The arts have long been burgeoning in Croatia, as evidenced by a number of Croatia’s festivals, many of which have been among the country’s cultural highlights for decades. From one of contemporary music’s biggest festivals, to a traditional folklore fest and even a cutting-edge electronica festival, discover Croatia’s most interesting festivals.

MUSIC BIENNALE ZAGREB

Zagreb, in April

 

Since 1961, the Music Bien­nale Zagreb trans­for­m’s Croa­t­i­a’s cap­i­tal into the world’s hub of con­tem­po­rary music. Held in the spring of odd-num­bered years, the Bien­nale wel­comes an inter­na­tion­al array con­tem­po­rary music com­posers, musi­cians, music crit­ics and con­tem­po­rary music and arts lovers to Zagreb, which hosts numer­ous events and recitals. Atten­dees can hear new and clas­sic com­po­si­tions and see per­for­mances from renowned cham­ber ensem­bles and sym­pho­ny orches­tras, such as the Zagreb Phil­har­mon­ic Orches­tra, as well as attend pro­duc­tions of exper­i­men­tal musi­cal the­ater, con­tem­po­rary dance and jazz.

 

 

INmu­sic FESTIVAL

ZAGREB, in June

The InMu­sic Fes­ti­val (styl­ized as INmu­sic fes­ti­val) is Croa­t­i­a’s biggest inter­na­tion­al open-air fes­ti­val. The fes­ti­val is held annu­al­ly in June in Zagreb and takes place on Youth Island in the mid­dle of Zagre­b’s Lake Jarun. The fes­ti­val was start­ed in 2006 and is usu­al­ly held over two or three days. It includes sev­er­al genre-spe­cif­ic stages with inter­na­tion­al­ly renowned indie rock, heavy met­al and elec­tron­i­ca artists. In 2008 The Times includ­ed INmu­sic among the top 20 Euro­pean sum­mer fes­ti­vals,  and it made the CNN’s 2013 list of 50 great­est sum­mer music fes­ti­vals in the world.

 

EUROKAZ FESTIVAL

ZAGREB, in June

As East­ern Europe’s pre­mier the­ater fes­ti­val, the Eurokaz Fes­ti­val has been delight­ing the­atri­cal arts fans since 1987, when it first com­menced in Zagreb. Held every June, Eurokaz is more than an exhi­bi­tion of the­ater per­for­mances; it encom­pass­es mul­ti­ple gen­res, includ­ing live art, dance and cir­cus per­for­mances. The fes­ti­val strives to high­light aspects of the arts in coun­tries around the world — for exam­ple, focus­ing on new the­ater in Italy, mod­ern dance in Africa, tra­di­tion­al Asian the­ater and French film­mak­ing. Film and video screen­ings, dis­cus­sions, sym­posia, work­shops and con­certs pep­per the fes­ti­val, often cor­re­spond­ing to per­for­mances. While an array of inter­na­tion­al per­for­mances are fea­tured, the fes­ti­val also serves to high­light the Croa­t­ian arts scene, with per­for­mances from nation­al the­aters and artists, such as inter­na­tion­al­ly renowned Croa­t­ian artist and video mak­er Dal­i­bor Mar­ti­nis.

 

OBONJAN — island of music

ISLAND OBONJAN, From June until mid Sep­tem­ber

Obon­jan is a brand new Croa­t­ian fes­ti­val tak­ing place on Otok Obon­jan, an island just off the coast of Šibenik. Run­ning from late July through to ear­ly Sep­tem­ber, Obon­jan will be lay­ing on an immense line­up of music, talks, work­shops, art, well­be­ing, sports and more across the pre­vi­ous­ly unin­hab­it­ed island for what will be a fes­ti­val like no oth­er.

Whether you’re danc­ing to hip-hop, funk ‘n’ soul, elec­tron­i­ca, house or tech­no, kick­ing back out­doors in front of a film, tak­ing to the waves, or enjoy­ing the wood­land well­ness, Obon­jan’s bliss­ful seren­i­ty will be with you every step of the way, from dusk through to dawn.

Hop­ing to take the fes­ti­val expe­ri­ence to the next lev­el, Obon­jan has no fixed dates, instead invit­ing guests to stay for as long as they like, cre­at­ing the per­fect fes­ti­val retreat.

