The floating Umbrellas in the festive sky of some of the selected streets of Agueda in Portugal started only a few years ago, as a part of the famous Ágitagueda art festival and surprisingly, it became an instant hit. Since then the canopy of umbrellas, floating all on their own like coloured balloons in the festive sky has become so popular that, it has become a tradition. Today, the wonderful installation has become a signature of the art festival and in a way it helped the art festival to become internationally famous
Every year, in the month of July, as a part of Ágitagueda art festival, hundreds of colourful umbrellas are hung over the promenades in a handful of the city’s narrow streets. The shades of bright colours of the umbrellas create a dreamy atmosphere of festive mood and help to boost up the spirits of the people. The vibrant splash of colour totally transforms the otherwise plain and ordinary streets into a tinted wonderland. It becomes a pleasure to walk under the umbrella sky. The installation also creates a much needed shade for the pedestrians to avert the direct rays of the Sun and protects them from the scorching heat of the cruel summer Sun.
Rooftop cables strung with numerous parasols thus help to cool the atmosphere in a creative, aesthetic and cost-effective way. The sea of umbrellas floating in the sky, not only forms a unique geometric pattern overhead, it also creates changing shadows on the road below. The streets under canopy of umbrellas lead to the arena of the art festival which is very conveniently located near to the heart of the city, along with the convenience stores, cafes, and restaurants.
Apart from the decorated streets, other parts of the urban landscape, like park benches, stairs, and power poles, are also painted with colours, following the examples of street art, creating the illusion of a dreamland.
Since the project began in Agueda, the creating art group, Sextafeira Producoesis, tries to find out ways to change the scenery a little bit, to give it a fresh look. They have also launched offshoots of this work in other cities of the world as well.