© Miguel Madeira/ Público
Cem Soldos is the village where BONS SONS is held. Located in the parish of Madalena, municipality of Tomar, it lies 5 km from the city of Tomar and 12km from Torres Novas along the 349-3 motorway.
There are records of a settlement called Cem Soldos dating as far back as 1192, during the reign of king Sancho I. According to one version of the story, there was once a military deployment of about one hundred (“cem”, in Portuguese) men stationed in the village. These men would periodically receive “cem soldos” (one hundred wages) for their services.
Today, home to about 1.000 inhabitants, Cem Soldos has retained a true community spirit, keeping traditions alive and well as an intrinsic part of the present. A sign of their vitality and relevance is the overwhelming participation in local activities such as the lively Youth Party in August, the quaint Hallelujah Fest in Easter and the striking Christmas bonfire.
For four days, BONS SONS takes over Cem Soldos, as music stages, a crafts market, art exhibitions and countless initiatives set the village’s streets and squares abuzz. Cem Soldos is closed off to host the Festival, and its perimeter defines the venue’s site.
Upon arrival, visitors are given a bracelet granting access to the Village and performance sites. This is where the BONS SONS experience starts. During the days of the Festival, visitors are invited to truly enjoy the village life, its sites, sounds and traditions, together with the inhabitants.