 

DANCE WEEK FESTIVAL

Var­i­ous loca­tions, May — June

Croa­t­i­a’s most impor­tant dance fes­ti­val, the Dance Week Fes­ti­val, pays homage to con­tem­po­rary dance. Held annu­al­ly in Zagreb, the fes­ti­val fea­tures work by mem­bers of the Croa­t­ian Chore­o­graph­ic Plat­form and artists from around the world. One of the fes­ti­val’s pri­ma­ry goals is to por­tray the diverse styles of dance and chore­og­ra­phy impact­ing the realm of con­tem­po­rary dance and to fea­ture the work of up-and-com­ing artists and chore­o­g­ra­phers.

Fes­ti­val events are held at the­aters through­out Zagreb and even in some per­for­mance spaces in Rije­ka. While many of the fes­ti­val’s events are geared toward the dance con­nois­seur, such as its round­table dis­cus­sions ancil­lary to spe­cif­ic per­for­mances, novices will enjoy the fes­ti­val’s dance exhi­bi­tions, per­for­mances by top-notch chore­o­g­ra­phers and film screen­ings.

 

 

HIDEOUT FESTIVAL

Noval­ja, island of Pag, June

Enter­ing into its sev­enth year, Hide­out Fes­ti­val is an annu­al elec­tron­ic music fes­ti­val held on Zrce Beach, Croa­t­ia. 150 of the world’s best artists, for 5 days and nights, on a stun­ning beach sand­wiched between moun­tains and the sea. This is the for­mu­la that has seen the fes­ti­val sell out every year since it began, back in 2011.


 

LOVE INTERNATIONAL
Tis­no, June — July

Love Inter­na­tion­al is the spir­i­tu­al suc­ces­sor of the acclaimed orig­i­nal Croa­t­ian odyssey, The Gar­den Fes­ti­val, and seeks to build upon the decade’s worth of mag­ic cre­at­ed already in the region. By day a har­mo­nious hol­i­day beneath the siz­zling sun, and by dusk as the beats shift gear and intro­duce each balmy night beneath a canopy of stars, the inti­mate set­ting holds a unique ener­gy, sound tracked by some of the world’s lead­ing under­ground DJs and pro­duc­ers, draw­ing a vibrant and diverse audi­ence from across the world to this tiny strip of par­adise.

 

MOTOVUN FILM FESTIVAL

Motovun and Buzet, end of July

An inter­na­tion­al film fes­ti­val and five-day par­ty all in one, Motovun Film Fes­ti­val is held in the beau­ti­ful Venet­ian town of Motovun, 270m above sea lev­el. Inter­na­tion­al and ex-Yu films are screened at a num­ber of pop-up cin­e­mas both indoors and out; screen­ings take place from ear­ly morn­ing until around 2am. Direc­tors from around the world com­pete for the pres­ti­gious Pro­pel­er Award, and inter­ac­tive events involv­ing film experts and staff take place around Motovun for those wish­ing for a lit­tle in-depth insight. Recent devel­op­ments have seen the town coun­cil mark cer­tain areas of this his­toric town as off-lim­its to par­ty­go­ers at night, owing to enthu­si­as­tic drink­ing post-film, mean­ing the 18th fes­ti­val should be, as was the 17th, a lit­tle more refined than in pre­vi­ous years. Parts of the fes­ti­val will also take place at near­by town Buzet.

ElEC­TRIC ELEPHANT
Obon­jan, 6th – 9th July 2017

Export­ed from the clubs of Man­ches­ter to an idyl­lic fish­ing vil­lage on the Adri­at­ic sea, Elec­tric Ele­phant is all about the spir­it of adven­ture and the expan­sive world of elec­tron­ic music.

For 2017 Elec­tric Ele­phant Fes­ti­val has formed a col­lab­o­ra­tive part­ner­ship with Obon­jan Island. This year cus­tomers can enjoy incred­i­ble DJs and live acts pro­grammed by Elec­tric Ele­phant and Obon­jan, as well as a wide and var­ied cre­ative pro­gramme thats runs through­out the sea­son. This year cus­tomers are invit­ed to book accom­mo­da­tion on the island via the Elec­tric Ele­phant web­site, which in turn gives them access to all venues on the island and the music & cre­ative pro­gramme across the 4 day and 4 nights.

 

Fresh Island FESTIVAL
Noval­ja, island of Pag, 11th – 13th July 2017


Croa­t­ia may be inter­na­tion­al­ly known for its EDM fes­ti­vals, but actu­al­ly it hosts also one of the largest hip-hop fes­ti­val in Europe — Fresh Island Fes­ti­val  held at Zrće beach near the city of Noval­ja in Croa­t­ia.  Found­ed in 2012 and usu­al­ly held in mid-July the fes­ti­val focus­es pri­mar­i­ly on hip hop cul­ture along with r&b and grime. The fes­ti­val takes place in 3 dif­fer­ent venues on Zrće beach: Aquar­ius, Papaya and Kalyp­so. It also offers dai­ly boat par­ties and pool par­ties, excur­sions and extreme and water sports. Since 2012 Fresh Island became the biggest hip-hop & urban beach fes­ti­val in Europe fea­tur­ing musi­cians, DJs and MCs from all over the world.

