What some may not know is that Portugal is a haven for music lovers, especially in the summer! The portuguese summer is teeming with sites to explore and things to do, like the beautiful golden beaches or the incredible green hills. But! If you’re more of a “listener” than a hiker, I’ve got some great suggestions for you! I’ll be presenting the biggest summer music festivals in Portugal, all the way from the breezy North to the warm south.
NOS Alive is by far the largest and most crowd pleasing annual music festival in all of Portugal! During the three days of festival you can see a myriad of artists perform in one of the many stages the festivals has, from the main stage, to the electronic stage to even a comedy stage, it really holds a great variety of entertainment. The venue is located in Passeio Marítimo de Algés, right after Belém, and usually takes place in July.
Dancing in NOS Alive, picture taken from the RTP Gallery
Located by the riverside, you can find Algés while traveling between Lisbon and Cascais, it is located next to the landmark-filled area of Belém. But if you look away from the busy life in Lisbon and all the historical marvels that Belém holds, and continue your train journey to the next stop, you reach Algés, and the entrance of NOS Alive. The festival creates it’s venue around the docks of Algés, building a massive arch that welcomes the audience, and, at certain hours, even has bands giving live shows at the top! The venue itself, at least compared to other festivals, isn’t all that pretty… But it is so overwhelmed with things to see and do that it won’t be such a problem. And speaking of overwhelming, NOS Alive really is the most crowd festival of all! In recent years, it has sold out the three day passes, and sometimes sells out tickets to individuals days as well… So two big tips: If the line-up interests you, buy soon; If you’re going, arrive soon; and if you want to go to the bathroom, never go between concerts, the lines are endless…
NOS Alive at Passeio Marítimo de Algés, picture taken from the RTP Gallery
Like as said before, the train is probably the best method of transportation to the venue, it arrives and departs right next to the entrance, but, in recent years, around 1am, when departing from the festival, the security blocks the main entrance to the station, and you’ll have to walk a bit to get to the other entrance (for me this wasn’t a very good choice…) Also be aware of the hours the train departs, that information is usually given at the venue. But besides the train, there are also buses and many taxis waiting next to the exit. And lastly there is also camping, although the camping site isn’t very near the festival, there are buses that take you there! The site has some tips on where to stay.
The welcoming Arch, picture taken from the RTP Gallery
Well, NOS Alive isn’t the biggest, most expensive and crowded festival in Portugal for no reason! The line-up of this festival has garnered much attention recently, being recommended by many publications has one of the best in Europe. It is really a huge event with around seven different stages, lots of restaurants and many stands with games and prizes, NOS Alive really up the ante in terms of entertainment. But what about the line-up? It is a music festival after all! The line-up every year brings some of the biggest names in music (on a more commercial spectrum), either recent, like The Weeknd, Arctic Monkeys, and Alt-J; or very well established, like Depeche Mode, Pearl Jam or Radiohead. And you can find these amazing artists between the two main stages, but there is also the Electronic Stage, a Comedy Stage (with mainly portuguese comedians), both the Arch and Bandstand Stages that show off new portuguese talent, and finally the Fado Stage in the shopping area that showcases some more established portuguese singers (not all sing fado though). Remember to stay alert about the line up and see if any of it interests you!
Radiohead at NOS Alive, picture taken from the RTP Gallery
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