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FESTIVAL GUIDE 2017: Croatia

Life's a beach...

Festival season is here once again, so our crack team of writers have been chained to their keyboards to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Over the following pages you’ll find listings for all the best fests across the world. We’ll reveal the No.1 festival in the world, as voted for by you! And we catch up with the team behind Southport Weekender as they celebrate 30 years of top-notch parties. So grab your sunnies and glitter (and your wellies just in case), and prepare for the most wonderful time of the year...

If Ibiza is Europe’s clubbing capital, Croatia has undoubtedly become the epicentre of continental festival culture. Offering sun, sea, sand and umpteen boat parties, it’s easy to see why thousands of punters return to the Adriatic coast year after year. Here are the Croatian fests you can’t afford to miss...

HIDEOUT

Tough beats, laid-back surrounds. Hideout means serious main room action from some of the biggest names in house, techno and peak-time bass. Focused on five iconic venues at Zrce Beach — Papaya, Aquarius, Kalypso, Euphoria and Noa — partners include Elrow, Do Not Sleep, Diplo & Friends, and Heidi’s Jackathon. Vibesy.

WHERE: Zrce Beach, Island of Pag
WHEN: 26th - 30th June
PRICE: £139+
HIGHLIGHTS: Major Lazer Soundsystem, Stormzy, DJ Koze, Anja Schneider, Bicep, Alan Fitzpatrick, Hype & Hazard, Mella Dee

hideoutfestival.com

LOVE INTERNATIONAL

Fancy a week in hedonist’s paradise? From its setting — a natural amphitheatre just a short stroll from the achingly picturesque town of Tisno — to expert musical curation, headturning bookings, and an altogether mature but debauched vibe, Love International only launched last year but is already contending to be the one.

WHERE: The Garden, Tisno
WHEN: 28th June - 5th July
PRICE: £125+
HIGHLIGHTS: The Black Madonna, Craig Richards, Tony Humphries, Call Super, Beautiful Swimmers, Dan Beaumont, Bill Brewster, Hodge, Mood II Swing, Paranoid London

loveinternationalfestival.com

ELECTRIC ELEPHANT

One of the first internationals to open for business in the Balkans is again forging a new path this year. Relocating to Obanjan Island — a dot of land in azure waters dedicated to hedonistic summertime pursuits, from yoga to raving — expect EE’s trademark house and Balearic, but new surprises abound.

WHERE: Obanjan Island, Sibenik
WHEN: 6th July - 9th July
PRICE: £340 (includes accommodation)
HIGHLIGHTS: Joe Goddard (live), Daniel Avery, Greg Wilson, Norman Jay (MBE), Horse Meat Disco, Fort Romeau, Sean Johnston, Low Life, Justin Robertson

electricelephant.co.uk

LABYRINTH OPEN

Far from ‘just another’ multi-day sesh lapped by beautiful blue waves, Labyrinth Open is fresh for 2017 (suckas), and comes from the crew responsible for running Antwerp’s infamous venue, Labyrinth. Taking over a campsite near Split, expect solid tunes from top selectors (obvs), but also seminars, speakers and workshops.

WHERE: Omiš, Dalmatia
WHEN: 8th - 11th July
PRICE: €129
HIGHLIGHTS: Gregor Tresher, Guti (live), Guy J, Monoloc, Pan-Pot, Ø [Phase] live, Radio Slave, Stephan Bodzin

labyrinthopen.com

FRESH ISLAND

Proof that Croatian lunacy comes in many different forms, Fresh Island forgets typical four-fours, hoovers and whistles, instead opting to focus almost exclusively on urban sounds, spanning hip-hop to R&B. Those disinterested in booty bass and vocal bombs should probably look elsewhere. Otherwise, crack on!

WHERE: Zrce Beach, Island of Pag
WHEN: 11th - 13th July
PRICE: £129+
HIGHLIGHTS: Lady Leshurr, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Giggs, Sean Paul, French Montana, Rae Sremmurd, Krept & Konan, Mike Skinner & Murkage presents Tonga

fresh-island.org

AREA 4

Not just a clever name, Area 4 seizes four clubs, using each of Zcre Beach’s finest for one of its four continuous days. The line-up is both refreshingly varied and resplendent in local talent — which basically means trap to hip-hop, electro to EDM, delivered by some truly astute faces.

