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croatia collection- festival picksCroatia is at a fascinating stage in its touristic development, absolutely exploding with summer festivals and becoming a must-do destination for the clubbing die-hard and casual holidaymakers alike. With new festivals added every year, it can get a bit overwhelming figuring out which one to go for in the time that you have. MEOKO has put together a guide for you, with our top ten festival picks and a bit of information about each.

Who knows how sustainable these incredible Croatian festival seasons are, so we recommend pouncing on the scene while it’s still fresh, authentic and affordable. 

In order of appearance…

1.     For Festival (19th -22nd June)

for fest

The season begins with the smallest, most intimate festival of our list – FOR Festival. The limited capacity (2500) creates a great sense of community and the location is also unique  – FOR takes places on the little island of Hvar off the Croatian coast. The line-up is anything but small however, featuring excellent quality artists on the island every day.

Line-up highlights include Darkside, Mark Ronson DJ Set, Erol Alkan, Tensnake, Maurice Fulton, Ghost Culture and Psychemagik.

Every evening live performances take place at the Venereda (a converted monastery) afterwhich point punters are taken by boat to carpe diem beach, the destination for the night parties. A pretty magical festival experience all round.

Site: Hvar

Nearest Airport: Split

Full line-up, info and tickets here.

2.     Hideout (30th June – 3rd July)

hideout crowd

Another early bird is Hideout Festival, currently enjoying its fourth sellout year and residing in the popular site of Zrce Beach. Hideout’s biggest draw card is the monster line-up, having secured an impressive roster of high profile and hot property names in the house and techno spheres, with clear Ibiza influences.

Line-up highlights include Ame, Disclosure, Maceo Plex, Jamie Jones, Loco Dice, Tale of Us, Solomun, Sasha, Soulclap and Kerri Chandler.

Accommodation in surrounding areas is plentiful and the boat party schedule, though not yet released for 2014, is tipped to be the biggest of the year. The beach location is the perfect holiday setting for this dance-focused event

Site: Zrce Beach

Nearest Airport: Zadar

Full line-up, info and tickets here.

3.  The Garden Festival (2nd – 9th July)

garden fest copy

Photography: Kris Cowley

The Garden Festival is one of the comparatively older festivals on the fresh Croatian scene, having run since 2006. Its stages offer a nice variety of atmospheres, as they host the mainstage in the open parkland area, a beach stage right at the edge of the water looking out to the small neighbouring islands, intimate side stages and chillout areas, boat parties plus a rave-worthy after-hours outdoor discotheque. 

Line-up highlights include Bicep, Eats Everything, Francois K, PBR Streetgang, Prosumer and Soul Clap.

Garden offer a package deal with Electric Elephant, so you can enjoy both festivals back to back (if you can hack it!). There is limited and coveted on site apartment accommodation plus the usual luxury camping options and novel podpads. 

Site: The Garden Tisno

Nearest airport: Zadar

Full line-up, info and tickets here.

4.     Electric Elephant (10th – 14th July)

EElephant

Whether you’re riding the wave from The Garden Festival or fresh off the boat, Electric Elephant will go down a treat. Elephant really makes the most of its idyllic location, set in a dramatic natural amphitheatre overlooking a secluded sandy bay. The festival promotes an all-round holiday experience, making your time at Electric Elephant as much about enjoying your beautiful surroundings as it is about the high quality music.

Line-up highlights include Derrick May, Francois K, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Horse Meat Disco, FCL and Prosumer.

Electric Elephant also offers some on-site apartment accommodation in addition to camping options and pod pads, and tickets can be purchased alone or in conjunction with The Garden Festival, if you fancy tackling the double (who wouldn’t?).

Site: The Garden Tisno

Nearest airport: Zadar

Full line-up, info and tickets here.

5.     Soundwave (17th – 21st of July)

soundwave

Soundwave is smaller scale than some of the other festivals on this list, but its boutique atmosphere is part of its charm. Right in the middle of summer at the lush Garden Tisno site, the festival spills across garden, beach and ocean – giving you the best of what Croatia has to offer as a holiday destination.

Line-up highlights include Fat Freddy’s Drop, Madlib, Mr Scruff and Gold Panda.

Soundwave offer a Sunshine Bus service, an eco-friendly way to get through your transfers and see something of the area you’ve arrived in. Community spirit is excellent at Soundwave, giving you the opportunity to get to know like-minded people in the relaxing idyllic location.

