There’s a first time for everything.

It’s the phrase typically heard by this writer as DJMag USA dives into unusual-animal-meat, payment-via-moonshine or dinner with estranged exes. It was also the phrase uttered as we went to INmusic, a rock concert held by Lake Jarun in Zagreb. Unlike the other instances, which in all cases brought tears to our eyes, our first adventure into The Other Kind Of Festival to see Digitalism play was a rewarding one. 

Amongst streetlights covered in artwork, multi-colored bicycle wheels and floodlamps adorning various bridges and trees in the forest surrounding the InMusic field, were a lot of Croatians, a couple of French and a smattering of Brits. It was very different to what we were used to. On stage they had guitars and everything. There were lyrics. Most of them seem to revolve around a former girlfriend.  The crowd mostly stood around and drunk beer and wine, rather than furiously shuffling and/or drinking/snorting shots. There seemed to be much talk of how good the music was. There was an abundance of blue ponchos, hiking boots and moustaches. At 12,000 people, and in its ninth Installment, the system works. DJMag met up with our Croatian contact Nina and sat in a shisha tent, listening to minor chords, drinking warm beer and talking about Serious Stuff, as that seemed to be the thing to do. 

Then, Digitalism turned up. Starting off on the second stage the German Duo started by playing to around a dozen and ended by playing to a totally packed field. The set itself was plotted to near perfection - beginning with plenty of retro ‘90s remixes and mainstream sampling and heading steadily upward, peaking 20 minutes in and staying there in an unforgiving four four groove that still referenced a pitched down rework of a popular vocal here, an old Chemical Brothers sample there. Through drizzle, the steam from the crowd and the cold blue lights, fist-pumps punctuated the Croatian liquid darkness, rolling tech house bouncing off trees. Down the front in the photo pits, the pair worked calmly, mostly head down, whilst a sea of optical-illusion t-shirts and a couple of Croatian socialites now locked in tight against the barriers, hands playing through lit rain drops. If you’re in town, go to INmusic.  

We came to a rock concert, but as we left, we suspected we were amongst a wave of new converts.  

words: Ally Byers