WHERE: Zrce Beach, Island of Pag
WHEN: 17th - 20th July
PRICE: £150+
HIGHLIGHTS: Borgore, Yellow Claw, Stoltenhoff, The Jillionaire, Alison Wonderland

SUNCÉBEAT

Southport Weekender, on holiday. The timeless UK bash spawned this sun-kissed lovechild back in 2010, and what a summer fl ing it’s been. Immediately garnering respect amongst fans of soulful, chunky beats thanks to pioneering bookings, this edition will be no different; disco, house, R&B, techno, and all between.

WHERE: The Garden, Tisno
WHEN: 19th - 26th July
PRICE: £119+
HIGHLIGHTS: Louie Vega, David Morales, DJ Spen, Doc Martin, Danny Krivit, Peggy Gou, Rahaan, Antal, Shimza, Sam Divine

suncebeat.com

SOUNDWAVE

One of the oldest in Croatia’s ever-growing warm weather scene, for many Soundwave defifines the party trip ethos. More than a festival — not least 13 boat sessions scheduled for the ninth edition this year, amazing local bars, picturesque scenery and community spirit — this might be the Adriatic’s most varied ticket.

WHERE: The Garden, Tisno
WHEN: 27th - 31st July
PRICE: £129+
HIGHLIGHTS: IAMDDB, Gilles Peterson, Laura Mvula, Roy Ayers, Mall Grab, Chaos In The CBD, Alexander Nut, The Pharcyde, Roni Size, Egyptian Lover

soundwavecroatia.com

BLACK SHEEP

One for the EDM set, when Black Sheep opened last year it blew expectations out of the water. Or into the water, depending on how hot and sweaty they were. The throwdown again descends on Croatia’s holy quartet — Aquarius, Kalypso, Noa,

and Papaya — meaning big production, and big choons.

WHERE: Zrce Beach, Island of Pag
WHEN: 31st July - 3rd August
PRICE: 525HRK
HIGHLIGHTS: DVBBS, Fedde Le Grand, KSHMR, Nervo, Nicky Romero, Dannic, Tigerlily

blacksheepfestival.com

DEFECTED CROATIA

The UK’s most prolific and prominent proper house crew are in the... Garden. Prepare for boat parties skippered (well, soundtracked at least) by decade-spanning dons, and a week’s worth of sunrises at the legendary Barbarella’s open air nightclub, hosted by some of the freshest players in the scene.

WHERE: The Garden, Tisno
WHEN: 10th - 15th August
PRICE: £150+
HIGHLIGHTS: Basement Jaxx (DJ set), Kenny Dope, Eats Everything, Derrick Carter, Sam Divine, Soul Clap, Nick Curly, Honey Dijon, Luke Solomon

defected.com/croatia

BARRAKUD

After a fiffth instalment in 2016, best described  as ‘proper stomping’, Croatian institution Barrakud is back for round six. Keeping the format — a fi ve-day club crawl — whether you sleep or not is irrelevant, given that intensity and atmosphere scarcely let up from the off. Convincing, then you notice the price.

WHERE: Zrce Beach, Island of Pag, Croatia
WHEN: 14th August - 18th August
PRICE: €13 per day, €27.50 full event
HIGHLIGHTS: Ellen Allien, Paul Kalkbrenner,Ben Klock, Carl Craig, Maceo Plex, Nina Kraviz, Solomun, The Martinez Brothers, Adam Beyer, Mano Le Tough

2016.barrakud.com

SONUS

Bass buttons on, heads down; Time Dance continues its Croatian legacy with the fifth instalment of Sonus, bringing heavyweight techno to idyllic Pag Island. Four days and nights of relentless, uninterrupted seriousness contrast the blue skies and gorgeous rays, making for possibly the best idea Team Mannheim will ever have.

WHERE: Zrce Beach, Island of Pag
WHEN: 20th - 24th August
PRICE: €179
HIGHLIGHTS: Enzo Siragusa, Jackmaster, Margaret Dygas, Matador (live), Rhadoo, Ricardo Villalobos, Vril (live)

sonus-festival.com

OUTLOOK

The biggest soundsystem culture festival in Europe should be proud of all it’s achieved. Episode ten looks to be a fi ttingly loud anniversary, turning everything up to 11 at the epic fortress site, whilst the opening concert — Dizzee Rascal, DJ Shadow and The Outlook Orchestra — is a real one-off.

WHERE: Fort Punta Christo, Pula
WHEN: 7th - 10th September
PRICE: £130+
HIGHLIGHTS: Chimpo, Madam X, Kenny Ken, Dub Phizix & Strategy, Pharoahe Monch, D Double E & Footsie, Paleman, Goldie, Plastician, Randall

outlookfestival.com

Want more? Check out our rundown of the UK’s best 35 festivals.

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