 

BEATS, BEER AND BOOGALOO
Tis­no, 13th – 17th July 2017

Croatia’s brand new fes­ti­val, Beats, Beer and Booga­loo, which debuts on the stun­ning Dal­ma­t­ian coast­line this sum­mer, is very proud to announce its first head­lin­ers, with a mix of glob­al stars, clas­sic tal­ent and some of Croatia’s finest artists.

Craig Charles’ Funk and Soul Club and the co-founders of the revered Gar­den Fes­ti­val, who now run The Gar­den Brew­ery, are unit­ing to bring a dif­fer­ent kind of fes­ti­val to the region, with its heart beat­ing around a funked-up sound­track from live artists and DJs and craft beers from around the world. The inau­gur­al event takes place from Thurs­day 13th – Mon­day 17th July.

On the live side of things, Beats, Beer and Booga­loo has got some very spe­cial guests to intro­duce. Hot 8 Brass Band are the New Orleans brass band that blends hip-hop, jazz and funk styles with tra­di­tion­al New Orleans sounds to incred­i­ble crowd-rous­ing effect, whilst Geno Wash­ing­ton And The Ram Jam Band bring soul-stir­ring soul to Tis­no; icon­ic Amer­i­can R&B singer Geno released 5 albums with the UK Ram Jam band in the 1960s. The Craig Charles Fan­ta­sy Funk Band (plus spe­cial guest) was cre­at­ed when Craig asked his show’s lis­ten­ers who would be in their favourite funk band; since 2007 the band’s var­i­ous mem­bers have per­formed at fes­ti­vals around the world. And the Detroit-based Amp Fid­dler is a cel­e­brat­ed soul/funk musi­cian who has shared stages and stu­dios with every­one from Prince and George Clin­ton to Pri­mal Scream and under­ground Detroit pro­duc­er Moody­man.

On the DJ-tip, things are look­ing rather spe­cial, with some ded­i­cat­ed crafts­men and nuanced names join­ing in: Craig Charles him­self is one of the UK’s fore­most funk and soul spin­ners, with his ency­clopaedic knowl­edge at the fore each time he gets behind the decks; Guts (solo/MPC) is sub­lime hip-hop dis­ci­ple of immense repute; and Kon is the last of an increas­ing­ly rare breed of ded­i­cat­ed crate dig­gers, bring­ing his deep knowl­edge of obscure good­ies to clubs and fes­ti­vals world­wide.

 

 

DUBROVNIK FILM FESTIVAL

DUBROVNIK, Octo­ber

Under the unfor­tu­nate acronym of DUFF, October’s Dubrovnik Film Fes­ti­val is the lat­est attempt to stage a major cin­e­mat­ic event in this his­toric city. Major Hol­ly­wood stars are reg­u­lar vis­i­tors here in sum­mer, but this recent­ly inau­gu­rat­ed four-day­er has been set up for young local ama­teur film­mak­ers. Behind the project is the Asso­ci­a­tion for Media Cul­ture Pro­mo­tion.

 

ULTRA EUROPE
Split, July

Ultra Europe has become one of, if not the biggest, EDM and house music fes­ti­val on the con­ti­nent. Bring­ing it all togeth­er on the lush Adri­at­ic coast of the Croa­t­ian town of Split, the fes­ti­val lays on a pro­gramme of epic sta­di­um shows, beach kick­backs and full-throt­tle boat par­ties across the town and its sur­round­ing islands.

Recent edi­tions have fea­tured the likes of David Guet­ta, deadmau5 and The Chem­i­cal Broth­ers, who each touched down along­side a pil­grim­age of dance music fans from around the world, eager to par­ty like they’ve nev­er done before.

With the main fes­ti­val tak­ing place inside Split’s his­tor­i­cal Sta­dion Poljud, fes­ti­val-goers will also take to the waves onboard a selec­tion of no-holds-barred boat par­ties, as well as dock­ing on some of the coun­try’s most beau­ti­ful islands for a set of heav­en­ly beach par­ties.

         

SUNCÉBEAT
Tis­no, July

The Gar­den at Tis­no is a beau­ti­ful spot for a fes­ti­val, which is why so many are held there. Sunce­beat is one of them. As we know, Croa­t­ia is cur­rent­ly one of Europe’s kings of the fes­ti­val scene, so you know what you’re in for with this one…

It’s also a rel­a­tive­ly small fes­ti­val, so feels more like a community/secret/secret com­mu­ni­ty than the big dogs of the fes­ti­val scene.

