UNESCO City of Music

since 2015

About the Creative City: 

Situated in Portugal’s Centro Region, Idanha-a-Nova lives by the rhythm of music, with the Municipality’s logo representing two Adufe tambourines. With this percussion instrument being a genuine symbol of the local identity, its presence is reflected throughout the city; the annual magazine dedicated to the city’s traditions and music history is named after the instrument. With an array of cultural events taking place, this publication has become a popular guide for tourists and locals wanting to learn about the city’s heritage and festivals. 

Over the last twenty years, The Boom Festival has undoubtedly become the most popular local music event and animates the city for one week during the summer period, turning Idanha-a-Nova into a concert area covering 140 hectares. This event gathers more than 40,000 festivalgoers coming from 150 countries worldwide to attend a wide range of 800 artists’ performances. In Idanha-a-Nova, the importance of social cohesion through music is the key focus of the 130-year-old Idanhense Brass Band, a research and training centre which fosters intercultural dialogue and gives people of all ages the opportunity to participate and experience traditional and contemporary music. Other private and civil society organisations are also supporting music-centric projects, as well as trying to advance music in public policy by collaborating with the city’s administration in bottom-up initiatives.

The Municipality of Idanha-a-Nova fully integrates creativity as an essential component of the city’s strategies and plans. As for the music sector, the city’s vision not only focuses on increasing audiences but also on providing enough training spaces for musicians and entrepreneurs to thrive. To this end, the Municipality established in 2013 the Idanha Incubator of Creative Industries dedicated to training and business development assistance, focusing predominately on cultural production, green economy and sustainable development.

As a Creative City of Music, Idanha-a-Nova envisages:

  • mapping and merging the city’ s educational programmes dedicated to music in order to foster an inclusive and sustainable educational offering through an integrated learning experience, from elementary school to university, for all ages and genders;
  • implementing the Social Inclusion Project aimed at nurturing social cohesion as well as intercultural and intergenerational dialogue through music, by particularly involving senior women, young people and Romani people;
  • encouraging cross-cutting and public-private cooperation through research centres, universities, enterprises, specialized in different fields of the creative sector, to share knowledge and to launch innovative joint projects using creativity as a driver for sustainable urban development; and
  • strengthening international cooperation through the Portuguese Musical Fusion programme aimed at sharing musical know-how and enhancing the mobility of artists, as well as through the exchange of best practices with other Creative Cities of Music.


Paulo Longo dos Santos
Head of the Department of Culture
Municipality of Idanha-a-Nova

Facts and Figures

Idanha-a-Nova is a municipality in the district of Castelo Branco in east-central Portugal. Idanha-a-Nova has hosted the massive biannual BoomFestival since 2002, during which the population of the community temporarily increases more than fivefold.
1,416.34 km2