Countdown to Optimus Alive!

With just over four weeks until I set off for sunny Lisbon, I’m already getting excited about my first trip to Portugal. Any place that’s brimming with food, sightseeing, music, and culture scores very high on my list of places to visit! More importantly, 2014 will be the first year of branching out to try out international music festivals instead of staying in the UK. 

For those of you who don’t know, Optimus Alive is a music and arts festival that first started in 2007. Despite being a mere seven years young, it is already fast becoming one of the firm favourites of European festival goers. As a seasoned gig and festival fan, I’m looking forward to experiencing a festival outside the UK. It’ll also be nice to swap wellies for sunglasses – with Lisbon normally hitting the mid-twenties by July, I’m looking forward to plenty of guaranteed sunshine 🙂 


So who is playing? Oh, just a few bands so far…

optimus alive line up 2014
As someone who has been a fan of Arctic Monkeys since they first started, I’m really looking forward to their performance on the opening night! Safe to say that I’ll be busting out some dance moves that my 16 year old self would definitely be proud of out of sheer excitement…

Also really looking forward to seeing the following:
Daughter: beautiful, haunting vocals. Would be the perfect soundtrack to a sunset in Lisbon!
MGMT: purely for the dancing factor
Kelis: amazing vocalist, her new album is great, and let’s be realistic – there’s not going to be a single person there not bopping along to Milkshake 😉
Bastille – great band, loving their album at the moment & I’ve heard their live shows are excellent. Also saw a bit of their amazing performance at the BRIT Awards earlier this year, where they teamed up with Rudimental (i.e. Bastimental) – potential duo perhaps?!
Jamie XX & Friends: saw The XX play at their curated festival ‘Night and Day’ last summer, excellent live – so Jamie’s DJ set should be pretty cool)
Polica: also saw them play at Night and Day festival last year, very cool band, pretty chilled so should compliment the festival really well.

But then there is the hotly-tipped question of who the closing headliner will be for the Saturday! The Optimus organisers are keeping their cards extremely close to their chests about this one. Predictably, Facebook, Twitter and festival forums are awash with speculations and rumours of who the big act could be (alongside a lot of criticism for Optimus announcing it so late) It is quite frustrating – I’m planning on going to Sziget festival in August, and they’ve already got a ridiculously amazing line-up that is growing every few weeks!

Here’s who I’m thinking (i.e. willing) it could be:
Metronomy: their current album ‘Love Letters’ is my favourite album of 2014 by far – they’re touring Europe so could be likely. On the other hand, they only played Optimus a few years ago, and bands seem to leave it a while before they play there again.
Arcade Fire: they’re playing in London in the first week of July, so there could be a tiny chance. I saw them play a couple of days ago in London, so may just be rather biased wishful thinking on my part! But the Reflektor tour is truly spectacular – given the fact I was still reeling from how amazing it was and finding confetti in my bag yesterday, Arcade Fire would be a fitting band to close the festival.
Lana del Rey: she has new material out, and is touring Europe around the same time
Laura Mvula: purely because she’s performing at a jazz festival in Oeiras the following day, so you never know!

I also thought of Basement Jaxx, purely because they’d be fantastic to dance to and a great closing act! Right now though, my guess is Lana del Rey.

The other rumoured acts doing the rounds are:
Atoms for Peace
Pearl Jam
Kanye West: bit of a shocker, talk about a curveball, right? (or possibly a red herring?!)
The Strokes
Jack White: I’ve seen the White Stripes and the Raconteurs perform before, so it’d be great to see him performing his solo material.

Out of these, I’d reckon it’s either Prince & 3RDEYEDGIRL or The Strokes.

If you’ve got any suggestions who it might be, feel free to get involved & post them below, or on Twitter!

With this week marking the milestone ‘one month to go’ milestone until Optimus kicks off, let’s hope they make it worth the wait and announce someone amazing. Despite the fact that we’re still waiting, it’s going to be a pretty epic festival.


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