       

SEASPLASH FESTIVAL
Pula, July

Sea­splash Fes­ti­val is one of Croa­t­i­a’s longest run­ning music fes­ti­vals, delv­ing deep into bass cul­ture inside Pula’s his­toric Fort Pun­ta Chris­to.

Inter­na­tion­al artists from the worlds of reg­gae, dub, drum and bass, dance­hall, ska and more tra­di­tion­al elec­tron­ic music come togeth­er inside the unique set­ting for four days and nights of music, art, work­shops and more.

Sur­round­ed by beau­ti­ful beach­es offer­ing views over Pula’s bay, as well as the Bri­ju­ni Nation­al Park, Sea­splash has become a huge part of the region’s cul­tur­al iden­ti­ty and one of the coun­try’s most mag­i­cal music fes­ti­vals.

 

LOVE WEEK FESTIVAL

Noval­ja, island of Pag, July

The biggest ger­man elec­tron­ic music fes­ti­val on Zrce beach is back after anoth­er suc­cess­ful year! The unique artist selec­tion, espe­cial­ly for Zrce, in com­bi­na­tion with the incom­pa­ra­ble event design has made Love­week the cur­rent­ly most attrac­tive Zrce Fes­ti­val.

As the worlds only week long sea­side fes­ti­val, Love­week com­bines cel­e­bra­tion & club­bing, chill­ing & relax­ation as well as fun & fas­ci­na­tion and is there­fore more a fes­ti­val hol­i­day and adven­ture! A week with many long nights, relax­ing on dream beach­es, cheap and deli­cious food, cozy chill­ing and cel­e­brat­ing on the world famous beach par­ties as well as the cel­e­bra­tion at night in the mild evening cli­mate.

 

SOUNDWAVE CROATIA

Tis­no, July

Anoth­er one of Croatia’s big par­ty events, the Sound­wave Fes­ti­val takes place over three days with five days of side par­ties. It is held in the famous Gar­den Site in Tis­no, which is undoubt­ed­ly one of the most beau­ti­ful loca­tions in the whole of Europe. Expect to have your breath tak­en away by the gor­geous views as you join up with count­less kin­dred souls for a height of sum­mer extrav­a­gan­za that takes place over five days in late July.

You can get your groove on at the Sound­wave fes­ti­val with a swing­ing selec­tion of Beat based audio waves. This event takes in a num­ber of gen­res includ­ing Jazz, Dub and many forms of Elec­tron­i­ca splashed out with a lit­tle bit of Hip Hop and Reg­gae thrown into the mix. There are a num­ber of dif­fer­ent sound­stages around the site includ­ing the famous Sound­wave boat par­ty and a late night club style venue.

 

 

DEFECTED CROATIA

Tis­no,  August 


Pre­vi­ous­ly Ibiza reg­u­lars, Defect­ed return to Croa­t­ia for their sec­ond event.

Build­ing on the suc­cess of its first edi­tion, this year wel­comes an abun­dance of inno­va­tors to play through­out the evening on the star­lit beach­es, with the day­time sun­shine reserved for soak­ing in the rays and enjoy­ing the wind­ing streets of Tis­no.

Pre­vi­ous names to have per­formed here include Julio Bash­more, Ken­ny Dope, Base­ment Jaxx (DJ Set), Den­nis Fer­rer, Roger Sanchez, Guti (Live), Nick Curly, Osun­lade, Night­mares On Wax, Low Step­pa and many more.

Noval­ja, island of Pag, August 

Sonus Fes­ti­val is a tech­no fes­ti­val set along the white, sandy beach­es and crys­tal blue waters of Zrce Beach, Croa­t­ia. With the very best beach­front clubs host­ing the occa­sion, expect top tier per­for­mances, high volt­age soundsys­tems and stun­ning light­shows.

The fes­ti­val wel­comes the very best on the inter­na­tion­al tech­no scene as well as a menagerie of under­ground and emerg­ing elec­tron­ic inno­va­tors.

The first artists announced for 2017 include Seth Trox­ler, Jamie Jones, Ricar­do Vil­lalo­bos, Chris Liebing, Adam Bey­er, Tale of Us, Pan-Pot and many more.

