For those in the know, Portuguese festival NOS Alive sits comfortably at the top table when it comes to the European festival scene. Now an established favourite with locals and international festival-goers alike, there's plenty going for the Lisbon festival; not least the enviable location on the outer reaches of a city that is increasingly being recognised as one of the continent's most desirable destinations, and a schedule that allows for late-night partying and/or morning exploration before the music kicks off at 4pm.
What's more, the festival organisers also pride themselves on a forward-thinking and progressive approach as the first international event to sign up to UN treaty to improve sustainability and visibility – the results of which have included a massive reduction in plastic use, outlining key development goals to all festival-goers, and initiatives like creating safe spaces for pregnant women at the festival.
But all this aside, there's no denying that a huge part of the festival's appeal has always come from the music on offer, and that continues to be the case today. Regularly securing top tier talent to headline the event, this sees The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, Bon Iver and Vampire Weekend among those at the very top of the poster.
But as ever, we like to look beyond those established favourites and pick out some of the names lower down the bill that are worthy of your attention. Here are five acts to look out for.
The affable South-Londoner has just released his second album – Not Waving, But Drowning – which is packed with the honesty, emotion, energy, and charm that has defined his career and work to date. Hip hop sometimes has difficulty being translated to the live experience, but having seen Loyle Carner perform on a number of occasions over the years, I can comfortably say he suffers no such issues.
Signed to revered indie label Heavenly Recordings, and taking musical cues from the likes of Courtney Barnett and The Breeders – but with a voice that's entirely her own – Dutch singer and musician Pip Blom is a hugely exciting new artist. With her band in tow (including brother Tender Blom) Pip has perfected a brand of catchy, guitar-led indie pop that is earning her a place on a whole host lineups across the summer.
Sharon Van Etten
With her latest project, entitled Remind Me Tomorrow, Sharon Van Etten has released an album that not only looks likely to appear on plenty of year-end lists, but one that is also arguably her best album to date. A celebrated lyricist and songwriter, her music has an intimacy and intricacy that sets her apart from many of her contemporaries.
As an electronic music producer, Tourist (AKA Will Phillips) is a master of the atmospheric. Creating tunes that work as much on an emotional level as they do on a physical one, his work features frequently on Spotify playlists called things like 'Chill Tracks' and 'Deep Focus', and yet his command of the dancefloor is unquestionable.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
The Aussie indie-rockers head into this summer off the back of a hugely successful 2018, having seen their debut album earn critical acclaim and propel them into the attentions of a fans across the world. As music for sunny summer days at festivals, it doesn't get much better than what they offer.
NOS Alive'19 takes place in Oeiras, Lisbon, from 11-13 July.