Festival of Contraband in its «normal format» returns in 2023

Mayor of Alcoutim says that, even though it is guaranteed to take place, support such as that coming from “365 Algarve” is essential for the event to have the dimension it had before the pandemic

Smuggling Festival – Photo: Nuno Costa | Sul Informação (File)

The Contraband Festival returns in March 2023 «in the normal format», with a bridge that will allow you to cross the Guadiana on foot between Alcoutim and Sanlúcar de Guadiana, he revealed to Sul Informação Osvaldo Gonçalves, President of the Chamber of Alcoutim.

The return of this three-day event, which had a very quick affirmation and, before the pandemic, attracted tens of thousands of people from both sides of the border to the two border locations, is already certain, but the size and schedule it may have depends on largely from the support that may arise.

«We had the constraints caused by the pandemic and that was the main reason why we stopped making that version with the floating bridge, as people know it and the way it was created», said Osvaldo Gonçalves.

«But it is also always good that we think about this: there is something that no longer exists, which are the fundamental support of “365Algarve” and whose alternative has not yet been given to us», he added.

After all, Festival do Contrabando was born and consolidated with the support of this program by the first government led by António Costa, which financed cultural and entertainment activities carried out in the low season, in the Algarve region.

“We continue to insist with the authorities, whether tourism or culture, and the CCDR to demand the creation of support, by whatever name, but that help us in the realization of these great events”, defended the mayor alcoutenejo.

It is because, without support, «it becomes difficult to guarantee the same quality with which we are used to people. I have always said that “365 Algarve” allowed us to create the festival in the same way we created it».

“I'm not saying that we won't do the Contraband Festival if we don't have support. But I have to admit that whether we have a larger or smaller festival in terms of projection, organizational capacity and programming itself, that will depend on the support we can have», he summarized.

«We do not have a Municipal Budget that allows us to spend a very large amount of money without this support. We have made this claim and I hope we can get this funding," he concluded.