise was palpable as he effortlessly commanded the crowd with a sound so potent and unequivocal that even the most skeptical attendees found themselves swayed by its magnetic force.

Hawtin’s mastery of the stage was a testament to his years of experience, weaving a sonic tapestry that resonated through the venue and left an indelible mark on the night.

As the clock ticked into the early morning hours, the Neo Stage became a sonic haven with a lineup that continued to push the boundaries. Lewis Fautzi took the reins, delivering a set that seamlessly blended innovation with intensity, setting the stage for a night that refused to be confined by the constraints of time. Oscar Mulero followed suit, navigating the crowd through a labyrinth of beats that echoed in the depths of the night, creating an immersive experience for all in attendance.

The culmination of this sonic journey was the performance by the ever-entrancing Dasha Rush, whose artistry added an extra layer of complexity to the overall experience.

Her ethereal soundscape cast a mesmerizing spell, intertwining with the collective heartbeat of the crowd. Each beat, each note, was a brushstroke on the canvas of the night, painting a picture of profound musicality.

In the early hours of the morning, as the Neo Stage continued to pulsate with energy, it was evident that this was more than just a series of performances—it was a transcendental experience. The collaboration of seasoned artists had created a symphony of electronic resonance, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to be part of this odyssey.

Liebing’s set was a testament to the evolution of techno over the years. Each carefully curated track served as a sonic chapter, telling a story that resonated with the seasoned techno enthusiasts and ignited the curiosity of those new to the genre. The dance floor became a pulsating sea of energy as Liebing masterfully guided the crowd through peaks and valleys of intensity, creating a symphony of electronic vibrations.

What made Chris Liebing’s performance exceptional was not just his technical prowess but his ability to connect with the audience on a visceral level. The beats resonated not just in the ears but in the very core of the festival-goers, forging a connection that went beyond the music. It was a shared experience, a collective immersion into the sonic landscape sculpted by a true pioneer.

Dax J’s set at the Neopop festival emerged as an unforgettable highlight, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and ears of those fortunate enough to witness his sonic mastery. He took the stage from the first beat, it was evident that this performance would be nothing short of extraordinary.

Dax J, known for his style, did not disappoint. His set was a journey through time and sound, skillfully weaving together a tapestry of surprises and old-school grooves that captivated the audience from start to finish. The seamless transitions between tracks created an immersive experience, where each moment was a revelation, and each beat resonated with a sense of nostalgia and innovation.

The set was a testament to Dax J’s deep understanding of electronic music, effortlessly bridging the gap between the past and the present.

The closing set by Rødhåd at Neopop added a mesmerizing chapter to the festival’s sonic narrative. Known for his prowess in crafting darker, moody techno, Rødhåd took the stage with an air of anticipation, and what unfolded was a masterful transformation that resonated with the sun-soaked surroundings of Portugal.

The majestic transition orchestrated by Rødhåd served as a fitting conclusion to the festival, a sonic voyage that mirrored the dynamic energy of Neopop itself. The fusion of his distinctive sound with the vibrant ambiance of Portugal’s landscape created a unique and unforgettable moment for those in attendance.

The end of the Heineken Anti Stage was transformed into a haven of positivity, courtesy of Daria Kolosova and Etapp Kyle.

Their energy translated into a musical dialogue that invited the audience to join them on a journey of positive exploration and shared bliss. It was a testament to the festival’s commitment to diversity, showcasing that electronic music is not just about beats and rhythms but also about the shared experience and connection.

In navigating the musical spectrum, Neopop provided a platform for both seasoned artists and emerging talents to showcase their unique voices. The warm reception from attendees highlighted not only the festival’s prowess in curating a diverse lineup but also the open-mindedness of its audience, fostering a community where the love for music transcended genre limitations.

As the beats echoed through the festival grounds, Neopop once again proved that the true essence of electronic music lies in its ability to break down barriers, unite diverse souls, and create an immersive experience where the power of sound knows no bounds.

Freshkitos, led by the visionary founder Gustavo, brought a unique blend of sounds that captivated festival-goers from the outset. Their set was a fusion of eclectic beats, seamlessly interwoven to create a sonic journey that reflected both expertise and a deep understanding of the diverse musical palette within the electronic scene.

We had a chat also with Gustavo Pereira about the festival our talk you can find below: here

The 2023 edition stood as a testament to Neopop’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of musical exploration and providing a platform for the convergence of varied tastes within the electronic music landscape.