The Cultural Association Maré de Agosto was formally established in 1987, but it was the result of a “magical jam session” back in 1984.
It all started when a group of artists from the Azores decided to promote a meeting between musicians in the island of Santa Maria. From there to the concretization of the idea was a small step, contacts were made and some of the best musicians of the Azores were reunited in the small Island of Santa Maria. The initiative pleased everyone in a way that everyone agreed that it should continue in the years to come.
In those first editions various events took place in different stages around the island, at “Praia Formosa”, denominated (Pousada da Praia) in that time, “Chaminé Disco” , and at the only public swimming pool. Those were the main places in 1984 and 1985. After 1985 the local gymnasium was also used for a few times.
The idea continued to grow and in 1986 it was stipulated a final location were all the conditions necessary for the realization of the Festival were gathered. It was decided that the festival should take place in a location called “Baía da Praia Formosa”, just 20 meters from the sea, a location considered by many to be magical.
Also in the same year another innovated idea came up. The will to learn, share experiences and meat new people, brought many outside groups to Santa Maria, from Portugal, United States, Africa, Brazil, and many more...
Because of the rapid growth and enormous ambition, there was the necessity to register the event. In 1987 the A.C.M.A. - Cultural Association Maré de Agosto, was officially established.
The main activity is the organization of the International Festival of Music Maré de Agosto. But it goes beyond that, various events are also organized by the Association, like, theatre, plastic arts, workshops, photography, etc...
The Association is one of the most important dynamic sources in the cultural and playful live of less them 6000 habitants and a reference in the Azores cultural panorama. The events also contributed in the growth of the island’s economy.
It's without a doubt not common for a Music Festival to happen every year since 1984. This also gets more obvious because the Festival is organized in a small Island in the middle of the North Atlantic and is recognized by its quality.
The Festival already brought to Santa Maria more than 200 concerts performed by more than 150 different groups and 1000 musicians. Among them, names from the musical, national and international panorama, representing different music and cultures. Tânia Maria, Extreme, Rui Veloso, Madredeus, Trovante, Sérgio Godinho, Carlos do Carmo, Trevor Watts, José Mário Branco, Fausto, Carlos Paredes, GNR, Xutos & Pontapés, Resentidos, Ivan Lins, Rao Kyao, Júlio Pereira, Maria João, Mário Laginha, Martinho da Vila, Zizi Possi, Waldemar Bastos, Gabriel o Pensador, James Cotton, Omar Sosa, Dave Murray, Eric Sardinas, John Lee Hooker Jr., Celtas Cortos, Kíla, Anthony Gomes, Trio Mocotó, Skatalites, Angélique Kidjo, Asian Dub Foundation, Gentleman, Stanley Jordan, Lenine, Ana Moura, Jahcoustix, Royal Republic, Selah Sue, Michael Kiwanuka, Carminho, Maria Gadú, Marinah Ojos de Brujo, O Rappa, Matt Simons, Bombino and Moullinex just to name a few.