Site: The Garden Tisno

Nearest Airport: Zadar

Full line-up, info and tickets here.

6.     Stop Making Sense (31st July – 3rd August)

sms

We’re back at The Garden Tisno for SMS, which is trying out this popular site for the first time in 2014, having spent its years at Petrcane thus far. The main site is a festive affair during the day, with the parties continuing after 12 at the nearby Barbella tent – the official after-hours venue for all Tisno festivals. Musical policy is carefully chosen acts from the underground, with a distinct London influence

Line-up highlights include Anja Schneider, Mosca, Physchemagik, Tiger & Woods and Optimo.

Site: The Garden Tisno

Nearest airport: Zadar

Full line-up, info and tickets here.

7.     Sonus (18th -22nd August)

sonus copy

Our pick of the bunch – and official partners of MEOKO – Sonus Festival has the line-up to end all line-ups for the dance music heads, the classic beach location, the essential boat party schedule and a huge following already of loyal or anticipatory fans. The increasingly popular tourist destination Zrce beach provides the idyllic adriatique location, making it one of the more easily accessible festivals on the list.

Line-up highlights include Marco Carola, Dixon, Loco Dice, Jamie Jones, Luciano, Ricardo Villalobos, Richie Hawtin, Seth Troxler and Marcel Dettman.

Check out our MEOKO competition to win two tickets to the festival, two tickets to a boat party plus accommodation for the entire stretch!

Site: Zrce beach

Nearest airport: Zadar

Full line-up, info and tickets here.

8.     Dimensions (28th -31st of August)

Moat copy

 One of the later festivals of the season, it’s also one of the most interesting. A carefully curated line-up which especially satisfies the more knowledgeable and alternative music lovers, encompassing the deeper end of the underground whilst including the funky, the percussive and the experimental.

Line-up highlights include Moodymann, John Hopkins, Juan Atkins, Gilles Peterson, Nina Kraviz and Floating Points.

The location is a unique and class act in itself, taking over the Fort Punta Christo and featuring the infamous Moat stage (pictured). Dimensions also run a live gig the evening before the festival kicks off, set in an ancient amphitheatre and this year featuring Caribou and Darkside live.

Site: Fort Punta Christo

Nearest airport: Pula

Full line-up, info and tickets here.

Check out a glowing MEOKO review of Dimensions 2013 here.

9.     Outlook (3rd – 7th September)

outlook 2011

This is another of the older vintage of Croatian festivals, going into its seventh year of production. The line-up focuses on sound system driven bass music, angling towards drum n bass, breakbeats, dub, reggae and hip hop styles. 

Line-up highlights include the one and only Ms Lauryn Hill, Busta Rhymes, DBridge, Calibre, Horace Andy, Goldie and Friction.

OUtlook also resides in Fort Punta Christo and the location really is unparalleled, transforming an old fortress by the beach into a fully rigged party destination with the most inventive stage areas of any of the Croatia venues. They’ve put stages in gardens, a moat, a ruinous circular pit, on the beach, on boats and in a dungeon!

Site: Fort Punta Christo

Nearest airport: Pula

Full line-up, info and tickets here.

10.  Unknown (8th – 12th September)

unknown

Unknown has secured top DJs on the electronica circuit and added a healthy live component to their offering, with live shows from Henrik Schwarz, James Holden, Ten Walls, Wild Beasts, Forest Swords and Mount Kimbie. Their chosen artists will bring a very atmospheric, melodic and explorative aspect to the Festival’s sountrack.

DJ line-up highlights include Ame, Dixon, Dusky, Erol Alkan, George Fitzgerald, Joy Orbison, Seth Troxler and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.

Unknown bunks down at the coastal Camp Amarin, right near the picturesque old town of Rovinj. It’s a fantastic location for activities, with its own swimming pools, crazy golf, tennis courts and infalteables. Camping sites have a little more shade than most, and the local town is a short bus ride away. 

Site: Camp Amarin

Nearest Airport: Pula

Full line-up, info and tickets here.

 croatiawave logo

Camping not your thing and the on-site accommodation is all booked out? Fear not, that’s where Croatia Wave steps in. Since 2011 Croatia Wave has responded to the huge international demand for assistance, guidance and organisation in securing perfect digs for your holiday, now offering not merely festival accommodation but also high-end villas and holiday activities.

Head to croatia-wave.com to book your stay and quote “meokowave”.