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AlexTurnah

NOS Alive 2019

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Reasonable day today but didn’t compare to the Saturday last year. Saw Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever who were very good. Dossed around that little bandstand at the small toilet block for a while. Idles next who were outstanding. Got food and sat down for Bon Iver. Food was good, Bon Iver, jeezus that was a struggle. No idea why they were on main stage. Watched first bit of smashing pumpkins but my love of Radiohead drew me away to see Thom Yorke. Loved it. Was going to watch Chems but after 3 days and my age, gave them a miss snd got train back to town. Overall a great weekend away with my mates and a really well organised festival. Line up for me was really weak in comparison to last year. I’d come back next year but only if they put on a better line up. Communication was amateur this year and there’s so many options to go to different festivals, they need to have a look at themselves and start communicating better.,

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Wasn't expecting to say this but Thom Yorke was easily the highlight of the 2 days i attended. Loved the visuals, his energy and how good it all sounded

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Well the Smashing Pumpkins well and truly smashed it! Best act of the weekend! I was right on the barrier too, great to see them up close and a great crowd too. 

I left Chemical Brothers early, just found it boring and they didn't play any songs I knew. 

I saw a bit of Bon Iver, some was alright, but it was mostly quite dull. 

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9 hours ago, festivalguy97 said:

so I expect some hip hop/R&B headliner on that day.

Sigh...tired of Hip Hop and R&B taking over every festival now. 

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Went early for Rolling Blackouts and did some wandering before getting a good spot for Idles, who were on a different level completely and got the biggest reaction from any crowd of the weekend. Daughter stayed in the tent to get on the barrier for Marina and I wandered down to see Bon Iver but like others found it a struggle to get into. Seemed like there were so many people not watching, or just wandering about (around this time they had the mens toilets blocked off for some reason and were just letting people back in when I walked past).

Went back for Marina who had a very enthusiastic following, we've seen her a couple of times before and while it's all backing track music she does put on a good show.  Then handled the killer clash by watching first 30 minutes of SP, first 30 of Thom Yorke and back down for the last 30 of SP because I could see from the previous set lists that they'd play the big tunes (which they didn't when I saw them at Download recently).

Didn't stay for the Chems, got taxi no problem again and back at hotel for 1.30. Had a brilliant three days and would consider it again - though did feel it was very crowded last night, making it difficult at times, and there were an awful lot of people who seemed to be there as an opportunity to chat loudly to their mates with a bit of music in the background but each to their own I guess. I suppose it's something people go to every year almost regardless of the line up and that's why despite all of the communication hassles and late announcements they still sold big numbers for two of the three days.

We're heading out of Lisbon for a few days then back down to go to Super Bock Super Rock which we're expecting to be a bit more laid back, and we're staying out there so no shuttling back and forward every night.

Hope everyone enjoyed their time, this thread has been good crack and very useful for a first timer.

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2 hours ago, WFD said:

though did feel it was very crowded last night, making it difficult at times, and there were an awful lot of people who seemed to be there as an opportunity to chat loudly to their mates with a bit of music in the background but each to their own I guess. I suppose it's something people go to every year almost regardless of the line up and that's why despite all of the communication hassles and late announcements they still sold big numbers for two of the three days.

Yeah I assume this is because it was a Saturday and there was more people there for a day out but there was definitely a noticeable increase in people chatting in crowds, something I hadn’t really found at all on the previous days.

Strangely the crowds for Marina, Idles and Thom Yorke were great and very enthusiastic where I was but Chemical Brothers and Bon Iver were full of people chatting, the latter in particular. You can kind of get away from it with the Chemical Brothers as they’re much louder but when it’s just yer man and a guitar it gets a bit more distracting.

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8 minutes ago, kingcrawler said:

Yeah I assume this is because it was a Saturday and there was more people there for a day out but there was definitely a noticeable increase in people chatting in crowds, something I hadn’t really found at all on the previous days.

Strangely the crowds for Marina, Idles and Thom Yorke were great and very enthusiastic where I was but Chemical Brothers and Bon Iver were full of people chatting, the latter in particular. You can kind of get away from it with the Chemical Brothers as they’re much louder but when it’s just yer man and a guitar it gets a bit more distracting.

Yeah think it's different in the tent where people have generally gone along to see that band while at the main stage there are just so many people just hanging out.

There were also many people queueing at those sponsor stalls that it made it hard to get down that side of the main stage at times.

That said, in all the three days I never had to wait very long at the bars, during Bon Iver was the longest wait. Also liked the mobile vendors, who managed to get right down the front of the stage at times. Very commercialised event but it had its advantages.

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11 hours ago, Chinaski_ said:

Sigh...tired of Hip Hop and R&B taking over every festival now. 

