Summer is here, the sun (should be) shining, and music lovers of all stripes are gearing up for the festival season. If you are into beats, beaches and boat parties, there’s no better spot this summer than Croatia. Here’s 9 of the very best, mostly electronic, Croatian music festivals to check out this summer, as selected by the ticketing site, Croatia Wave.
The festival that forced Zrce Beach into the limelight. Created and curated by the team behind the infamous Manchester Warehouse Project, Hideout is a Brit house music stormer and, increasingly, a total rite of passage for the clubbing crowd. Almost everyone that goes, goes again and it’s not hard to figure why. Down on the ground, the energy from both the crowd and the staggering lineup is electric.
Make Sure You Check Out: The boat parties – there’s a stack of them
Artists: Jamie XX, Skepta, DJ EZ
Where: Zrce Beach, Pag Island
When: 26-30 June
Convinced? Book your tickets via Croatia Wave
The Garden Festival was the dance event that put Croatia on the map as far as festivals were concerned. Having run for around a decade, it retired last year. However, it lives on in Love International – a new event created and curated by a new guard of promoters – all of whom brought Garden to public attention. Expect the same wooden boats, the same “anything goes” Barbarella’s Afterparties, and the same beach holiday vibes as the original, but with fresh lineups and upgraded sound systems.
Make Sure You Check Out: The Forest Stage – only accessible via a shuttle boat party
Artists: Craig Richards, Dixon, Eats Everything
When: 29 June-6 July
Can’t wait? Book your tickets via Croatia Wave
An oasis of rhymes in a sea of electronic festivals, Fresh Island is one of Croatia’s (and one of Europe’s) only international hip hop, grime and bass festivals. As those genres have become ever more popular across Europe over the last couple of years, so too has Fresh Island, which has boasted heavyweights in the hip hop game like Rick Ross, A$AP Rocky and Snoop Dogg, and returns in 2016 with their best lineup yet!
Make Sure You Check Out: The daily pool parties
Artists: Wiz Khalifa, Khelani, TY Dolla $ign, Logan Sama, DJ Premiere
Where: Zrce Beach, Pag Island
When: 12-14 July
Take me there! Book your tickets via Croatia Wave
The biggest, shiniest and loudest of them all, Ultra is a colossal party, with 160,000 people heading to Croatia’s biggest stadium to get loose and dance to the extremely bankable lineup. In fact, it’s such a national treasure that the whole event is broadcast nationally on Croatian TV. Expect fireworks, strobes, hands in the air and very, very big names. Oh – and for those who like their music a bit more underground – there’s a second arena out in the car park curated annually by none other than legendary rave DJ Carl Cox.
Make sure you check out: That cracking techno stage in the car park
Artists: Don Diablo, Robin Schulz
Where: Poljud Stadium, Split
When: 15-17 July
Your kind of festival? Book your tickets via Croatia Wave
Germany has traditionally been seen as the European hub of techno, but you could argue that the Italians are even more obsessed with the sounds of heavy bass, sharp snares, and 150 bpm. Movement Torino and Kappa Futur Festival are two of Italy’s biggest techno events and the team behind them have now opened up shop in Croatia. Prepare for parties that go well into daylight, lots of beautiful people and monochrome clothes and a frankly astounding lineup for such a small location.
Make sure you check out: Legendary Ibizan promoters CircoLoco holding it down for an all-day Sunday service party
Artists: Robert Hood presents Floorplan, Octave One, Nina Kraviz
When: 28 July-1 August
I’m sold! Book your tickets via Movement Croatia
A veteran of the Croatian festival landscape, Soundwave is arguably the most musically diverse of the lot. Expect everything from Chicago house to live brass band covers of drum ‘n’ bass bangers. Add an unpretentious crowd, a lean toward impromptu daytime sets on the beach and informal volleyball leagues and you’ve got an insight as to why this festival sells 30% of its tickets the day after each event ends: as thousands go home and promptly book for next year when the ‘wave rolls back in to Tisno.
Make sure you check out: The beach during the day. It’s the unofficial centre for pre-drinks
Artists: Pharoahe Monch, Craig Charles, Calibre
When: 4-7 August
Sounds fun? Book your tickets via Croatia Wave
The party with the most recognizable signature sound of them all, Defected has become synonymous with soulful house, beach bar grooves and effortlessly sexy vibes. Defected have caused waves this year by announcing their full departure from traditional stronghold Ibiza in favor of a new HQ: Croatia. So, expect body glitter, rolling basslines and plenty of sunset boat parties as the White Isle comes to the Pearl of the Adriatic.
Make Sure You Check Out: Kalypso club on the end of Zrce Beach is where the best dawn parties happen, daily from 7am
Artists: Basement Jaxx (DJ Set), Dennis Ferrer, Kenny Dope
When: 11-15 August
Mad for it? Book your tickets via Croatia Wave
The team behind German techno dreadnought Timewarp have come to Zrce Beach. With that pedigree, Sonus Festival is exactly what you’d expect: incredible techno lineups, booming sound systems, hypnotic visuals and 14 hours a day programming.
Make Sure You Check Out: The firework displays!
Artists: Chris Liebing, AndHim, Ricardo Villalobos
Where: Zrce Beach, Pag Island
When: 21-25 August
Rave on! Book your tickets via Croatia Wave
A world’s first: a festival that takes place on yachts. Wave Week features a flotilla of yachts that travel up the coast by day, stopping every afternoon at new locations including secret beaches, caves, abandoned fortresses and sleepy beach bars – all of which are transformed into full scale festival stages for just a few hours – then the party moves on. Throw in a smattering of beach BBQs, the obligatory sunbathing sessions and the fact that your festival accommodation is a luxury yacht and it’s easy to see why this one’s been the one 2016 Croatian music festival on everybody’s lips.
Make sure you check out: The nautical themed deck raves!
Artists: Simian Mobile Disco, Crazy P, Clive Henry
Where: (starting at) Supetar, Brač
When: 13-20 August
Party on! Book your tickets via Wave Week