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The complete Mindelo event calendar

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Mindelo is the cultural capital of Cape Verde. It's one of the aspects (and maybe the most important) of the city's identity. Mindelo hosts the country's biggest events and a high number of lesser known but quality events all year round. There is information on my blog across different pages about certain events, but this event calender gives you information about the largest events in Mindelo in one place.


São Vicente Day

One of the days of the year when Rua de Lisboa is closed off, and a huge stage is built for a big party. On São Vicente Day the habitants of Mindelo celebrate the 'discovery' of São Vicente island, which happened on the 22nd of January in 1462.

Expect a big headliner to close the show, both national and international.



Mindelo's hosts the biggest carnival celebration of Cape Verde. Carnival in Mindelo starts early. Right after New Years Eve the focus shifts to the greatest event of the year. The Mandingas usually start their parades on the first or second Sunday of the new year.

This is basically a big warm up until the official opening of Carnival, on Friday night. Carnival reaches its climax on ash Tuesday, with the official groups parading through the city center.

The 2020 edition will be on and aroud the 25th of Febuary (ash Tuesday).

Read More Here:

Carnival in Cape Verde


Laginha Youth Festival

One of the reasons why city hall decided on enlarging Laginha Beach was so that the beach would be a suitable place for events. It was no surprise that shortly after the 'opening' of the new and improved Laginha Beach city hall anounced the coming of a new festival in Mindelo.

Laginha has hosted different events in recent years. Next to the Laginha Summer Fest that is held in July, the youth festival takes place in April. The 2019 edition was all about the celebration of Mindelo's 140th birthday as a city.


São João

One of the traditional religious events in Cape Verde. Most people in the country are still catholic, although religion plays a small part in daily life today. The tradition of São João is celebrated all over Cape Verde, with music, parades and fire jumping.

Its celebration takes place in Ribeira de Julião, right outside Mindelo. Thousands of people come together for an event with many different food stalls and music performances.


Independence Day

Like with a few other events, Cape Verde's Independence Day this day is also celebrated on Rua de Lisboa with a big concert. Cape Verde celebrates its Independance Day on the 5th of July. The country gained independence from the Portugese in 1975.

Kavala Fresk Feastival

Kavala Fresk is a feastival (as the founders like to call it) focused around food. More especifically, the kavala, mackerel. It's one of the most eaten types of fish in Cape Verde. With the creation of the feastival the founders wanted to honour the Kavala, and fish dishes in general.

The Kavala Fresk feastival started a new trend around gastronomy focused events, which are usually created around dishes that are an important part of local life. Next to gastronomy, there is also attention for sea life and preservation and of course music.

Laginha Summer Fest

One of the reasons why city hall decided on enlarging Laginha Beach was so that the beach would be a suitable place for events. It was no surprise that shortly after the 'opening' of the new and improved Laginha Beach city hall anounced the coming of a new festival in Mindelo.

Laginha has hosted different events in recent years. 2019 saw the third editon of the Laginha Summer Fest, which will very likely return in 2020.


Mindel Summer Jazz

Jazz enthousiast Voo, known in Mindelo as the owner of nightlife spot Jazzy Bird, is one of the people behind Mindel Summer Jazz. The event, organized on the square behind the Palacio de Povo in the city center, has evolved into a big international music event.


Summer Carnival

The tradition of Summer Carnival only goes back a few years. The city wanted to do something for the many Cape Verdeans living abroad. Most can only come back during the summer months, and therefor always miss carnival. As it's a very exiting event for tourists as well, city hall decided to start hosting a Summer Carnival event.

Unlike Carnival in Febuary/March, the summer version is a one day thing. The parade of the carnival groups, in this case done at night, is followed by at least one after party.

The Summer Carnival takes place on the Tuesday before the Baía das Gatas festival.

Baía das Gatas

Cape Verde's oldest and biggest music festival. Baía das Gatas started back in 1984, as a protest towards musical censorship. The idea was that in the tiny village of Baía das Gatas the musicians would be able to play whatever music genre and lyrics they wanted.

Today, many thousands of people head out to 'Baía' in the second weekend of August, to see Cape Verde's most popular artists, together with international headliners. During the weekend of 'Baía' Mindelo seems like a ghots town. Many people camp out in 'Baía' for the weekend, or rent a house there.



Oia is a film festival that saw it's 4th edition in Mindelo in 2019. The festival draws attention with the big movie screen in the middle of the bay of Mindelo. But there is more to this cinematic festival. One of the missions of the creators is to provide room for national talent, and to give the audience the chance to get to know their work.



Cape Verde's number one theatre festival. The 2019 edition of MindelAct had performers and groups from 13 different countries and 3 continents in Mindelo. The festival was spread out over 11 days, 7 stages and saw 70 performances!


URDI is one of the city's newer festivals, focused on art and design. The event was created to give artisans a space to promote their work in front of a bigger public. Professional from the entire country travel to Mindelo for the chance to being displayed on the Praça Nova square in the heart of Mindelo.

As always, music also plays an important part in this event. The nights of URDI are closed off with live performances on Praça Nova, usually with traditional genres such as Morna and Coladeira.


Morna Fest

Morna, Cape Verde's traditional music genre has just been named 'Patrimonio de Humanidade' by Unesco. The 7th edition (2019), organized in the city center of Mindelo, comes just days after

it's announcement. Morna Fest is all about celebrating the music genre brought to the world by Cesaria Evora.

The very special edition of 2019 had the incredible Tito Paris as one of the headliners.

New Years Eve

An amazing time to be in Mindelo. Many (private) events take place before and around Christmas, and up to the last day of the year. The New Year is celebrated by thousands on Rua de Lisboa, with a big concert that goes until the early morning. Cape Verde's popular artists most perform durng this night.

It doesn't end there. At around 10:30 in the morning a marching band starts from Praça Nova, on a walk throughout the city to welcome the new year. People stay up to be able to join them, or join later as the band plays the entire day while parading through the city.

Freddy, the creator of the blog

Hi, I'm Freddy, the creator of the travelblog. Thank you so much for reading! Please feel free to message me with your questions, reservations and bookings.