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By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The 2015 edition of WebFestValda began on Thursday, July 23rd and will continue through Saturday, July 25th at Fundição Progresso in Lapa. The festival is a competition featuring twenty independent Brazilian bands vying for national and international recognition. Additionally, the three-day event includes performances by well-known Brazilian musicians including Pitty, Emicida, Cone Crew Diretoria, and Nando Reis, among others.

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The Cone Crew Diretoria will perform live on July 24th as part of the 2015 WebFestValda, Fundição Progresso Facebook image.

Produced by the food and beverage brand Valda Friends, the WebFestValda celebrates national Brazilian music and independent musicians. Valda Friends was founded in 1902 and began to develop a strong connection with the Brazilian music scene in the 1950s.

In 1992, further strengthening its ties with the industry and hoping to give relatively unknown Brazilian musicians broader exposure, the brand began the FestValda. The festival saw a successful run before ending in 1999. It then returned in 2012 as a digitized festival with the new name, WebFestValda.

Bands could apply to be part of the newly revamped festival by submitting a video on YouTube. By moving a major part of the festival to the internet, there was an added possibility of reaching millions of fans.

In 2012, 1,107 bands participated and in 2013, 1,218 videos were uploaded. In 2014, videos submitted by hopeful participants received over 1.3 million views on YouTube.

Twenty bands were selected from this year’s submissions and those twenty are performing live at Fundição Progresso to compete for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Already winners, each of the twenty bands was awarded R$5,000 upon their selection and, as they are arriving from places located throughout Brazil to take part in the festival, transportation to and from, and accommodation in Rio de Janeiro is also being provided by Valda Friends.

Thursday, July 23rd was the first night of two qualifying rounds. Ten of the bands, Kapitu, Black Sonora, Zambaben, Buddy Bob, Cabugá, Maisdois, Cadillac S.A., Antes de Ontem, Necrofobia, and Sapotchen played between live performances by Pitty and Raimundos.

On the night of Friday, July 24th, the second round of competing independent bands including Amanita, Djambê, Sinara, Eu, Tu, Eles, Paranambuco, Zé Brother, Luana Camarah, Todos os Santos, Elemento Principal and Muito Mais que Isso, will play between lives performances by the Cone Crew Diretoria and Emicida.

On Saturday, July 25th, band Suricato will open the night, performing beginning at 9PM. Following that, at 10PM, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners as well as Best Vocalist and Best Guitarist of the 2015 WebFestValda will be announced. Then Nando Reis will perform live to close out the festival.

What: WebFestValda
When: July 23rd, 24th and 25th. Doors open at 8PM and shows begin at 9PM.
Where: Fundição Progresso, Rua dos Arcos 24, Lapa
Entrance: R$50-R$100

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