 

DEKMANTEL SELEKTORS

Tis­no,  August

 

Dek­man­tel is an Ams­ter­dam based music com­pa­ny that hosts glob­al events and releas­es cut­ting-edge dance music. After years of throw­ing par­ties, found­ing fathers Thomas Mar­to­jo and Casper Tiel­rooij sought to mag­ni­fy their love for off-kil­ter and qual­i­ty dance music through their own label in 2009. Four years lat­er, togeth­er with close-friend and part­ner Matthi­js Theben Ter­ville, the trio adopt­ed to expand its oper­a­tions into the fes­ti­val are­na. Dek­man­tel Fes­ti­val has estab­lished itself not only as a peer­less elec­tron­ic music fes­ti­val in Europe, but also as an orga­ni­za­tion appre­ci­at­ed for its deep and gen­uine pas­sion for under­ground dance music.

 

DIMENSIONS

Pula, August — Sep­tem­ber

 

Dimen­sions Fes­ti­val is an under­ground elec­tron­ic and urban fes­ti­val in Croa­t­ia. Incred­i­ble line­ups are host­ed in an aban­doned Roman fort, mak­ing for one of the most spec­tac­u­lar par­ty loca­tions in Europe.

Add in the fact that the glo­ri­ous Adri­at­ic coast is just a short dis­tance away, and you’ve got all the mak­ings of the ulti­mate sum­mer fes­ti­val.

Dimen­sions take as a slight­ly more niche look at Euro­pean under­ground music than its sis­ter, Out­look Fes­ti­val, and has been pro­duc­ing some of the sum­mer’s stand-out moments ever since its very first edi­tion in 2012. Beach par­ties sup­ple­ment the his­toric Fort venue, with world­wide A‑listers guar­an­teed year after year.

 

Pula, Sep­tem­ber 

Out­look Fes­ti­val is a musi­cal event, start­ed as a sub­sidiary of Leeds event Sub­Dub, host­ing all kinds of bass music held just out­side the city of Pula, Croa­t­ia. Although held in Croa­t­ia, many of the atten­dees come from the Unit­ed King­dom as do much of the team involved in orga­niz­ing the fes­ti­val. Held in Fort Pun­ta Chris­to and the sur­round­ing beach­es the fes­ti­val is unique in its set­ting, with sound sys­tems and stages being erect­ed in var­i­ous tun­nels and even the moat of the aban­doned ruins.

The fes­ti­val also plays host to a num­ber of boat par­ties which fea­ture artists from the fes­ti­val and sail around the Adri­at­ic coast­line play­ing more indi­vid­ual selec­tions of music that oth­er stages around the fes­ti­val.

 

 

MOONDANCE FESTIVAL

TROGIR, August

Tak­ing place at stun­ning mid­dle ages Kamer­len­go Fortress in Tro­gir, one of the most beau­ti­ful world’s city islands, sit­u­at­ed in mid­dle of Croatia’s beau­ti­ful Adri­at­ic coast, Moon­dance 2017 for it’s 5th anniver­sary will offer tru­ly unique expe­ri­ence for every true tech­no lover.

In this year’s edi­tion Moon­dance will host some of the most promi­nent under­ground tech­no artists who will spice three nights under moon­light as well as an amaz­ing beach after par­ties.

 

PULA FILM FESTIVAL

PULA, July — August

The Pula Film Fes­ti­val is the old­est Croa­t­ian film fes­ti­val which is held annu­al­ly in a Roman amphithe­ater known as the Pula are­na since 1954. The fes­ti­val is usu­al­ly held in the sum­mer, in July or August.

Apart from film screen­ings open to the pub­lic, the annu­al Croa­t­ian film indus­try awards are also tra­di­tion­al­ly pre­sent­ed at the fes­ti­val. The awards pre­sent­ed at the fes­ti­val (called Gold­en Are­nas) are the main nation­al film awards in the coun­try and they serve as the Croa­t­ian equiv­a­lent of the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my Awards, British BAFTA Awards, Spain’s Goya Awards, France’s César Award, etc.

The fes­ti­val was orig­i­nal­ly start­ed in 1954 and with­in a few years it became the cen­ter­piece event of the Yugoslav film indus­try, with first nation­al awards being pre­sent­ed in 1957. This last­ed until 1991, when the fes­ti­val was can­celled due to the breakup of Yugoslavia, only to resume in 1992 as the Croa­t­ian film awards fes­ti­val. It has been held every year since (with the excep­tion of the 1994 edi­tion which was also can­celled).

 

This is not the end of the sto­ry, the list goes on and on.. but we want­ed to make our agen­da for this sum­mer. Since we don’t want to make com­pro­mis­es and we want to see it all, we will sit in our mini beast and head off to some seri­ous fun crawl­ing. We will let you know how it goes!