Well that´s the future I guess, there are less and less rock oriented big bands like Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters that can sell out festivals, so they will turn themselves for other trends, other festivals here in Portugal did that, Super Bock used to bring bands like The Strokes, Metallica and a lot of metal stuff and this year they have Migos and Lana Del Rey, Primavera Sound Barcelona/Porto did the same, I think that Nos Alive will follow them, they´ll start with one hip hop, R&B or Pop headliner and then they will become a Coachella 2.0, but of course that will take time. 

Next year I expect Nos Alive to have a far better and bigger lineup, they will have the competition from Rock In Rio that is held every 2 years and the Nos Alive´s lineup at even years is better, 2016 and 2018 were superb. 

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Thom Yorke should have swapped times and stages with Bon Iver.

Was a very difficult decision to have to leave SPs after half an hour for Thom, knowing  they would play another stellar hour of hits.

Thom was awesome though,  as were the Chems.

Strange crowd.

 

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A few observations (I was at Nos for the first time, earlier was many times at Primavera Sound and at Sziget):

- second day was finally not that bad (I was following your complaints here :) Grace Jones made the best show at the festival; having said that Gossip was definetely too small for the main stage;

- place is too small!! Saturday was too crowdy - summer, Saturday, relatively cheap ticketa and Smashing Pumpkins did the job but it was difficult; I did not like it;

- clubbing stage is too close to other both stages - sometimes you could hear the sound from another stage which was annoying.

All in all, nice festival - I enjoy it, especially concerts in the tent. I think no one has mentioned it yet but Sharon van Etten was also very good!

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2 hours ago, festivalguy97 said:

Well that´s the future I guess, there are less and less rock oriented big bands like Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters that can sell out festivals, so they will turn themselves for other trends, other festivals here in Portugal did that, Super Bock used to bring bands like The Strokes, Metallica and a lot of metal stuff and this year they have Migos and Lana Del Rey, Primavera Sound Barcelona/Porto did the same, I think that Nos Alive will follow them, they´ll start with one hip hop, R&B or Pop headliner and then they will become a Coachella 2.0, but of course that will take time. 

Next year I expect Nos Alive to have a far better and bigger lineup, they will have the competition from Rock In Rio that is held every 2 years and the Nos Alive´s lineup at even years is better, 2016 and 2018 were superb. 

Yeah I get you, I just wish they could save a few festivals for the rock fans rather than having them all taken over by Hip Hop and R'n'B. 

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Got back to London about an hour ago. Feels like only 5 minutes ago we were going in to watch Weezer and now I'm sat on my sofa at home. The time sure went by fast. :( Hope everyone had a great time! Smashing Pumpkins were the best act for me, my mate said Thom Yorke was, obviously I didn't see him though. 

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So glad to hear Thom Yorke smashed it. He's doing a excellent run this month. Was my favorite act at Down The Rabbit Hole.

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On 7/14/2019 at 8:50 PM, festivalguy97 said:

Well that´s the future I guess, there are less and less rock oriented big bands like Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters that can sell out festivals, so they will turn themselves for other trends, other festivals here in Portugal did that, Super Bock used to bring bands like The Strokes, Metallica and a lot of metal stuff and this year they have Migos and Lana Del Rey, Primavera Sound Barcelona/Porto did the same, I think that Nos Alive will follow them, they´ll start with one hip hop, R&B or Pop headliner and then they will become a Coachella 2.0, but of course that will take time. 

Next year I expect Nos Alive to have a far better and bigger lineup, they will have the competition from Rock In Rio that is held every 2 years and the Nos Alive´s lineup at even years is better, 2016 and 2018 were superb. 

They are changing the headliners to  the supposed new trend and  the funny thing  once sold out  festivals  are now struggling to sell out a single day. Nos Primavera Sound last year sold out only the day with Nick Cave (the rock day) and this year none of the days sold out. Yet the day Solange was headliner was cringely empty, and don't say it was because of the weather, because last year the Nick Cave day the weather was like 100000X worse and it sold out....  SBSR was the first to change , and they are struggling for years....  

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4 hours ago, Tigane said:

They are changing the headliners to  the supposed new trend and  the funny thing  once sold out  festivals  are now struggling to sell out a single day. Nos Primavera Sound last year sold out only the day with Nick Cave (the rock day) and this year none of the days sold out. Yet the day Solange was headliner was cringely empty, and don't say it was because of the weather, because last year the Nick Cave day the weather was like 100000X worse and it sold out....  SBSR was the first to change , and they are struggling for years....  

You often hear the argument that they are just booking what is popular etc, but pop and rap have always been popular, without being all over festival line ups. I don't mind a few acts long as they fit the vibe, De La Soul, Jurassic 5 etc, but I don't want another festival catering to rap and pop fans and losing what made it great. There's so few festivals left now still catering to rock fans and NOS Alive is a bit of a Godsend in that regard. 

