We couldn’t find a better festival to end the season than Croatia’s UNKOWN Festival. It is a truly unique experience with an unbelievable amount of activities to participate in and to make the whole experience better, it’s on a beach! As far as foreign festivals go, this one’s easy to get to from the UK flying direct to the nearest town Rovinj with organised coaches collecting you to ensure your safe arrival at the site. Of course you get the opportunity to camp at the event but for the less adventurous or the more self-indulgent, guests may choose to stay at the 4-5* accommodation on and off site. We swiftly checked into our Villa which offered great views of one of the stages and the beach, a breath of fresh air from the usual grey polluted South London we escaped from!
The Festival runs from Monday – Friday and even though we arrived on the Sunday evening, the site was fairly busy already with several balconies having their own mini ‘warm up’ parties, the beach and pool area strewn with bikini clad bodies. The crowd had a great age mix, not too young like many mainstream UK festivals now, and everyone was on a festival high, chatting away to fellow festival goers. With a quick food and booze run to the town centre, we returned in the early evening to find the house DJ’s already livening up the atmosphere at the ‘Pool Terrace’ which was a nice unexpected surprise as the festival hadn’t even officially opened yet.
The following five nights were a mixture of chilling on the beach, dancing by the pool, pier jumping and hammock swinging in the forest. With it being a longer festival, but not too big you get to know quite a few people on the site very quickly, always bumping into each other at one of the six stages. Tuesday saw the opening of the main stage. Chvrches drew in a huge crowd with their synthy pop tracks. Headlining was Chic Ft Nile Rogers- such a party atmosphere and so many smiles. Followed by a wander to the Forest Stage to catch the end of Erol Alkins booming set, Daniel Avery and finished off with a dance at the ‘Just a Little Medina’ stage to some BeeGees, Madonna and other equally cheesy tunes!
With bellies full of pizza (the food of choice – delicious in this region due to its proximity to Italy) and recharged by the sun, day 2 saw the first set of boat and island parties which all sold out in minutes. Kink played an eagerly awaited live set, getting the crowd going, even in the sudden downpour of rain. Crowds still remained strong throughout an extended four hour muddy Seth Troxler set, and George Fitzgerald kept up the Forest Stages reputation for finishing the night on a bang, never fails to please!
The final two nights were loud and muddy! Ten Walls played to a massive crowd, with Walking with Elephants being the perfect track to stomp to in the now pretty deep mud. Moderat finally played the festival after having to cancel in 2013, were the highlight of our festival, closing the main stage with a bang. And of course, Unkown Festival’s legend being Jackmaster closing the whole festival on the Forest Stage, billed for 4-6 we could still hear him playing ‘bangers’ when we went to bed at 9am…
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