6 Reasons Why Lisbon Is A Music Lover’s Paradise
Here's why you should head to Lisbon next summer...
Portugal might already be Europe’s footballing champions, but now its lead city, Lisbon, is staking its claim for the crown of Europe’s hottest music destination too.
You might have heard of Portugal's massive NOS Alive, but there’s a whole lot more where that came from…
What music-y things can you do in Lisbon?
From Jimi Hendrix’s tuxedo jacket to a custom made Versace suit made for and worn by Elton John, Lisbon’s Hard Rock Café has a vast amount of rock memorabilia and more available bang in the city centre.
If you’re a raging Quincy Jones fan like ‘Don’t Mind’ rapper Kent Jones, you should check Hot Clube de Portugal for one of Lisbon’s premiere jazz venues. If you’d like to check out some alternative music, head to Paradise Garage (a venue which also hosts workshops and conferences), or check out Lounge if you’re an indie head. Teatro Nacional de São Carlos hosts a melange of classical music as well, if that’s your thing.
NOS Alive is one of Europe's most famous festivals. Playing host to some of the biggest names in music, the 2016 edition featured Biffy Clyro, The Chemical Brothers, The 1975 and a whole lot more. Plus, since it sits only 10 minutes from the beach, it’s the perfect way to combine a weekend city-break/music festival/beach holiday all into one. You could have a far worse time away from home. (You could spend 48 hours in Bognor Regis, for example.)
But Lisbon has a hell of a lot more to offer...
Super Bock Ruper Rock + Rock In Rio (lisbon edition)
Super Bock Super Rock festival (established 1994) also takes place near the city, with the legendary Iggy Pop, Massive Attack and the world’s best rapper, Kendrick Lamar, having played in 2016. It’ll be back next year. Expect the biggest names and personalities in the music world to attend.
Rock In Rio hosts a sister edition of its world-famous festival in the Portuguese capital, and this year it boasted the likes of AVICII, Maroon 5 and up-and-comer Bruce Springsteen on its line-up. He's got a bright future ahead of him, that Bruce.
MTV went to try out LISB-ON, a smaller but no less vital music festival in the city.
Despite not headlining, Jungle were by far the standout performers. Bringing a five-piece band along to properly flesh out their sultry funk pop sound, the duo delivered a truly feel-good set, with hits ‘Busy Earnin’ and ‘The Heat’ eliciting the biggest cheers from the crowd.
Jungle are currently holed up in their own custom made home studio, so expect new music from them soon. Can’t wait to see them any longer? Then catch the duo at Manchester’s Warehouse Project in October alongside a horde of very, very sober young people.
Elsewhere on the line-up, Dixon and Tale Of Us got a woozy, tipsy crowd onto their feet for a pair of throbbing, pace-y dance sets.
With its boutique festival vibe, LISB-ON is a very relaxed affair. As well as play areas for kids, there were a tonne of bars and the usual fast-food culprits to boot.
The festival takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Lisbon’s grand Parque Eduardo VII, which is in the red-hot centre of the city. In fact, the park’s so beautiful, you’d be forgiven for wanting to camp out over the weekend. (Don’t do that.) Thankfully, the city has more than it’s fair share of amazing accommodation for you to hunker down in overnight…
Music-y places to stay
There are a tonne of options, but you don’t have to stay in the centre of Lisbon to enjoy its music scene. MTV would recommend The Oitavos hotel, which is committed to live music in the country, and it even has its own music programme which is updated over HERE.
This luxury space is a very unique breed of five star hotel. A far more modern creation, the hotel consists of huge amounts of steel and glass that allows for a very generous amount of natural light, and the colour scheme (borrowing from its surroundings with a variety of blues and whites) is warm and friendly.
Instead of stretching towards the sky across 1000 floors, the hotel is incredibly long, and the building itself looks more like a space centre, or the headquarters of a Silicon Valley tech giant, than a hotel.
Plus, the food was spectacular. Speaking of which…
The Portuguese cuisine – no, really
Look, there’s no need to yell at us in the comments section, we know that food isn’t musical. Well, apart from all of that groaning the Portuguese cuisine will draw out of you...
Unlike their close neighbours Spain and Italy, some of you might find it a little trickier to exactly pinpoint what the Portuguese cuisine is. Turns out there’s more remarkable variety than you can shake a custard tart at.
Head around Lisbon, and you can grab a nibble of some of the very best grilled fish (grab some salt cod if you can) you’ll ever place into your gob, along with a melange of ice creams, potatoes, stews and confit-style pork. There’s also a lot of wine. Like, loads of wine. Go to Lisbon if you like wine.
If you do want to try those famous custard tarts, head to Pastéis de Belém near the monastery for the best in town.
MTV stayed at… If you’d like to spend your weekend in one of Portugal’s best hotels (sitting on the beautiful Lisbon coast, near the friendly fishing village of Cascais), then check out the Oitavos Hotel’s website here for more information. This is a chance to turn your weekend into a city-break/beach holiday/music festival extravaganza all at once. Plus, with its sleek, futuristic glass panels, the building looks a little bit like a spaceship, so it's a win-win.
For an idea about prices: The Oitavos was offering the complete LISB-ON experience. Starting from €410, you could’ve bagged yourself a 2 nights stay in the ultra-modern complex with breakfast, transfers and 2x one day festival tickets included.