Toulouse sweats. Like all of the south-west of France. On the Filters meadow, on the banks of the Garonne, where the tempo of the 27th edition of Rio Loco beats until Sunday, Friday June 17 at 10 a.m., the organizers are meeting to refine and strengthen the heat wave plan. Temperatures approaching 40°C are forecast for the end of the afternoon. In two days since the start of the festival, the site has welcomed 14,000 spectators. A large audience is still expected in the coming days. In addition to the foggers and numerous water points, more than 27,000 life-saving bottles have just been delivered, the medical and first-aid team will be reinforced.

At nightfall, the day before, the diehards of rhythmic trance and dance nevertheless gathered in front of the small Nova Onda stage, dedicated to the Lisbon electro scene. A hut without walls, an open-air dance floor. That night, Rita Maia and Pedro da Linha, two of Lisbon’s most prominent DJs and producers, followed one another. The first is shared between this capital, her birthplace, and London where she also hosts radio programs – notably on Worldwide FM, Gilles Peterson’s web radio. She also directed (with Vasco Viana) the documentary Lisbon Beat (2019), which takes the pulse of current Afro-Lisboan musical energy.

Pedro da Linha claims the influence of Branko (programmed on Saturday with Cape Verdean Dino D’Santiago at Rio Loco), co-founder of Buraka Som Sistema, a group merging electro, Afro-zouk and Angolan kuduro. Pedro da Linha performs regularly in Lisbon at Lux and MusicBox, two popular night spots near the Tagus. He is currently putting the finishing touches to his second album and has produced the new one (Casa Guilhermina) by fado singer Ana Moura.

Organic sound materials

Unlike previous editions, this year, Rio Loco did not focus its program around a single theme but chose eclecticism, at the risk of blurring the clarity of the editorial line of the festival, spotted for a long time as a crossroads of music tell the world. “We now prefer to speak of a festival of contemporary world music,” rectifies Virginie Choquart, who succeeds Hervé Bordier. She supervises an artistic committee of four people. Bouncing back on the France-Portugal 2022 Season, Rio Loco offers a focus on Portugal within its programming, and benefits from the support of the French Institute (in addition to the label, an envelope of 30,000 euros).

Scheduled at 11:30 p.m. on Thursday on the Village stage, one of five spread over the Filtres meadow, Lucie Antunes was accompanied by her musicians Jean-Sylvain Le Goulic and Franck Berthoux, with whom she recorded her first album, Sergeï, and the EP LNM (CryBaby/In Finé, 2019 and 2021). The composer and musician (vibraphone, marimba, drums) claims the influence of Steve Reich and John Cage. She made the public dance with her music weaving organic sound materials and electronic frenzy.

A few days before Rio Loco, she had fun learning that she was stamped with the Focus Portugal label on the programs. “Of Spanish origin, I was born in Perpignan, I grew up in Marseille, I studied in Lyon, I live in Paris. The only link I have with Portugal is my name, that of my father. If Rio Loco plans a Spain focus in the next few years, it could be.