Location: Zrce Beach, Island of Pag, Croatia
Situated on the shoreline of breathtaking blue Adriatic waters, on the famed party island of Pag, Papaya is less a club and more a full day out. And night, of course.
Attendees get free reign over a veritable rave compound, including a huge pool area — redesigned in 2017 — which forms the centre of the action each afternoon, winding up just after sunset. The iconic shell-like main stage and palm trees tower over the crowd, with only the on-site production beating them for scale.
First opening in 2002, when it was around a fifth of the size it is of today, the venue has expanded physically while growing in terms of international prominence too. A direct beneficiary of the Croatian festival boom, more than ten major events call this place home annually, including Sonus, Hideout, Fresh Island, Barrakud and Black Sheep.
These 10,000-plus-capacity spectaculars, ranging from techno and bass to hip-hop and EDM, brought in huge guests such as Gorgon City, Jamie Jones, Lost Frequencies, Marco Carola, Paul Kalkbrenner, Solomun, Tchami, Timmy Trumpet, Vini Vici and W&W last summer alone. That’s in addition to local nights, where the likes of Kosta Radman, Tony D, Superfine and Trevon keep things moving.