Ultimate Guide to Universo Paralello 2023: What to Expect?

Joining the Universo Paralello Festival in Brazil is a experience like no other


Welcome to the Universo Paralello, a festival like no other! Set against Brazil’s breathtaking landscapes, this event is more than just a musical extravaganza; it’s a journey into a world of cultural richness and natural beauty.

The 2024 edition promises to be even more unforgettable, with incredible attractions, stunning settings, and unique experiences. As you gear up for it, there’s an entire universe beyond the dance floors waiting to be explored.

This blog post is filled with valuable tips and suggestions on organizing your adventure to Universo Paralello 2024, from buying tickets to choosing the best accommodation.

Whether you’re a seasoned festival-goer or a first-time visitor to this tropical paradise, these tips will help you make the most of your Universo Paralello experience.

So, pack your bags, grab your sunglasses, and prepare for an unforgettable journey through the heart of Brazil!

What is Universo Paralello?

Universo Paralello is one of Brazil’s most iconic music festivals and a hidden gem in the electronic scene.

Born at the turn of the millennium, Universo Paralello began as a dream shared by a group of people passionate about electronic music. Fast forward to today, it has evolved into a massive gathering, attracting thousands of festival-goers from across the globe to dance together on the biggest trance festival in Latin America.

Universo Paralello is also a biennial celebration that marks the end of one year and the beginning of another, often coinciding with New Year’s Eve.

Universo Paralello: music festival in Brazil

When is the next Universo Paralello?

The next Universo Paralello is just around the corner! The festival is taking place between December 27th and January 3rd, 2024. So, it’s time to start planning for this epic journey into music, culture, and self-discovery.

Traditionally, the festival occurs every two years. However, the edition scheduled for the 2022 New Year’s Eve did not happen due to the pandemic. Perhaps the event will be held again over the end of 2023 to make up for this gap.

Where does Universo Paralello happen?

Nestled on the pristine and remote beaches of Pratigi in Bahia, Universo Paralello offers an escape from reality. You will get the chance to dance on the sand, surrounded by the lush greenery of Brazil, with the ocean’s horizon stretching infinitely. The festival’s location isn’t just beautiful; it’s transformative.

How to Buy Tickets for Universo Paralello 2023/24?

Tickets for Universo Paralello are sold on the event’s official website.

The 2023/24 edition prices range from R$ 1,300 to R$ 2,600, approximately $250 to USD 500.

There is also an option to purchase a ‘solidarity half-ticket,’ which includes the donation of 1 kg of non-perishable food, valid for Brazilian students, teachers, and military personnel, with mandatory proof through a photo ID.

Buying a ticket for just one day of the event is impossible. The only available entrance option is for the entire duration of the festival.

What to expect from Universo Paralello 2023/2024

As you gear up for Universo Paralello 2023/2024, get ready for an extraordinary experience that goes beyond the typical music festival experience. The event is known for celebrating electronic music, culture, art, and community.

The festival is famous for its diverse music lineup, featuring a variety of electronic genres. Attendees can expect an exciting sonic adventure, from the mesmerizing beats of psytrance to the lively rhythms of techno. The event will showcase a mix of renowned international DJs and talented local artists, creating an unforgettable soundscape for everyone.

The UP is dedicated to showcasing art and creativity, which is evident in the breathtaking installations and performances. There are a variety of workshops and activities that you can participate in. You can join yoga sessions at sunrise, dance workshops, or attend talks on sustainability and wellness. These experiences offer a platform for personal development and community building, providing opportunities to learn, engage, and grow.

Universo Paralello boasts a diverse and inclusive community, one of its most beautiful aspects. People from different cultures and backgrounds come together to share their love for music and the arts.

With a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability, the festival aims to foster responsible behavior among its attendees. Initiatives such as waste reduction, recycling programs, and eco-friendly facilities are implemented to minimize the event’s ecological impact.

