In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean there is a group of 9 volcanic Islands called the Azores Islands. They are one of the most remotely calm, beautiful and welcoming places in Portugal.
In the Island of Pico there is a non-profit cultural association called Mirateca Arts which makes an incredible job promoting the Azores´s culture to those that visit the Island and vice-versa.
In 2013 the association´s Artistic Director Terry Costa took upon himself the challenge to bring the Fringe Festival to the Island. The Fringe Festivals are a network of Cultural Festivals happening all over the world.
Two years later the Azores Fringe Festival is in its 3rd edition and part of the annual cultural route in the Azores making it a must see to those that visit in this time of the year.
The Festival is established in Pico, but there are events happening in different Islands of the archipelago as well. It takes place during the stretch of a whole month, compiling art, creativity and culture in the shape of concerts, cinema, theater, street art, expositions, traditional games, sculpturing, painting, public debates, field trips, fingerboarding, skateboarding, a variety of workshops and much much more.
Lowpro was invited to promote Fingerboarding and help judge the skate competition on the GoSkateboarding Day – Pico which was part of the Festival´s activities. Terry´s main focus was to give back to the Islands´s Skaters, so I obviously answered the call.
Being my first time in the Islands, I was soon to find out how amazing the people from Azores are and how the Portuguese Fingerboard and Skate scenes extend until such faraway places in my own country.
The event itself was amazing, it couldn’t be otherwise.
Imagine yourself in an Island in the middle of the Atlantic, in a Skate competition and Fingerboard event, where Europe is 1665km away and America some odd 3620Km. You look straight and you are in an incredible event organized by inspiring people, you look right and you see another island far away, you look left and you see a volcano beautifully set in the scenario - this is the Azores Fringe Festival.
It is in these moments that one feels that Fingerboard and Skateboard culture is universal. That the power of people getting together and doing what they love breaks any barrier and makes us evolve.
… And it all starts with the will of one man only.
In the end of the day life is what we make of it. Our “scenes” are what we make of it and are proportional to our power of will.
Thank you Mirateca Arts and above all Terry Costa, your efforts to promote culture and the arts are inspiring to say the least.
Fringe Festival Worlwide - http://www.worldfringe.com/
Azores Fringe Festival - https://www.facebook.com/azoresfringefestival/
Mirateca Arts - https://www.facebook.com/MiratecArts/
Lowpro – www.lowpro.pt /
Lowpro´s Pics the Event - https://www.flickr.com/photos/129664442@N05/sets/72157654981973595/
Where are the Azores? - https://email@example.com,-27.4469464,7z?hl=en /
Text by André Coral
Photos by André Coral & Verónica Melo