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Poll 2023: Papaya

Location: Zrće Beach, Croatia 

Capacity: 3,500 

Papaya has now been in our poll for over a decade, and in that time it has not only been integral to the international rise of Croatia's festival scene, but has also become an increasingly vital hangout for locals. And it's no wonder, because the epic triple-stage rave paradise is right on the beach next to the Adriatic and hosts a pool party every day of the week for no fewer than six hours.

Last year's 20th anniversary celebrations once again saw long-time flagship festival Hideout return with its energetic crew of young, wide-eyed ravers all ready to hang from the palm trees, chill on the decking and get lost in sound, with further headline festivals like Sonus and Fresh Island also calling it home. As such, few Croatian clubs match the size and scale of Papaya's bookings, which include a cross-spectrum of house, techno, garage, drum & bass and EDM names such as NERVO, W&W, Meduza and Fedde Le Grand. They play on the famous clam shell-like main stage, with a mesmerising array of spectral lights and lasers adding an extra dimension. The rest of the club is fully open air, with views of the mountains in the distance.