Programming and Structure of Universo Paralello 2023/24

At the Universo Paralello 2023/2024, attendees can expect a diverse array of stages and activities:

  1. Main Floor: The Main Floor is the heart of the festival and a hub for psytrance and its sub-genres, featuring artists from around the world who come together to create a cathartic experience through music. It is a place for deep meditation and magic, embodying the core spirit of the festival.
  2. UP Club: The UP Club celebrates its 12th anniversary. It’s a place for music enthusiasts who enjoy “Low BPM” music, with genres including House music, Progressive House, and Techno. The club is famous for its mesmerizing view and beachfront location, and it has become a hub for both national and international artists to showcase their talent.
  3. Chillout Stage: Dedicated to creating a space for energy rebalancing and exploring diverse musical expressions, the Chillout Stage offers slowed-down and sometimes meditative beats.
  4. 303 Stage: The 303 Stage welcomes psytrance legends and young talents, symbolizing creativity, growth, and spontaneity, resonating with the festival’s dynamic and creative spirit.
  5. Palco Paralello: This stage is dedicated to showcasing musical diversity by featuring a different style of music each day, including Reggae, MPB, Rap, and Hip-hop. It’s an open platform welcoming bands, acoustic shows, and experimental sound projects. A place to enjoy both new talents and established artists from the Brazilian music scene.
  6. Tropikalien: ​Tropikalien represents the dark trance scene, offering an exhilarating experience with various styles such as progressive dark, forest, and hitech. Known as the fastest-paced forest at festivals.
  7. Circulou: A social and cultural project, Circulou, has been promoting innovative art and supporting new and established artists since 2004. With a focus on contemporary culture, the project provides various artistic expressions.
  8. Children’s Activities: Tailored for children ages 4-12, the festival includes theater, circus, music, ecological activities, puppets, storytelling, and beach recreation.
  9. Holistic and Healing Area: This space offers natural treatments, holistic therapies, massages, shamanic rituals, chanting, music therapy, and more, focused on energy strengthening, relaxation, reflection, and healing​.
  10. Urban Culture Activities: Activities and performances related to street culture include skateboarding, hip hop, graffiti, rap battles, marginal literature, breaking, and music from DJs, MCs, and sound systems.
  11. Tela Paralella: Dedicated to showcasing films, documentaries, series, and audiovisual research exploring the theme of life.
The map is old, but the Universo Paralello structure remains more or less the same over time. (Credit: Universo Paralello)

Stage locations

The festival is divided into two areas: the one near the beach and the one inside the mangrove.

Few changes in the stage locations might occur from one edition to another. For 2023, the organization announced that the Main Floor would be moved back to the beach, just like it used to be in the early editions. This is a great change since this is the most popular stage, and the area inside the mangrove gets as hot as Brazilian summer.

Line up, workshops, and activities

The lineup for Universo Paralello 2023/24 promises an intense musical experience spread across multiple stages. Confirmed artists for this edition include:

  • Alok
  • Monolink
  • Vintage Culture
  • Whomadewho
  • Marcelo Falcão
  • Curumim
  • Psique
  • Natascha
  • Thiago Terra
  • Coppola
  • Leo Diniz
  • Puka
  • Malum
  • Kamboo
  • Nargum
  • May
  • Maramba

The list is still growing as they announce new names daily. To be sure you are up to date, check out the official website.

Where to stay during the Universo Paralello

The festival offers free and paid camping areas for the attendees, both located within its grounds.

Free Camping

Ticket holders are entitled to use the free camping area, which provides designated spaces for setting up camp. Campers need to bring their own equipment, such as tents, sleeping bags, and other essentials. This option allows attendees to immerse themselves in the festival environment affordably.

The free camping area also permits attendees to bring food and use the festival’s community kitchen, along with transparent plastic containers for water. Alcoholic beverages are generally not allowed, except for a bottle of sparkling wine per person for New Year’s Eve celebrations​​.

It is important to mention that the festival has five camping areas. However, the number of bathroom facilities available was insufficient for the number of attendees in previous editions. It is recommended to use the facilities close to cleaning times to ensure better conditions.

The situation is somewhat better regarding the showers, although many complain about the smell and color of the mangrove water, which is piped and distributed in the cabins.

However, there is no avoiding this, as the festival is organized on an inhabited beach, and the event organizers set up all the sanitation infrastructure there by themselves. The mangrove water is a characteristic of the region’s nature.

Therefore, the best tip is to leave light-colored clothes at home since they can get stained due to the water’s pigmentation.

