The 2012 UK festival season has been a soggy one, so it's no wonder Brits are flocking abroad for their festival kicks more so now than ever before.
Portugal's Optimus Alive is one such music event that has profited from this ever-growing trend. The festival welcomed over 7,000 British music fans across its three-day duration this past weekend, compared to 1,500 in 2011 - and the lineup reflected the event's increasingly international appeal.
Friday saw Irish rockers Snow Patrol deliver a festival-friendly performance of their soft rock balladry, with frontman Gary Lightbody dedicating 'Run' to The Stone Roses. Fortunately, the Ian Brown-fronted act didn't take the advice and were next on. Despite some flat notes and a few bemused looks from Portuguese music fans, Brit packs waved their arms in the air as they were enchanted by The Roses' Madchester charm and iconic back catalogue of hits.
LMFAO seemed like the evening's most curious booking on paper, but resulted in a bouncing blowout of dance anthems as they launched through popular hits 'Party Rock Anthem' and 'Sexy And I Know It', complete with an inflatable zebra. Justice headlined the main stage in the early hours of the morning, pumping out hits 'Civilization' and 'D.A.N.C.E' into the breezy Lisbon air while spectators jumped around to their booming basslines.
US hipsters The Antlers captivated the Heineken Stage on Saturday, as frontman Peter Silberman caressed his microphone through 'Putting The Dog To Sleep'. Elsewhere, Mumford & Sons' 'Little Lion Man' and 'The Cave' soundtracked the Portuguese sunset, while Marcus Mumford thanked his band's added efforts after breaking his hand last month.
Legendary rockers The Cure bewitched a 40,000-strong crowd from midnight, entertaining fans with a tightly-performed three-hour set. Much-welcomed gusts of wind threatened to ruffle Robert Smith's hair further, but the star's hypnotising appeal deflected any such distraction. Over on the second stage, Katy B made her Portuguese festival debut and got the audience jumping to hits 'On A Mission' and 'Lights On'. The Londoner also had fans clapping along to new cut 'Hot Like Fire', which centred around an epic house organ riff.
Sunday saw The Kooks play popular indie classics 'Naive' and 'Do You Want To See The World' under the Mediterranean sun, while The Maccabees enthralled the beer-drinking crowd with 'Precious Time' and set closer 'Pelican'. However, the whole day was building up to a headline set from Radiohead.
It's no surprise that the final day was completely sold out. The second and third stages were temporarily closed as Thom Yorke strolled on to the main stage to rousing cheers. A rendering performance of 'Nude' was flanked by ethereal golden visuals, while the masses bounced along to an energetic rendition of 'Lotus Flower'. The band were tenacious throughout, meshing tracks mainly from their last two albums In Rainbows and The King Of Limbs before launching into an encore which included 'Paranoid Android'.
The big names meant branded sponsorship that was highly visible throughout the site. However, with fans firmly focused on the musical talent and Lisbon's cultural offerings a stone's throw away, it's easy to see why so many more Brits are swapping their wellies for their flip-flops.
Gallery - Optimus Alive 2012:
Copyright: WENN Rui M Leal