Author: Tsveta Davidkova (July 23rd, 2019)
Germany’s state Bavaria is not only famous for beer, football and the beautiful Alps, but also has a 28 years of Samba History.
Once a year, on the second weekend of July, the Bavarian city Coburg turns into a Samba City, and hosts the International Samba festival, which is known to be the biggest Samba Festival outside Brazil . With more than 70 groups, 3000 musicians and 200.000 visitors, the festival is getting more and more successful every year.
Each group, playing Rio Samba, Samba Reggae, Capoeira or Maracatu, starts preparations for Coburg at least half a year before and gives their best to impress the audience. Coburg is where Samba groups from all over the world come together and present themselves.
Being in Coburg feels like stepping into a hidden world of magic. On every corner you can hear different rhythm, performed by people, who are so much into it, that they never want to stop. Joining the Samba community in Coburg gives you that wonderful family feeling. It’s as exciting as Christmas: You meet old friends and get to know new members of the Samba Family. There is a huge tent, where all musicians and dancers gather round, eat and hang out together. They exchange stickers, buttons and other small presents with their group’s logo, take pictures and sing songs.
One of the most impressive moments during the International Samba Festival was the contest for Rainha de Bateria on Friday night. Some of the most beautiful and delicate dancers in Europe showed their amazing skills, dancing to the catchy Samba rhythms performed by G.R.E.S. Unidos de Genève with Mestre Cédric Veillard.
Neyelle de Souza Vales was crowned Rainha da Bateria this year. The 30 year old drove with a car for 1300km from Toulouse, France – where she currently resides – to Coubrg, Germany .
Having a renowned title at the biggest samba festival in Germany was not easy, it was the hardest title of my career.Vales
Ana Paula Evangelista was chosen to be the Festival Queen for 2019 for the fourth year in a row. She’s a model and Musa of Unidos da Tijuca and was on a Euro tour when she decided to stop by Coburg and enchant everyone with her magical samba no pé. The dancer resides in London and is ready to party with Paraíso as Rainha da Bateria in the Noting Hill Carnival .
It is a great honor for me to be the queen of Europe’s biggest samba festival again, which is the Coburg festival.Evangelista
Another highlight of the festival was the participation of Felipe Moris, who won 3rd place in the competition for Rainha da Bateria. Felipe is the first man in history to have participated in such a competition and he felt very proud and successful to have secured the 3rd place.
History has been made. In 28 years of Coburg Festival, I was the first man to participate in the Queen competition and obtain a title competing as a man.Felipe Moris
Felipe also added that he chose the rainbow colors to promote peace and love and represent the entire LGBT community.
The love I received from the entire samba community is over whelming. It’s the support of Sambistas that keeps me going and I feel honored.Felipe spoke to Samba Diary
AAINJAA , a Samba Reggae group, whose members travelled all the way from Bogotá, Colombia impressed the samba world. The group was established in 2013 by Homero Cortés, who has long experience as percussionist, artistic director and teacher. They are a mixture of Afro-Colombian and Brazilian rhythms with the heartbeat of Funk .
Covered in gothic style, amazing make-up, AAINJAA with their wonderful choreography and energetic high-quality performance literally shocked the audience.
Everywhere in the city there were big stages and spots for street gigs, where each Samba School could perform their Bateria show and songs. From 11:00 until 00:00 Coburg was awake, listening and dancing to rhythms of Maracatu, Samba and Samba Reggae.
The festival offered amazing parties as well. On Friday everybody joined the crazy pagode night at the famous bar Highlander and on Saturday Vando Oliveira and friends played Roda de Samba all night, driving the people crazy and making them feel the Brazilian energy.
The most exciting part of the festival was Sunday’s big parade, where the audience could see all Samba Schools, which were chosen to perform in Coburg this year. The parade was lead by wonderful Porta Bandeira and Mestre Sala, followed by the Queen of Bateria, Queen of Festival and Musa of Festival. The atmosphere during parade was amazing. Not only the musicians and the dancers, but also the audience had caught a strong Samba fever. People were smiling, dancing and cheering, motivating the Sambistas to give all their energy to the music.