Paid Camping

For those seeking more comfort, the paid camping option offers a ready-to-use structure with tents for one or two people. These tents come equipped with a mattress, pillow, bedding, and storage space. Prices for the paid camping range from R$ 3,490 ($670 USD) for a single igloo tent to R$ 7,900 ($1,515 USD) for a double tent.

The paid camping area includes amenities like breakfast, Wi-Fi, dry toilets, hot and cold showers, a 24-hour reception, dressing rooms with mirrors, charging stations for electronics, rest areas with shade, a dining area with tables and chairs, and tent cleaning services upon prior scheduling without additional fees​​.

Food Courts

There is a long corridor with plenty of snack bars and restaurants, most of which operate 24 hours a day throughout the event.

One of the festival’s highlights is the wide variety of available culinary options. You can enjoy classic Brazilian dishes like rice, beans, fries, and steak, as well as pasta, stroganoff, and a variety of vegan/vegetarian, international, and Brazilian foods, including local cuisine. As you explore the festival, you’ll also find stalls and tents selling snacks, açaí, juices, and drinks at affordable prices.

Beverages are sold at bars located near the food courts and stages. Although no free hydration stations exist, attendees can enter the event carrying water for their own consumption.

It is not permitted to bring alcoholic beverages into the event, but the organizers allow participants to bring one bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate the New Year’s Eve turnover.

Convenience and Safety

There is no phone or internet signal in the area. However, in 2022, two stands were offering Starlink internet. Customers could purchase an hour of service for R$ 15 or a daily pass for R$ 30.

A tent located near the Main Stage provides lockers for charging your electronics. You only needed to pay for the time you used. Additionally, there were totems placed around the event that had cell phone cable inputs. However, it’s not easy to find an available totem, and you have to stay close to it until your phone is charged.

In addition, the organization provides Security, Lifeguard, and 24-hour Medical Post services. If you have something valuable with you that you can’t leave in the tents, you can also rent a locker.

Universo Paralello 2023/24: How to make the most of this experience

How to get to the Universo Paralello

In order to reach UP, you must first reach Pratigi, a small coastal town in Bahia. The village can be accessed via the BR-250 road, which links the town to the municipality of Ituberá. The road has a lengthy and winding dirt stretch that can become quite challenging during the rainy season.

Therefore, before making any travel plans, visit the official website and social media for updated information to ensure a memorable festival experience.

By Plane

The nearest airport to this location is in Ilhéus. However, some people prefer to arrive via Salvador depending on ticket prices and flight availability from their origin. If you are flying straight from other countries, this is the best alternative.

Transfers from Ilhéus or Salvador

It is possible to hire transfers or a taxi/driver from both cities directly to the festival’s ticket office in Pratigi, or make the journey on your own from the airport.

There are no official event transfers from the airports, but the organization recommends the company BR Oriente.

You will also find many drivers at the airports offering transportation to the event entrance. The advantage of negotiating is offset by the risks of informal transportation and uncertain car conditions.

A trip from Ilhéus to Pratigi costs approximately R$ 500 ($ 100 USD), while departing from Itacaré is around R$ 300 ($ 60 USD).

Interstate Transfers

There is a list of companies offering transfers from various states in Brazil, including far-flung destinations like Paraná, for those who want to save on tickets and don’t mind long hours on the road.

Traveling by bus in Brazil is generally safe. However, you must make sure you choose well-known and reliable bus companies, as they adhere to higher safety standards, maintain their vehicles well, and employ experienced drivers. It might cost a bit more, but the added safety is worth the investment.

Vigilance is crucial in crowded bus stations or stops. Keep valuables secure and avoid displaying them openly.

The rainy season in Brazil, which occurs during the summer, can significantly impact road conditions. Especially rural roads like the one that leads to Pratigi.

It’s also beneficial to keep a list of emergency numbers, including local emergency services and your accommodation’s contact details, for quick access in case of emergencies.

By Car

If you’re driving your own or a rented car, you can park it in the event parking area for an additional fee.

