Curating MOGA Caparica

Discover what it takes to host a multifaceted festival on a public beach…

Taking place on the Costa da Caparica coast of Portugal from 29 May to 2 June, MOGA Caparica has become a mainstay in the Portuguese boutique festival calendar. This year, MOGA transitioned from a series of beach parties to a full-fledged beach festival with a single expansive site and three stages, while remaining a compact gathering for music and art lovers inspired by Atlantic vibes and aimed at connecting people from all over the world. As the sand settled on this year’s event, TPi sat down with founder, Matthieu Corosine and Executive Producer, Laura Seabra of Música no Coração to find out what it takes to host a multifaceted festival on a public beach.

“Taking the leap from a series of beach parties to a full boutique beach festival was a big step, but incredibly exciting. It was challenging to grow while keeping the intimate vibe our MOGA tribe loves,” Corosine said. “At Praia da Morena, we now have two beach clubs forming one fantastic venue, offering more comfort. With three stages, chill-out areas, food trucks, and an on-site after-party club, we provide a complete, immersive experience in one of the most beautiful natural settings we’ve ever seen.”

Suppliers came in the shape of Portuguese outfits Matias for AV, Nuno Srl for stage design, Nuno Cruz for site operations (fencing and barriers) and US-based Natural Events for compostable toilets. “Portugal is a tiny market, so we knew or had worked with the suppliers in the past. We wanted to keep the pre-existing suppliers. It makes sense to maintain the structure; they have experience of this unique festival site and the challenges associated with it. The entire team has united to deliver a unique experience for festival goers,” Seabra said. “It’s essential to work with local companies and champion the artistic and live events sector in Portugal. We work with an international suppliers when it comes to the toilets because there isn’t a national supplier able to facilitate the number of compostable toilets required.”

Despite the growth of the festival, multiple stages helped distribute attendees evenly, preventing any feeling of overcrowding. Corosine elaborated: “The safe access to the sea and the stunning surroundings creates a sense of intimacy and connection. We have designed cozy, engaging spaces where people can relax, enjoy the music, and connect with each other. This thoughtful setup ensures that even as we grow as a festival, we maintain the unique, close-knit atmosphere that makes MOGA special.”

Seabra added: “Although the suppliers and the bulk of the crew remain the same as prior iterations of the event, the festival offering has expanded with more stages, with more demand on crew, everything has been suitably upscaled, while maintaining the ethos of the festival. Seeing people happy is always my goal, from the moment the music starts until it ends.”

Music formed part of an exciting schedule of events at this year’s MOGA. Acid Arab (DJ set), Adassiya (live), Agoria, Francis Mercier, Mâhoud (live), Lee Burridge, Romain FX (live), Rui Vargas, To Ricciardi, Zengxrl and many more joined the likes of Acid Pauli, Dixon, Dekmantel Soundsystem, Jan Blomqvist (live) and Pachanga Boys on the stacked line-up.

In addition to the live electronic music and parties, the festival also aims to pay homage to the vibrant surf town of Costa Da Caparica, the festival’s OFF format featured free events at beach clubs, a boat party, a family friendly MOGA kids’ programme in the park, conferences and masterclasses, dinners with local fishermen, yoga sessions on the beach, street art performances, and more.

“In our effort to support local businesses, we’ve introduced a special hotspots programme, allowing festival attendees to explore and enjoy discounts or receive thoughtful gifts at various shops, restaurants, and bars,” Corosine explained. “The festival culminates in a spectacular beach event called IN at Praia da Morena, where attendees can revel in three days of music and relaxation against the backdrop of a stunning sunset.”

According to Seabra, “nightmare” doesn’t begin to describe the headaches associated with hosting a festival on a public beach. “The sand, man… The sand!” she laughed. “Everything is an extra challenge. We do most of the load -in and -out either very early in the morning or overnight, focussing on small assembly points at a time. In Portugal, the entire coast is rightfully considered a public space; we want to keep it that way, so we don’t take up too much space and make sure that beachgoers aren’t impacted. With the right team and number of hands, anything is possible.”

Reflecting on the success of the fourth iteration of the festival, Corosine proudly reported: “After all these years of organising parties, the excitement of seeing people gathering around music is still intact. This entire experience attracts people from around the globe – representing 28 nationalities – who seek to nourish their ears, souls and bodies in the spectacular set up of Costa Da Caparica, all while making a positive impact on the local community. We’re looking forward to hosting MOGA Essaouira in October.”

Words: Jacob Waite