5 Reasons Why EDM Festivals Love Croatia
Photo: Dimensions 2012 by Oliver Correa
Croatia -- Outlook, Dimensions, Unknown, Ultra Europe, Electric Elephant, Soundwave, The Garden, Hideout - the list of Croatian music festivals seems never-ending, and always-expanding. They all have two things in common, beaches and EDM.
You can't argue with the good weather and good music combination, but with so many locations that can offer the two - why has Croatia's music festival scene exploded so recently?
Let's take a look at the top 5 reasons Croatia has struck EDM gold.
1. The Weather
Along the Croatian coastline, summer days float in the 80°s while nights hover near 65° with an average Adriatic Sea temperature of 77°. I can probably end this list right here. The summer months also align with the region's dry season so, unlike the US festivals crippled with rain and mud this year, Croatia's festivalgoers' shoes weren't muddy and festival organizers weren't apologizing for canceled sets.
2. Cheap Beer
Croatia's kuna remains separate from the Euro, offering relief to the usual festival prices and the 15€ beers found in fellow electronic music destination Ibiza. A cheap beer is not only a perk for a festivalgoer, and it has become far from expected. Yet it remains a necessity for many after the travel payments, accommodations, and festival pass itself are taken into account. But the cheap prices aren't just good for attendees but for the festivals themselves - especially for organizers who have moved to live in Croatia.
The majority of Croatian EDM festivals have been started and run by UK companies and, based on August 2013 data, consumer prices in the UK are 63.53% higher than in Croatia, and its rent prices a whopping 192.54% higher.
3. Budget Airlines
European travel, particularly that of the Eastern continent, has become synonymous with budget airlines - and Croatia is no exception. Budget companies fly into multiple large- and small-scale airports around the country allowing UK-run festivals to draw the large majority of its attendees from out of Croatia.
Budget flights may lack the amenities and snacks of their larger counterparts and you may be saddled with extra baggage fees and ticket printing fees, but with our guide to flying cheap, you'll do just fine.
4. The Authorities
Unlike in the UK where red tape acts as a tangibly harder barrier than the phrase suggests between promoters and their events, Croatia's authorities have held their arms wide open to internationally-run festivals. They see these events as opening up the country to a whole new demographic of tourists, one that has helped the country boost tourism into a 7 Billion Euro industry. Plus, they hope those who come for the festival will take the time to explore other regions the country has to offer or, at the very least, have such a good time they'll want to return with their friends and families.
The welcoming attitude of the tourism department has also extended down towards more local authorities that have had no major issues with the festivalgoers. Unlike many summer party locales (I'm looking at you Ibiza and Miami), Croatia's festivalgoers have largely resided outside of the typical get-too-fucked-up-and-fight demographic and more in the I-can-enjoy-a-good-dance-party-but-still-chill-on-the-beach camp. Which brings me to number 5...
5. Smaller Promoters
The aforementioned party destinations Ibiza and Miami have become so linked to electronic music and clubbing that people expect only the biggest and the best, or what Eddie O'Callaghan, on of the founding promoters of The Garden, has called "lowest common denominator" EDM. Croatia, on the other hand, provides an oasis for smaller, underground promoters to really listen to the latest trends, offer up-and-coming DJs the stage, and draw real fans of the genres.
Now we'll just have to see how long this holds up now that Ultra has hit the Croatian shores.
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