  • Car: R$ 400
  • Motorhome: R$ 500
  • Motorcycle: R$ 250
  • Price per Passenger: R$ 25

If you’re planning to rent a car in Bahia during the high season, it’s recommended that you make the reservation in advance due to high demand.

Getting from Pratigi to the Festival

Transportation from the festival entrance to the stage area is available via traditional open trucks, also known as pau-de-arara. A round trip costs R$50 ($ 10 USD), while unlimited use during the event costs R$80 ($15 USD).

You may choose to stay in Pratigi for the duration of the festival. There are a few inns in the village, but residents offer vacation homes for rent during the event.

This option can be attractive for those traveling with family or a large group of friends. However, I would like to let you know that the journey from the village to the festival is quite long, requiring using the pau-de-araras whenever you want to go back and forth to Pratigi.

So, you should weigh the benefits of a comfortable bed and clean bathroom against the distance before deciding.

Given that the town economy relies heavily on Universo Paralello, you should expect elevated prices.

How much money should one bring to Universo Paralello?

In addition to the cost of tickets, entries, and accommodations, you should also budget for food and drinks during Universo Paralello.

As mentioned before, you can save by bringing your own food and water.

These were the prices charged inside the event:

  • Combo with 3 bottles of mineral water: R$ 16 ($3 USD)
  • Combo of 3 cans of Heineken: R$ 36 ($7 USD)
  • Food: between R$ 15 and R$ 40, depending on the option ($3 to $8 USD)

On average, you can expect to spend R$ 100 to R$ 150 ($20 to $30) per day during the event.

What to pack for Universo Paralello?

Shorts, bermudas, and swimwear. Remember that the festival takes place in the Bahia summer, and the climate there is hot and humid.

Go for lightweight clothes made of breathable fabric. Remember that the sun is intense, so something to protect your face and back is a good idea, so bring some hats and sarongs.

Remember your sunglasses and bring two pairs of flip-flops, in case you lose one.

Some people complain about the cold at dawn in years with heavy rain, so it’s worth bringing a light, long-sleeved shirt.

Also, it’s a good idea to carry a small waterproof backpack or fanny pack for your phone, wallet, sunscreen, and water bottle.

  • Clothes and personal items: Dress according to the weather and bring personal hygiene items, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and deodorant.
  • Tent and camping equipment: Bring your tent, sleeping pad or air mattress, sleeping bag, and pillow.
  • Water and food: It’s allowed to bring mineral water and food in adequate quantities for personal consumption. Even if you’re not planning to cook, bringing some light snacks, like peanut candies and nuts, is a good idea.
  • Bottle of sparkling wine: Participants can bring a bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate the New Year’s turnover.
  • Backpack, fanny pack, or bag: Bring a waterproof backpack or bag to carry your personal items.
  • Medications: If necessary, bring your medications along with the prescription.

What is not allowed into the festival?

Alcoholic beverages and food for sale are prohibited. Glass bottles are not allowed due to safety concerns.

The entry of animals, firearms, or other dangerous objects is prohibited. Inspections, searches, and removal of unauthorized items may be conducted at the entrance.

Individuals with violent, aggressive behavior or those who refuse to dispose of prohibited items will be denied entry due to public safety concerns.

How to get the most out of your experience at the Universo Paralello?

To have a safe and memorable experience at Universo Paralello, follow these tips:

Food, Hydration, and Rest

It’s easy to forget to eat and stay hydrated while on the dance floor (and no, beer doesn’t count). Always drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration, especially under the intense sun.

Remember to have your meals and consume nourishing food to keep your energy up during the festival.

Regularly apply sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF), even on cloudy days, and wear hats and sunglasses for sun protection. I’m serious; the sun in Bahia is special.

And don’t forget to rest a bit. If you stay up all night, you’ll probably need to sleep during the daytime, when it’s boiling and shady spots are in high demand. So, choose your rest times wisely to avoid feeling unwell for the rest of the event.

When the tent gets too hot, a good option is to nap in the Chill Out area or on the beach, where the ocean breeze is refreshing. The important thing is to respect the limits of your body.

Always take your belongings with you

Always keep your personal items, like documents, money, and electronic devices, with you. There have been some cases of theft from tents, so don’t leave expensive or important things inside.

