There's a something for virtually everyone at this year's edition of NOS Alive, one of the most praised urban summer festivals in Southern Europe whose popularity has been growing at an outrageous rhythm since its first edition in 2007. With a huge, very heterogenous selection of both big and small, local and international acts, NOS Alive has managed to secure an enviable reputation in the European festival circuit — the almost perpetual sunny weather and closeness to Lisbon's city centre definitely having something to do with it.

As with every festival of this size and kind, it's impossible to see every single act and you'll end up making concessions, praying not to regret later. So even though you probably already have your own personal line-up selection, here's a handful of not-to-miss shows you should be adding to your schedule. Don't forget the hat and sunscreen.


Something old: Primal Scream

It doesn't matter if you've seen them a thousand times or none at all: Primal Scream have that uncanny quality exclusive to undisputed classics of always sounding like it's your first. Their newest compilation LP Maximum Rock'n'Roll: The Singles was released last May and serves as the catalyser of their current tour, so expect the band to cover the customary grounds of 'Loaded', 'Rocks', 'Higher Than The Sun', and 'Movin' On Up'.

Something new: Pip Blom

She was one of the most hyped artists at this year's Eurosonic, the festival that works as a barometer of sorts for the next big thing (Fontaines D.C. and Black Midi were other two), and I really can't recommend her enough. Recently signed to Heavenly Recordings, Dutch artist Pip Blom put out her debut LP Boat last May to much acclaim from both the critics and the public; her pop-fuzzed tunes are this year's must-have at every summer festival and will prove to be the perfect companion to Lisbon's Atlantic breeze.

Something borrowed: Ornatos Violeta

Is this your first time in Portugal? Ok, so you have the wine, the pastéis de nata, the sardines; but if there's something you really should take home with you and turn your friends onto is Ornatos Violeta. Formed in Porto in the late 90s, the cult band led by Manel Cruz only released two albums, Cão! and O Monstro Precisa de Amigos, before calling it a day. However, and in spite of Cruz's and other members' multiple side projects over the years, Ornatos Violeta never ceased to be a public's favourite; after having sold out both the Porto and Lisbon coliseums in 2012, they're back what is definitely one of the most awaited comebacks of the year.

Something blue: Idles

"Not a fucking punk band", they say — but definitely one of the most fucking best acts around. Idles are solid proof that guitar music is not dead, it just needed proper reinventing instead of feeding out of the same tired references over and over again. The Bristol quintet will be returning to the Lusitanian shores to once again grace us with the superbly refined angst that is their sound, properly showcased by their 2018 offering Joy As An Act Of Resistance, an album as addictive and pure as the deepest of blues. I hereby officialise my request of their cover of Solomon Burke's 'Cry To Me'.

And Grace Jones

No explanation is needed on why she made it to this list. Actually, writing about it could even be see as an insult. Just don't miss her show goddammit.

NOS Alive'19 takes place at Passeio Marítimo de Algés (Lisbon, PT) between July 11th and 13th. Tickets start at 61 euros (1 day) and can be purchased here. Check out the full line-up at