Pubcrawling Lisbon: Nocturnal Geoethnographies of Bairro Alto

  • Jordi NofreEmail author
  • Daniel Malet Calvo
Part of the Pop Music, Culture and Identity book series (PMCI)


In this chapter, we argue the urban night of Bairro Alto in Lisbon (Portugal) is strongly characterized by the promotion of alcohol-fuelled leisure among young people, which is very well represented by the rapid expansion of pub crawls during night-time hours. However, Bairro Alto’s nightscape is also characterized by street cleanliness and high noise level in public space; race, gender and class inequalities; heteronormativity and patriarchalism; liminality and labour exploitation; and hypersecurization of public space and social, moral and political control. All this features very well in Lisbon’s pub crawl culture. Based on an extensive ethnographic fieldwork, we argue pub crawls and their alcohol-fuelled carnivalesque expressions of (simulated) joy and happiness can be seen not only as a new element of social distinction shown by these “party tourists”, but hypersecurized micro-spatiotemporal evasions of the (precarious and uncertain) everyday life of pub crawls’ clients.



This paper was supported by the Training Program for Human Resources in Science & Technology of the Portuguese Foundation for Science & Technology (SFRH/BPD/108458/2015 & SFRH/BPD/85169/2012). This work has also counted on the support of the Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences, at the Nova University of Lisbon (CICS.NOVA) and CIES-IUL at the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL). Also, this work has counted on the support for publication of the strategic found of the Portuguese Foundation for Science & Technology (UID/SOC/03126/2013).

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Centre of Social SciencesNew University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia (CIES-IUL)ISCTE - University Institute of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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