Keep an eye on them on the dance floor, too. If you lose something, try to recover it at the information booth. I’ve seen many people get their lost cell phones back, and I’ve even returned an iPhone there.

However, as there’s only one booth, it might take a while for the person who found it to pass by and return it. So, keep hope!

Emergencies and First Aid

If you feel sick or get injured, seek someone from the event organization or go to the medical station.

You can bring essential medications to the festival, but the organization also has a pharmacy in case you need something. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.

The event offers a damage reduction service for people who feel unwell (physically or psychologically) due to the abuse of any substance. Do not hesitate to seek them out if this is the case. They have a team prepared to deal with such occurrences.

Hire a travel insurance

Even though hiring travel insurance is not mandatory to enter Brazil, we highly recommend you to do so, specially if you are planning to go in a wild environment such as Pratigi Beach.

  • For short-term travelers: if your trip lasts less than 31 days, you can get regular travel insurance starting at $18.70. It covers your expenses in case of disease or accident and protects you from many stressful travel situations, such as lost luggage and the cancellation of your trip. More details here.
  • For long-term travelers and digital nomads: if you are traveling longer, the best option for you is the SafetyWing Nomad Insurance. Unlike traditional travel insurance, SafetyWing provides the freedom to start and pause your insurance coverage as your travel plans evolve, ensuring you’re only paying for what you truly need. Plus, you can purchase or extend your policy while you’re already abroad. More details here.

Respect for the Local Environment and Culture

Remember that this space is an environmental reserve and the home of the local community, one of the few still untouched places in Bahia.

Respect the environment by not littering and using the available trash bins and restrooms. Contribute to minimizing the impact of an event of this size there.

Where to go before or after the festival: best beaches in Bahia

Since you’re already making a trip to Bahia, why not enjoy the beaches near Universo Paralello for a nice rest? (Since that’s not possible during the festival, right?).

Many leave Pratigi and head to nearby cities, where after-events often occur. Here are the main choices of the crowd.

1. Itacaré

Located about 1h30 from the event, Itacaré is a trendy Bahia village known for its surfing beaches and natural beauty. It’s where the official UP after-party takes place about a week after the event.

As a result, the city is filled with people wearing the festival wristband at this time. And to get there, you can even arrange a taxi/private car from the UP entrance.

Here you will find a day trip to Itacaré costing only $19.90. This could be a good way to explore the region if you have little time.

2. Boipeba

Getting there is far more difficult, but Boipeba is worth it: this paradisiacal island is famous for its stunning beaches, native vegetation, and hippie environment, making it a perfect destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of big cities and enjoy a relaxing and laid-back atmosphere.

Unlike Itacaré, Boipeba will please those who aim a post-festival peace. And you can also visit Morro de São Paulo and Moreré.

You’ll need to go from Pratigi to Valença and then complete the journey by boat. Alternatively, you can hire a transfer service leaving from Salvador.

The most famous activity in the area is the Island Tour, which gives you a taste of everything there in a one-day trip.

3. Caraíva

A small seaside village, Caraíva enchants with its sandy streets and colorful houses. Enjoy visiting Caraíva Beach and Satu Beach, as well as boat trips along the Caraíva River.

Accessible only by boat, Caraíva attracts visitors seeking a refuge to relax and disconnect from the hectic city life.

To get there, you’ll need to go to Porto Seguro. Then, it’s best to hire a transfer to your hotel in Caraíva. You can do it here.

Enjoying the beaches and attractions of Bahia before and after Universo Paralello is a great way to end your trip!

Suggested Read: Carnival in Brazil: A Local’s Complete Guide

* This article was originally posted on 360meridianos.

Editor of Yes, Summer! I am a Brazilian journalist, writer, and digital nomad. I have been traveling the world, telling stories, and tasting local beers since 2010. I am the co-founder of 360meridianos, a reference in travel writing in Brazil, and author of the newsletter Migraciones. On social media, I'm always reachable at @natybecattini.

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Universo Paralello 2023: Everything about the Biggest Brazilian Trance Festival A Local’s Guide to Carnival in Brazil
Universo Paralello 2023: Everything about the Biggest Brazilian Trance Festival A Local’s Guide to Carnival in Brazil