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WOMEX 2021



In October 2021, the city of Porto hosted the WOMEX Festival - The World Music Expo, one of the most important events in the world for those who work in the music industry.

Spanning over 26 years of history, the event attracts attendees from all over the world. The project of bringing this event to Portugal was an old one.


© Filipa Brito

"Today is a historic milestone. This idea of wanting to bring WOMEX to Portugal is over 20 years old," stated at a press conference, the general manager of AMG Music, António Miguel Guimarães, the production company responsible for organising the festival in Portugal.

But in 2021, Portugal was, as the rest of the world, living with all the pandemic related restrictions, which brought a lot of extra challenges. The Mayor and the Municipality’s support was a big help.

António Miguel Guimarães, stressed that "Porto is more than prepared to host events on a global scale like this".

The Alfândega do Porto was the epicentre of this initiative, as the venue ticked all the boxes in requirements needed. But the programme involved pretty much all the city, including venues like: Rivoli Municipal Theatre, Coliseu do Porto or Casa da Música.

Over the course of five days and five nights, Alfândega do Porto hosted the trade fair, with over 200 stands and delegates from 70 countries, including artists, agents, editors, managers, event promoters, technicians, and journalists.

The conferences hosted over 80 speakers, and the event comprehended networking sessions, and some showcases. The building was used exclusively for WOMEX.

This was one of the first events that took place in Portugal without a mandatory mask, so all the security measures played an important part.

© Filipa Brito