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Had a great week in Costa da Caparica and really enjoyed 3 (long) nights at Nos Alive.we were apprehensive due to the lineup but we came away thinking we'd love to go again next year,regardless of the lineup. Mainly because the performances of acts we weren't bothered about seeing were actually good - VW, Tom Walker, Dj Kamala to name a few and especially the idles. We could see the  stage and the big screen. The band and crowd had us in tears, hilarious. I thought the Cure were amazing, i didn't even want to leave to get a beer. so glad i gave Bon Iver a wide birth. i could hear him at times and he had me yawning a lot. Hardly late evening festival music imo. 

Is the 3 days of Nos always organised so well? no queue at all on all 3 entries, toilets and bars were queue free,  i use these a lot. so that was a massive plus.  All staff ( and all the Portuguese i came across during my week)  were fantastic and so helpful,polite and welcoming to approach. The atmosphere was as described  - friendly and chilled. Always felt at ease in our surrounding and never a problem leaving my Mrs to go off for a beer etc. Not so easy finding her on return though. Either better navigation skills or taller partner needed haha.

roll on 2020 

 

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I really enjoyed the festival but the final day took it from a 4/5 to a 3/5 for me. Didn't enjoy the crowd(s) at all.

I love Bon Iver's records and I actually thought the performance and setlist was strong but the crowd was god awful. In front of us were a set of 'influencers' taking pics of each other or of themselves, only stopping to get a quick vid of skinny love before scampering off. Awful. I felt like a lot of the crowd was like that, not really there for the music but with a set of alternative/indie headliners. This also included people sat down AT THE FRONT during sharon van etten obviously waiting for xavier rudd or Jorja, who couldn't even be arsed to stand up to watch her.

Highlights for me were Sharon V.E, Rolling Blackouts, Vampire Weekend, Primal Scream and to an extent the Cure but I didn't get that near (was enjoying Loyle Carner before then).

Edited by jplewes

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Not worth starting a new thread for, but as mentioned we also did Super Bock Super Rock on the same trip - well, most of it anyway.

Nice setting and during the day there were free shuttle buses between the festival site and the beach, which we used for two of the days.  We got there on the Wednesday and there was little on - one stage in the arena open for a "warm up party", but the rest of the arena fenced off and no food stalls open - the only food options were on the campsite and even then they weren't ready until after 7pm.  Lots of bars as you would expect given sponsor, including one at the main entrance and one on the campsite - and a "supermarket" selling cold Super Bock and Sommersby and little else.

Thursday was headlined by Lana Del Ray (with Jungle and then the 1975 before) and front of stage was rammed.  The whole site footprint was more than enough for the numbers attending but there seemed relatively little room between the sound desk and main stage, made worse by a VIP / golden section on one side.  I went down initially for Cat Power (4th on the bill) and by then there were already plenty of LDR fans camped out near the barrier (sitting and taking no notice of what was on stage).  By the time LDR came on it was quite uncomfortable and we moved after about 40 minutes to watch the rest from the back.

Then the fun really started - we camped and could hear car horns and alarms going off long into the night.  Next day their social media was full of complaints about the queues to get out of the car park and long waits (3-4 hours) for buses back into Lisbon.  In hindsight it was an obvious error on their part, in moving to a new site and then putting the most popular act on the first night.  Also you could tell from both entering the arena and on leaving after LDR that day ticket attendees massively outnumbered the campers that day.  There seemed to be some changes in the traffic management etc on the second and third nights and fewer complaints, but that may have had more to do with the drop in numbers after Thursday.

Friday was much quieter - we missed the first ten minutes or so of C&TQ (but could hear) waiting for our order at the merch, and still walked straight up to the front for the rest of the set. Between Ch&TQ and Phoenix we went to the other end to catch about half of Charlotte Gainsbourg's set and then headed back to wait for Phoenix and again got a really good spot, although it did get busier just before and during the set.

With little of interest on the final night (only really Janelle Monae for me, with one or two others I would have checked out) we made the decision on Saturday morning to head back into Lisbon for a 'normal' night before we flew back yesterday.  As it turned out a TV channel was broadcasting the festival live so we watched Janelle on the TV and again it looked very quiet before she came on, though seemed to get busier later in the set (not sure if there was a clash).  You could tell from the scanning shots that the arena was very quiet overall though.

Either way, Friday and Saturday had nowhere near the numbers of Thursday.  They have however already announced next year's dates so it must still be adding up somehow (guessing the sponsorship and TV money props it up).  It did feel very much like an lifestyle "experience" to look good on Instagram though I suppose you could say that about lots of festivals (especially when you're a middle aged grump like me).

Would maybe consider it again in the unlikely event of a killer line up, otherwise it's a case of been there, done that, glad we went but not a 'must do again'.

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