Favela Festival

An example of the kind of projects CUFA implement. In this case using music as an instrument of social inclusion

 Batuque D Gueto, Favela Festival first place
Batuque D Gueto, Favela Festival first place


  • Strategic sustainability advice
  • Project co-creation
  • Coalition building / collective impact facilitation
  • Promotion 

Main partners:

  • Globo TV
  • Petrobrás
  • Brazilian Federal Government
  • Rio de Janeiro Government and Culture Secretary

Major objectives:

  • Promote a positive image of the favelas
  • Raise awareness of the musical innovation, talent, creativity and expertise in the favelas
  • Promote artistis from the favelas
  • Bring alternative jobs to favela residents
  • Enhance self esteem and raise aspirations
  • Engage favela residents in health promotion campaigns
  • Communicate further opportunities and social initiatives to favela residents

Results 2012:

  • 30 shows
  • 2,500 musicians participated
  • 60,000 live audience at the shows
  • 8 million TV audience view national final
  • Winner: Batuk D'Gueto now making CDs, performing, getting airtime on national radio.



More than 11.4 million Brazilians live in deprived areas, known as favelas, according to the Brazilian Statistics Institute, IBGE - that’s more that the whole population of Portugal - but in reality there are far more than that. Where inequality, violence, housing, health care, education and citizenship are major problems, many people do not have papers and are not included in official statistics. Deprivation is one of the biggest social problems in one of the most socially unequal countries in the world.

Brazil is a strong player in the new world order, and despite lying sixth among world economies, ahead of the UK, it still has serious social issues to address. Projects like this one can contribute to improving conditions for the most deprived communities


Favela Festival, is an annual music festival from and in all the Brazilian favelas. The three most popular bands, who win the public online vote, get the opportunity to play with famous musicians like Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Sandra Sá, and Cidade Negraand to promote their music throughout Brazil

The festival uses music as an instrument of change to bring Brazilian society’s attention to the talent, quality, creativity and innovative new musical styles emanating from the favelas. We aim to reveal a different face of the favelas, not one of poverty and violence, and to promote the influence of favelas on Brazilian culture.

The festival brings visibility to artists from the favelas and provides music related job opportunities. Many of the participants in Favela Festival are now bringing out CDs, performing, getting airtime on national and international radio and working in the music sector. Seeing the success of the musicians raises the self esteem of the favelas and the aspirations of the young people. 

In addition favela residents who are drawn to the shows are presented with further opportunities such as social projects or health campaigns, for example AIDS or dengue fever prevention.

For many of the musicians it was the first time their work received such exposure and was promoted. Now many other young people from their communities are seriously studying music inspired by the Favela Festival, not only to work as musicians, but also backstage, in production and other music related professions. 

Testimonials from favela residents can be watched in the following link "Caetano Veloso".

Favela Festival videos: