Top 15 Festivals in Croatia 2014

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The crystal clear waters and stunning shorelines of Croatia have made it one the hottest of European festival hotspots, offering an eclectic and unique run of music festivals all summer-long. But which is the one for you? Dig through our list of the Top 15 festivals in Croatia to find out.

Spring Break 2014 - Zcre Beach, 5-9 June

One of the first Croatian festivals in the calendar and definitely one of the wildest ways to kick your summer off. The Spring Break Festival is the craziest student party in Europe, offering four nights of unadulterated pleasures, including DJ Antoine, Mike Candys and Duo Diamonds.

Enjoy beach, pool and boat parties against a backdrop of the best international dance and electronica on the Island of Pag. 

Seen as the ultimate Ibiza alternative, don’t forget to check out the thrill-seekers choice of water sports from jet skilling to cable surfing.

Hideout Festival 2014 - Zcre Beach, 30 June-3 July

Staying on the popular Zrće Beach Resort on the Island of Pag, Hideout has become the biggest success story of the Croatian festival boom.

The fastest selling event of 2013, the festival returns with more than 150 artists and six days of madness fuelled by the likes of Maceo Plex, chart-toppers Rudimental, house legend Kerri Chandler and Disclosure.

Not only does this lineup the current best in electronic music, but with a lineup curated by labels and promoters, you might also get a glimpse of a great selection of up and coming acts before your friends do!

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Ultra Europe 2014 - Split and Hvar, 11-13 July

Ultra is one the biggest global brands in electronic music today and made its Croatian debut in 2013, only to become one of the most talked about events of the summer.

The sold out debut edition witnessed more than 100,000 sun-seekers from more than 75 countries flock to Croatia’s idyllic Dalmatian coast and party with the biggest names in house, big beats and EDM.

2014’s edition is set welcome Afrojack, Armin Var Burren, Carl Cox and David Guetta to an event with mad boat parties, huge L.E.D screens and pyrotechnics in the main stadium, pool-side fun, beach-parties and much more

Soundwave Croatia 2014 - Tisno, 17-21 July

Lauded by critics and fans alike, Soundwave Festival Croatia makes the most of it’s stunning setting, in the idyllic fishing town of Tisno, with boat parties, beach stages and club nights over a long weekend of almost-guaranteed sunshine in the aptly named venue, ‘The Garden’. 

Unlike the electronica heavy line-ups of a lot of Croatian events, you can expect to see hiphop, reggae, jazz and soul at this beautiful and boutique festival. Fat Freddy’s Drop, Mr Scruff and Madlib are among those steering the musical ship.

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Suncebeat 5 - Tisno, 23-30 July

Split between the mainland and the island of Murter, the likes of Lonnie Liston Smith, Kerri Chandler and Gilles Peterson will be spinning on boat and beach, with just a ten-minute walk to host of restaurants, cafes, apartments and small boutique hotels.

Taking over the secluded shorelines of Tisno, the deep house, soul, disco, funk and groove sounds blend well with the Croatian sun, all coming together to make the perfect relaxing music getaway.

Fresh Island Festival 2014 - Zcre Beach - 23-25 July

Launched in 2012, New Yorker Fresh Island Festival is arguably the best place to go in Croatia for the freshest hip-hop beats and R&B sounds. The event, on the island of Pag, will host DMX, Pusha T, Method Man & Redman and many more besides.

The festival boasts white sandy beaches with palm trees and the beautifully warm waters of the Adriatic, plus all the fun of beach and pool parties through the day and long into the night.

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Barrakud 2014 - Island of Pag, 9-16 August

One of the longer festivals in the Croatia calendar, Barrakud offers not only the best from the international electronic music scene, Paul Kalkbrenner, Sven Vath and Dubfire included, but also eight days of sun-drenched parties by the sea.

The theme for the 2014 edition of Barrakud is ‘SYNCHRO’, encouraging music lovers to come together to share an experience where they connect not only with the music but also with one another.

If you are torn between deciding whether you should go to a music festival this summer, or a beach side holiday Barrkud believes you should have both!

Sonus Festival 2014 - Zcre Beach, 18-22 August

Organised by dance giants Time Warp, Sonus welcomes some of the finest underground electronic names from across the world for four nights of some of the best Croatian parties of the summer.

With an array of pre-events, after show soirees and boat parties, Sonus is just as much about the revelry as it is the music and Chris Liebing, Dixon, Jamie Jones and Loco Dice have
that side covered.

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Unknown Festival 2014 - Rovinj, 8-12 September

Set in the almost unrivalled paradise of Rovinj on Croatia’s sun soaked coast, nestled between luscious and magical forest and the blue waters, Unknown is a festival like no other.

Some of the world’s leading musicians (think Chic feat. Nile Rodgers, Disclosure and Dixon), artists and designers, create the ultimate experience in escapism as revellers enjoy a week of live performances, boat and pool parties, art installations, forest escapes and mystical adventures.

INmusic Festival 2014 - Zagreb, 23-25 June

The most eclectic of all the Croatian festivals, INmusic has more than half a dozen years of history featuring the biggest names in rock, folk, raggae and hip-hop.

The festival takes place on the aptly-named Island of Youth on Lake Jarun in Croatia’s capital Zagreb, and has featured everyone from Arctic Monkeys to New Order over the years. This time around it’s Pixies, The Black Keys, MGMT and Foals among those performing.

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HTC Day & Night 2014 - Zcre Beach, 14-19 July

A festival with more than a decade of history in Club Papaya on the Island of Pag. You can look forward to four days tuned to the body-shaking sound system of one of the finest open-air beach clubs in Europe.

Hosted by prestigious club labels and DJs, HTC Day & Night books nothing but the most finely curated mix of music each summer with Alvaro, Showtek, Nicky Romero and Tommy Trash behind the decks this time around.

DJ Mag Beach 2014 - Zcre Beach, 19-22 July

Taking over two of the best clubs in Croatia, Aquarius and Papaya, DJ Mag Beach festival pulls together the best talent from the pages of Britain’s best electronic magazine and puts them on the sands of Croatia’s most stunning shoreline.

Markus Schulz, Orjan Nilsen and Omnia are set to test the sound system this July.

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FOR Festival 2014 - Hvar, 19-22 June

Spread across three venues on the ancient island of Hvar, FOR Festival is a uniquely intimate and idyllic festival set over a long weekend of indie and electronica.

Haim, Klaxons and Neneh Cherry will play this summer and you can spend your days swimming in the crystal clear waters, exploring the islands sights, smells, tastes and enjoying the endless beautiful beaches that provide the perfect setting for this carefully curated and one-of-a-kind event.

Dimensions Festival 2014 - Pula, 27-31 August

A festival setup unequalled in Europe, Dimensions takes place in the stunning grounds of an abandoned 19th century fort on the beautiful Croatian coastline, close to the city of Pula.

Offering a melting pot of international talent from across many genres, such as house, techno, jazz and soul, the festival is now an essential date on the Croatian festival calendar. Don’t miss shows from Caribou, Jon Hopkins, Warpaint and others.

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Stop Making Sense 2014 - Tisno, 31 July - 3 August

If you’re looking to escape the tediums and tests of modern life then Stop Making Sense certainly is the sensible choice.

Set within the confines of a secluded bay, this intimate and relaxed festival boasts its own private beach and on-site accommodation, and showcases a range of electronic music, everything from techno to jazz, Anja Schneider to Psychemagik.

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King’s Day 2014: Amsterdam’s Biggest Party

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Fancy heading to a street party like no other? Then try King's Day, an oversized orgy of orange in the Netherlands, which each year turns the Dutch into a delirious mob of tangerine.

But what’s the deal and why all the orange? Let us run you through the Who, What, Where, Why and How.

Who celebrates King's Day?

As a national holiday in the Netherlands, the whole of the country abandons and gets into party mode. Everywhere from Assen to Zierikzee will be breaking out the beers, dressing in orange (the country’s national colour) and going bonkers like it’s the last night on earth.

What is it?

At its most rudimental, King's Day (formerly Queen’s Day) is a birthday party for the reigning monarch. First thrown on 31 August 1885, in honour of Queen Wilhelmina, the tradition was continued for Queen Juliana and Queen Beatrix. The event then morphed into a public holiday and today is a gloriously overblown banquet of celebration and decadence. 

Visitors can expect the streets and canals to burst at the seams with reams of orange party people. Yes, it can be disorientating and overwhelming, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to see the Dutch let their hair down.

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When is King's Day?

This year, Formerly known as Queen’s Day, this will be the first-ever King's Day to take place, happening on 26 April. Make sure you’ve got at least one extra day to recover.

Where is it held?

King's Day is nationwide, but the best and biggest parties can be found in the capital, Amsterdam. There’s a free, open market throughout the city which allows anyone to sell anything they like, plus plenty of street parties with DJs and live music. As the centre of town can get pretty busy and frenzied, it’s often best to make more concrete plans. 

Why all the orange?

More than just a chance for market stalls to flog carrot-coloured t-shirts, sunglasses, jumpers, trousers and suits (and anything else that can be made in orange), the colour is actually in honour of the Dutch Royal family, who’s linage comes from the House of Orange-Nassau. 

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How can I get involved?

The best way is to dive right in. Grab a beer and some orange merchandise - both very easy to find - and make your way around Amsterdam. Go with the crowds to the public squares, head to the red light district or just randomly explore the city until you find something to you like. 

Alternatively, a selection of electronic gods will shine down on Amsterdam Oosterpark. If Sven Väth, Loco Dice, Marco Carola and Michel De Hay tickle your earbuds, make a beeline for Loveland van Oranje Kingsday where the sea of orange will be complemented by house, electronic and techno.

What’s more, this boutique bash will boast vintage fairground rides, fancy dress, smoke cannons and an electric atmosphere you’re unlikely to find anywhere else in the country. 

You could also try [IN]cognito Knightnight, which will have Len Faki, Robert Hood and Spherical Coordinates playing in a secret location somewhere near the capital. In keeping with the King's Day chaos, the club won’t have any sound limits, just nine of the finest house and techno names spinning across two floors until the only orange left to see if the sun coming up over the city.



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Interview with Aly&Fila

Set to appear at this years Trancefusion: Power Of The Elements, the Egyptian trance duo Aly & Fila are always heavily in demand, with their euphoric sets bringing together trance fans new and old.

With not long to go to their headlining appearance, they caught up with Wouter Verhei from the Trancefusion team to discuss their set and more…

You guys know each other since kindergarten. When did you decide to start to produce music together?

Fila was travelling Europe to Germany a lot in the mid – late 1990s and its from there he would be bring mixtapes and CDs back off Paul Van Dyk etc, we loved that sound and decided lets try.

You grew up in Egypt. Does this also influence your productions?

Every culture we visit inspires us and influences our music , Egypt plays a huge part of that. In our early releases you can see that we have Arabic influences in our music and the names of our tracks such as Eye of Horus and Spirit of Ka. We are very proud Egyptians and the concept of Egypt and its history plays a huge part in our career.

A lot of people know you as a duo. Can you explain why Ali doesn’t tour?

Around 6 years ago Aly was playing at an event and the monitors blew his ear, he couldn’t hear properly at all, we went to the doctor and he told us Aly could not be exposed to loud music at events / dj booth anymore or he will lose his hearing in that ear.

When we are in the studio together we keep it as a special level where it does not affect his ear anymore.

In April 2 years ago you played at Trancefusion ‘A Dream Come True’ for the first time. What do you remember of that night?

Whenever we play in Czech Republic it is a such a great crowd, so much passion, and the event brings in clubbers from all over the globe to the event which is so cool. It was just a great event!

In just a few weeks you will back in Prague and play back to back with John O Callaghan. How did you guys come with this idea and how does it feel to share the decks with him?

Well we first did this at Godskitchen in 2012 and it worked so well, we are great friends and play similar styles so we bounce off each other in the DJ Booth, it works really well . We decided lets do it on some special occasions, which we do.

Your most recent album Quiet Storm is an amazing success, congratulations with that. Are there any plans for a new album already?

Thank you very much. Yes we are close to completing our third artist album called ‘The Other Shore’ which will be released this summer. We are very happy with it so far, we are excited to release it.

This summer you will celebrate the 350th episode of Future Sound Of Egypt. Can you tell us a bit more about this?

Last year we celebrated FSOE 300 with x 5 Events worldwide including Prague, this year we again take the celebration on the road, we have already announced Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, New York in USA, Lubiaz in Poland and Medellinin Colombia, there is more to come.

If you would could organize an event yourselves and could choose any location at all on this planet, where would that be and why?

Free party in either Egypt or Argentina, Egypt as its our home, Argentina because well if you haven’t experience clubbing there, you need to!

To find out more about Tracefusion: Power Of Elements where Aly & Fila will be playing, visit our full guide here.

Top Festivals Happening In April 2014

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It’s that time of year where depending on where you are, spring flowers are colouring away the winter greys, and summer isn’t such a distant memory.

April in particular is bursting at the seams with some fantastic festivals, fiestas, parties and gatherings, So don’t let another month go by without getting your musical fill.

Here’s our Top 10 Festivals in April:

Coachella 2014 - Indigo, California, USA - 11-13 April & 18-20 April
Headliners: Outkast, Muse, Arcade Fire. Motörhead

You know the festival summer has officially kicked off with the arrival of Coachella. One of the biggest music festivals in the USA, it shares an unrivalled billing of exclusive headliners and in-vogue names from almost every genre.

Pick up the shades, hang out with the celebs and glory in the Californian desert, where you’ll find not just live music but epic art installations, sculptures and Burning Man-esque shenanigans.

Read our full Coachella 2014 guide here.

Awakenings Easter Weekender 2014 - Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 17 April
Headliners: Extrawelt (live), Maya Jane Coles, Gaiser (live), Nina Kraviz

The Dutch daddies of dance are set to serve up some hot beats at this one day techno festival. Set in the Gashouder, a gas tank built in 1902, Awakenings will push your senses and give you an unforgettable buzz with DJs mixing until the very early hours.

Discover more about the event here.

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Bluesfest 2014 - Byron Bay, Australia, 17-21 April
Headliners: John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews Band, Erykah Badu

Australia celebrates the blues with their multi-award winning and internationally renowned Bluesfest. Returning this Easter to celebrate its 25th Anniversary with a typically unbeatable line-up of blues and roots stars from across the world, the lineup features international favourites and local stars to watch.

Get your blues fix vis the official Byron Bay Bluesfest website here.

Electron Festival 2014 - Geneva, Switzerland, 17-20 April
Headliners: Mr Oizo, Hot Chip (DJ set), Vitalic, Ellen Allien

Something has to shatter the tranquility of spring in Geneva and we’re chuffed it’s Electron Festival - a huge electronica party taking over 11 city venues.

Packing in over 130 acts in just four days, it also hosts dance shows, VJs, art, film and workshops. We just don’t know when you’re going to fit in any sleep.

Read our full Electron Festival 2014 guide here.

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Club To Club Istanbul 2014 - Istanbul, Turkey, 18 April
Headliners: Oneohtrix Point Never, Forest Swords, Zomby

The clue’s in the name: Club To Club Istanbul is a chance to bounce from floor to floor around Turkey’s coolest city. Cutting-edge kings of the electronic scene will go head to head and beat to beat in eight different venues.

One ticket gives access to all the parties, so you can rave in any (or all) of them until the sun rises. Check out our full Club To Club Istanbul 2014 guide here.

Trancefusion: Power of the Elements - Prague, Czech Republic, 19 April
Headliners: Ferry Corsten, Aly & Fila B2B John O’Callaghan, BT

The best in trance descend on Prague for an intense night under the art-nouveau architecture of the city’s Industrial Palace.

This year has been themed ‘Power Of Elements’ so expect the 13 hour program to give you a taste of all four elements: Earth, Wind, Water and Fire through unmatchable visuals and sounds.

Read our full Trancefusion: Power of the Elements guide here.

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Moogfest 2014 - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - 23-27 April
Headliners: Kraftwerk in 3D, Pet Shop Boys, M.I.A., Flying Lotus

We’re looking forward to the state of North Carolina binging on a artistic Smörgåsbord of treats, including Kraftwerk and hit-maker Nile Rodgers with his disco troupe Chic.

Dedicated to Robert Arthur “Bob” Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer, Moogfest is all about artists working at the limits of their sound. Find out more about Moogfest here.

Riga Festival 2014 - Riga, Latvia, 26 April-22 June
Headliners: Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Diāna Ketlere, Kaspars Putniņš

Ready yourself for the biggest annual festival in Riga, the capital of Latvia, and a true array of culture from around the world over a three month stretch.

There’s concerts held at almost corner of the city, from the Riga Cathedral to the Latvian Railway History Museum, and it’s a good opportunity to see the UNESCO listed city at its finest.

Read our full Riga Festival 2014 guide here.

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GodsKitchen presents Clash Of The Gods 2014 - Birmingham, UK, 26 April
Headliners: Aly & Fila, Signum vs Manuel Le Saux, Will Rees vs Rhys Thomas

Welcome back Godskitchen to the UK with a new era of dance history in the making. Clash Of The Gods, the original back-to-back concept and firm favourite with fans, will see 40 top names squaring up against each other across three rooms.

Look at our GodsKitchen presents Clash Of The Gods 2014 guide here.

Mayday 2014 - Dortmund, Germany, 30 April
Headliners: Fedde Le Grand, Paul van Dyk, Sven Väth

International dance brand Mayday heads home to Germany for one epic night with 25,000 ravers, the biggest local and international DJs, a huge production show and - wait for it - an 8am curfew.

Expect lasers, giant L.E.D. screens, an ear-pounding sound system and little sleep in one unforgettable night at Dortmund’s Westfalenhallen venue.

Read our full Mayday Dortmund 2014 guide here.

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A Beginner’s Guide To Serbia

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While Balkan backpackers make a beeline for buzzy Budapest, chill along the coasts of Croatia or jolly down to Greece, far too many overlook the majesty of Serbia.

For those in the know, this emerging country is where visitors can lather up in a spa in the morning, ski empty slopes in the afternoon and rave through the night till the early hours. 

Here are our top five tips to making the most of your first trip to Serbia:

1. Earn your hangover in Belgrade

Almost like a fun adventure, Belgrade makes drinkers work a little harder to find its hidden secrets.

The city’s best bars often disappear as quickly as they pop-up, so befriend a local to find the current hotspots. Local guides, the Belgrade Greeters (www.belgradegreeters.rs) are good for showing you around the city’s coolest froth shops.

If you want to do it alone, start with cocktails at Federal Association of Globetrotters (Bul. Despota Stefana 7/-1), the colourful and kitsch basement bar hidden at the bottom of some plush apartments, before moving on to the electronica DJs of Prohibicija Bar (36 Karadjordjeva st) for a pre-club loosener.

This is a city that continued to party even when bombs fell, so raves go on until the very early hours. Club Plastic (Ugao Takovske i Dalmatinske) is the place to be seen until 6am, where guest house DJs test the sounds systems. Its side venue Mint is more cutting-edge with its musical selection.

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2. Festival in a fort

When it comes to event venues, few countries make the most of their architectural gems like Serbia. While Festicket have managed to find festivals in some of the best venues in the world, Serbia puts other countries to shame when they present music in their historic forts.

Take the award-winning, world-beating EXIT Festival for example. In a setting suited to greatness, EXIT takes over the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad - a huge stronghold on the banks of the River Danube.

This incredible event has left an indelible mark on the summer calendar as over 2,000 performers, leaning mainly towards the electronic side, fill its 22 stages. 

There is also Nišville International Jazz Festival, who every year welcomes 100,000 jazz enthusiasts to enjoy exciting piano legends and horn heroes within the walls of its Turkish fortress.

Featuring workshops often held by the headliners themselves, confirmed artists so far include Tania Maria and the Brussels Jazz Orchestra.

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3. Soap up in a spa

The spa town of Vranjska Banja boasts some of the hottest springs in Europe, which are both therapeutic and beautiful to see.

This ecological oasis has everything to put holidaymakers in the zen zone at the start of their break, or rebuild the mind and body of those that have left both in a fortress. Surrounded by the might of the great outdoors, local wellness centre offer everything from massages and thermotherapy to hydrotherapy and sonotherapy.

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4. Ski on Serbia’s empty slopes

For snow lovers, there’s nothing like a clear run, and Serbia’s biggest secret is that it has some of the quietest slopes on the Continent. The resort of Kopaonik, towards the centre of the country, has recently been given a facelift and is ideal for some pistes and quiet.

With 13 runs to choose from, including blacks, blues and reds, the resort has challenges for all abilities. It is also home to Serbia’s first snow park, so snowboarders and adrenaline junkies can get their tricks fix too. What we love the most though is the lack of toddlers clogging up the ski lifts. Make sure you experience it before the ski schools take over.

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5. Eat like a king, pay like a pauper

While Denmark might be leading the gourmand revolution, and pop-up stalls might be taking over the streets of London and Paris, the Serbian gastronomy landscape is busy rustling up something different.

Wander along Skadarska, a cobbled street in Belgrade’s old town, and you’ll find their traditional dishes of ćevapčići (minced meat)and goulash served in huge, belly-swelling sizes. The bills plate up at historic prices too.

For something a little more cutting edge, try Supermarket Concept Store (Visnjiceva 10), a restaurant-cum-shop-cum-bar. Its bare walls and low-hung lights could have come straight from New York but its food is more Balkan than Brooklyn. Try the potato terrine with bacon or get mesmerised by their cherry parfait with Bavarian cream.

The sleek and chic Zaplet (Kajmakcalanska 2) may take some finding, but the rewards are bountiful for those who make the effort. The warm octopus salad and hazelnut parfait are both good, but nothing quite beats their extensive wine list.

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Tomorrowland Add New Names To 2014 Lineup


Celebrating 10 years of unforgettable electronic dance memories, Tomorrowland have confirmed 2 names that will be joining the birthday gathering this July.


Kaskade, Dada Life and Knife Party will be joining fellow headliners
Armin Van Buuren, Afrojack, Dave Clarke, Alesso, Dada Life and Carl Cox at two weekend EDM extravaganza. 

Ticket may be sold out but here are some quick recommendations of similar events to check out…
HEADLINERS: Richie Hawtin, Fatboy Slim, Chuckie, Sven Väth
16 colourful stages of electronica, from minimal techno to pumping dubstep.

HEADLINERS: Afrojack, Armin Van Buuren, Carl Cox, David Guetta
Miami’s No1 EDM festival takes over Croatian shores.

HEADLINERS:  Disclosure, Rudimental, Jamie Jones, Loco Dice
A utopia for fans of scene-shaping labels and top class electronic DJs.

HEADLINERS: David Guetta, Disclosure, Sven Väth, Rudimental
A shore-side sunshine escape mixing electronic names with pop and rock favourites.

HEADLINERS: Showtek, Chuckie, Markus Schulz, Art Of Fighters 
Known as the “Woodstock Of Dance” amongst the global dance music family

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Festivals In Unique Locations

For some regular festival goers, once you have been to one festival in a field you’ve been to them all! Some events however go one step further such as giving new life to deserted buildings, or totally transforming an area of land into a colourful temporary playground…

Here are Festicket’s favourite festivals in unique locations

During World War II when the Germans troops destroyed Bánffy Castle, little did they know years later this location would become a place of good vibes and charity.

Every year the team behind Electric Castle raise funds to renovate the building by throwing one massive electronic get together. This year’s gathering includes Thievery Corporation, Bonobo, Rusko, DJ Fresh, Chris Liebing and more within the enchanting castle grounds.

Check out our Electric Castle festival guide here.

Within the hustle and bustle of Paris lies a secret island in the middle of a lake, which has become the takeover destination for Marvellous Island.

Turning the whole island into a flamboyant and magical wonderland, the stages and areas are decorated head to toe, while 140+ electronic acts provide 70 hours of uninterrupted beats with no sound restrictions.

Find out more via out Marvellous Island guide.


Taking place in a Serbian Petrovaradin Fortess, EXIT festival welcomes 200,000 music fans from over 60 countries every year.

Within all the cubby holes, large squares and hidden spaces you can expect to hear all genres of music from rock to hiphop to electronic. This years headliners include Rudimental, Skrillex, Dub FX and Koven.
Have a read of our Exit Festival guide for more information.

Welcome to Ferropolis otherwise known as “The City Of Iron”, where every year 40+ rock and electronica acts transform the industrial metal surroundings into an epic music weekend.

From Portishead to Erol Alkan, take a dip in the surrounding lake, test your endurance at one of the overnight stages, and experience sound systems with no limits.
Find out more about what makes Melt festival an award winning event here.


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Top Festivals In The Moutains

With some festivals it’s not just the lineup that creates the mood of the event, but the beautiful scenery surrounding the location. We’ve explored the top beach festivals, and journeyed through the top desert festivals, now it’s time to look up the top mountain festivals…

Rock The Pistes 2014 / 26-30 March / Les Portes du Soleil, France

Those that like their mountains of the snow-capped and skiable variety, need look no further than Rock The Pistes. Hugging the borders of France and Switzerland, the musical policy is big on all-encompassing relations too, with everyone from Klaxons and Babyshambles to Mad Professor and Breton included.

When the ski and snowboard gear is on, punters can choose between 12 resorts as well as four daily concerts across all five days when the parties get going. If there’s a better backdrop to a festival than the Alps, we’re yet to find it.

Read our full Rock The Pistes 2014 guide.



Green Man Festival 2014 / 14-17 August / Brecon Beacons

For some the UK may not the first place that springs to mind at the mention of mountains, but the might of the Brecon Beacons in Wales is something to behold.

Don’t get out your helmets and harnesses just yet, these Black Mountains are more backdrop than sheer drop, but festival-goers should still steady themselves for the sheer variety of entertainment on offer here.

Some 1,500 performers will take over this stunning setting, and while Green Man used to rely heavily on folk music, it’s not all scratched beards, hemp jumpers and banjos anymore.

Think more electronic, indie and dreamy pop stars mixing with local ciders, all night bonfires and 24-hour entertainment, plus all the comedy, poetry, literature and art and science organisers can squeeze in

Meadows In The Mountains 2014 / 13-15 June / Polkovnik Serafimovo, Bulgaria

With thermal springs, waterfalls and beatific surroundings all to be found as rewards, Meadows In The Mountains is a festival for adventure-loving explorers. This quirky event has donkey-pulled carts plodding up the Bulgarian hills, taking outsiders to a utopian dream when art and music join in unison.

Very few know about this hippie haven yet, so we suggest getting up the Rhodope Mountains quick, before all the other hipsters do. With a mountainous backdrop, laughing gas, hammocks in its forests, cocktails, locally-sourced food and enough electronica, disco, funk and jazz to keep this dream burning through the night, isn’t it time you got your hiking boots on?


Caprices Festival 2014 / 11-19 April / Crans-Montana, Switzerland

Fancy the clinking of champagne glass in the Swiss Alps? Caprices Festival is the ultra-luxe end of the snow soirée cannon with late night cocktails, fluffy powdered pistes and gourmet grub. That’s without mention of their blow the budget bookings when it comes to bands.

Everyone from Lou Reed and Portishead to Björk and Erykah Badu has lined up at Crans-Montana, and with six stages and nine days to cover this time around, there will be more to explore than just the 140 km of blue, red and black routes, wooded runs and five-star spa treatments.

This years headliners include Richie Hawton, Ziggy Marley, Carl Cox, George Clinton and many more legendary acts.

Read our full Caprices Festival 2014 guide.

Bilbao BBK Live 2015 / 10-12 July / Bilbao, Spain

It’s easy to see why Bilbao BBK Live is so endearing and its reputation so unmatched: the only thing bigger than the Arriáiz mountains, on which it sits, are the rock bands and electronic acts it manages to book every summer.

Known locally as a musical monastery, it’s easy for music fans to get carried away with a location where they can spend the mornings relaxing on the beaches of the Basque Coast, before heading into the clouds to watch their favourite musical gods at night.

Confirmed acts include The Black Keys, Franz Ferdinand, Phoenix, MGMT, White Lies and Imagine Dragons.

Check out our full Bilbao BBK Live guide.

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Top 20 Music Festivals In The UK

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UK festivals are renowned around the globe for their creativity and their clout in capturing the coolest acts around. As one of the most saturated festival markets in the world, here are 20 of the best festivals every music fan living in or visiting the UK should check out…

Bestival 2014 / 4-7 Sept / Newport, Isle of Wight
Headliners: Outkast, Chic ft. Nile Rodgers, Foals, Beck

The UK’s much lauded, award-winning boutique fiesta has as much silliness and absurdity as it does music performers - and there’s around 1,000 of them. 

With legendary late night mischief, pianos popping up in the woods, lit-up lakesides, mass fancy dress, plus poetry, theatre, comedy and plenty more to discover, the only thing you’ll struggle with is fitting it all in.

Check out our Bestival 2014 guide here.

Boardmasters 2014 / 6-10 Aug / Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay, Newquay
Headliners: Chase and Status, Bastille

Hidden amongst the swell and sunshine of the south west coast of England, Boardmasters mixes the best boarders in the world - whether they’re surfers or skaters - with BMX kings, and a line-up of dance dons, folk stars, and pop favourites.

With cliff top sessions and surf shack shows, its only a cocktail short of the best weekend of the year. Ready to make your Instagram followers jealous?

Check out our Boardmasters 2014 guide here

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Camp Bestival 2014 / 31 Jul -3 Aug / Lulworth Castle, Dorset
Headliners: Basement Jaxx, James, Johnny Marr, Sinead O’Connor

With all the playful nonsense of its naughty older sister event Bestival, Camp Bestival offers the same novelty of fancy dress and late night silliness, but with a twist: it’s completely family friendly. 

Taking place in a beautiful English castle, it has everything from medieval jousting to face painting with music, comedy and poets hand-picked by Rob da Bank.

Check out our Camp Bestival 2014 here.

Creamfields 2014 / 22-24 August / Daresbury, Cheshire
Headliners: Avicii, Deadmau5, Calvin Harris, Tiesto

Cheshire’s colossal electronic gathering has everything a EDM lover could ever want: exclusive shows, big name DJs, breaking beat boys and invincible live acts.

There’s enough of them to fill 11 stages for three days with parties that go on so late, your mother would be horrified if she found out.

Check out our Creamfields 2014 guide here

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Glastonbury Festival 2014 / 25-29 June / Pilton, Somerset
Headliners: Arcade Fire, Dolly Parton, Blondie + loads more to be announced

It may be one of the UK’s oldest festivals, but Glastonbury Festival still kicks it stronger and longer than even the youngest of pretenders.

Expect bands you’ll find nowhere else, 1,000s of acts from comedians to theatre shows, a slice of traveller life and a pinch of hippydom, plus the best food stalls, secret acts and late night shenanigans you’re ever likely to find at a festival.

Check out the Glastonbury Festival 2014 website here

Global Gathering 2014 / 25-26 Jul / Long Marston Airfield, Stratford Upon Avon.

There will be a roar down on the runway as one of Britain’s’ biggest and best electronica institutions prepares the hit the tarmac again. 

The pilots at Stratford Upon Avon’s Long Marston Airfield will be the world’s greatest EDM stars, who will rave it up across more than a dozen stages until sunrise. 

Then there’s the hot tubs and hammocks for those not quite ready to face the dance the next day.

2014 headliners are still to be announced but Plan B, Example, Steve Aoki, Disclosure and many more appeared last year.

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The Great Escape 2014 / 8-10 May / Brighton, Sussex
Headliners: Kelis, Wild Beasts, These New Puritans, Jon Hopkins

Brighton’s music bonanza is a seaside holiday with a difference, as the beachside waves mix with the sound of breaking bands.

Europe’s biggest emerging band showcase boasts some 400 of the Next Big Things in 35 venues with one wristband getting you into every gig. That’s if you can tear yourself away from the sunbathing and slot machines.

Green Man Festival 2014 / 14-17 Aug / Brecon Beacons, Wales
Headliners: Beirut, Neutral Milk Hotel, First Aid Kit, Kurt Vile and the Violators

As far as festival locations go, Green Man Festival takes in the might of the UK’s landscape with its backdrop of the Brecon Beacons’ Black Mountains in Wales. 

The folk-led line-up fits in with its surroundings, but there’s plenty more hidden in the hills as well. Some 1,500 performers make sure the party goes on throughout the night with comedy, poetry and literature stars included. 

Add in spas, therapies, local ale and cider, locally sourced food and this is a Great British Fete for the 21st century. 

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Isle of Wight Festival 2014 / 12-15 Jun / Newport, Isle of Wight
Headliners: Biffy Clyro, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kings Of Leon

The reincarnation of the one of the UK’s first-ever festivals may not hold the hippie dreams of it’s past, but it’s still more than capable of pulling in the world’s biggest guitar slingers.

Now it’s cut its hair short, and it welcomes the best in dance and pop as well. What’s more, it has thrill rides away from the main stages too like its onsite fairground, rib ticklers and cabaret shows.

Check out our Isle of Wight Festival guide here.

Latitude Festival 2014 / 17-20 Jul / Henham Park, Suffolk
Headliners: Two Door Cinema Club, Damon Albarn

Taking over the idyllic English countryside, Latitude is, as its tagline proclaims, much more than just a music festival. 

With DJs hidden in the woods, colourful sheep roaming the tufty fields, opera on the lake, film debuts in its onsite cinema, clowns under canvas, actors treading the boards, local ales, dance troupes and a huge children’s area, festival-goers will be far from bored. 

Oh, there’s a full programme of music as well. Check out our Latitude Festival 2014  guide here.

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Leeds Festival 2014 / 22-24 Aug / Bramham Park, Leeds
Headliners: Arctic Monkeys, Blink-182, Jake Bugg

Leeds Festival is the type of riotous event that Bank Holiday Mondays are made for. Providing a platform for rising and established indie acts, metal groups, next generation dance, hip hop and alternative pop bands. If they ain’t playing here, they ain’t worth seeing.

Check out our Leeds Festival 2014 guide here

Lovebox 2014 / 18-19 July / Victoria Park, East London

London’s beat lovers, freaks and hipsters convene for an annual party created by Groove Armada. A colourful mix of dance dons, rock gods, vintage markets, bespoke bars and fairground tides, Sunday’s flamboyant Gay Day is about chitzy cocktails and shaking of tail feathers, but the whole weekend is a carousel of creativity.

2014 headliners are still to be announced but Azealia Banks, Plan B, Goldfrapp and many more appeared last year.

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NASS Festival 2014 / 13-17 Jul / Bath and West Showground, Somerset
Headliners: Cypress Hill, Netsky, Noisia, Reel Big Fish

A gnarly mix of extreme sports competitions and cutting-edge music, NASS Festival is a wild weekend of BMXing, skateboarding and inline-skating, with DJs and bands kicking up a racket through until dawn. 

Throw in some free-running, fairground rides, shisha lounges and bars, and you’ve got three days of partying like no other.

Check out our NASS Festival 2014 guide here.

Sonisphere 2014 / 4-6 Jul / Knebworth Park, Hertfordshire
Headliners: The Prodigy, Iron Maiden, Metallica

Taking place in one of rock music’s most iconic venues in the UK, Sonisphere shakes off the stately shackles of decency that the Knebworth grounds demand by pulling together a immoral crew of the dark arts.

Anything that sits between heavy metal and glam rock will be here, leading the mosh like nowhere else. 

Check out our Sonisphere 2014 guide on here.

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South West Four 2014 / 23-24 Aug / Clapham Common, London
Headliners: Above & Beyond, Maceo Plex, Alesso

If London ever needed an extra club, South West Four is it. And what a club it is. Forget those tasteless, champagne with sparklers joints, this is a open-air party palace that sorts the essentials first: music, music and more music. 

Its a coming together of the EDM world, their understudies and up-and-comings stars. If the four stages of house, techno, minimal, trance and electronica ain’t quite enough to fill your ears, the countless after parties around the capital certainly will be.

Check out our South West Four 2014 guide here

T In The Park 2014 / 11-13 Jul / Balado, Scotland
Headliners: Biffy Clyro, Calvin Harris, Arctic Monkeys

Scotland’s crowning glory, T in the Park is a festival with a bigger reputation than William Wallace. The Balado bash is the type of event that can make a reputation or kill of a career as the crowds expect only the best!

Only the finest acts across rock, pop and dance get given the nod to perform in front of the best crowds in the country, as they roar and scream and mosh until dawn makes its way round again.

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Wilderness Festival 2014 / 7-10 Aug / Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
Headliners: London Grammar, Burt Bacharach, Metronomy

If there’s one thing Britain’s festivals do brilliantly, it’s boutique bashes. One of the more posh and pretty gatherings in the event calendar, Oxfordshire’s Wilderness Festival is the type of place where you can watch a bona fide legend on the stage, enjoy a banquet feast, a science lecture, soak in a hot tub, and watch a one man performance of Shakespere’s Hamlet.

Wireless Festival 2014 / 4-6 Jul / London and Birmingham
Headliners: Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Drake, Bruno Mars, Outkast

Wireless is not quite bigger than hip hop, but its certainly getting that way. This supafly soiree is the best chance to see a line up of urban legends, leaning heavy on the side of rap, hip hop and R&B.

With dates in London and Birmingham to pick from, plus fairground rides, chill out areas, bars and artists singing booths to keep days filled, its often the only UK date these type of urban stars book in advance.

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We Are FSTVL 2014 / 4-7 Sept / Airfield Of Dreams, Essex
Headliners: Richie Hawtin, Fatboy Slim, Sven Väth

With its Best New Festival prize still gleaming from its gantries, We Are FSTVL is about to launch into year two with more clout, more colour and more incredible EDM masters than last year even dared get close to.

Try its 16 stages, 200 DJs, stylised stages and VIP arena with bubbling hot tubs, spa treatments, gourmet food and champagne bars for a weekend (and hangover) you’re unlikely to forget in a hurry.

Check out our We Are FSVTL guide here.

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Where to eat, drink, party and relax in Budapest

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With its art nouveau architecture, steamy Turkish baths and colourful cobbled streets, Budapest is one of Europe’s most enchanting cities. But for those in the know, it’s much more than that.

Whether you’re in town for the award-winning Sziget Festival 2014 or grabbing a couple of days rest and relaxation after Balaton Sound 2014 in nearby Zamardi, there will be something for your tastes to enjoy.

From pop-up bars and vintage markets to hidden night spots and amazing eateries, let Festicket guide you through the Hungarian capital.

Divided by the Danube, the city is made up of Buda to the west and Pest on the east, and both have their own individual charm. That’s why we’ve split this guide into two: one side for eating, drinking, partying and relaxing in Buda and the other for for dining, boozing, clubbing and chilling in Pest.

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THE BUDA SIDE

Eat:
There’s a little artistry amongst the cutlery at Arany Kaviar (1015 Budapest, Ostrom utca 19, Hungary; tel: +36 1 201 6737). Bringing a bit of Russian grandeur to the Hungarian dining scene, the chic opulence of the furniture is only outdone by the Michelin-favoured fine dining. Savour dishes like trout fillet with cauliflower cream or sturgeon fillet with forest mushrooms, all complemented by a gourmet selection of caviars.

Drink:
Known locally as the Shopping Bag Bar, Szatyor Bár és Galéria (XI., Bartók Béla u. 36; tel: + 36 1 279 02 90) is a long-time haunt of the Budapest bohemian set. From poets and artists to musicians and raconteurs, this ramshackle taproom draws them all in. As one of the best Ruin Pubs (a bar in a disused building) in the capital, there’s junkyard furniture and unwanted oddities littering the landscape, with drink prices from an erstwhile era too.

Relax:
No visit to Budapest would be complete without a trip to one of its warming thermal spas, and the historical beauty of the Lukacs Baths (Frankel Leó út 25-29; tel: +36 1 326 1695) is only outdone by the plaques that adorn its exterior, which name those cured by its medicinal waters. The bath’s healing powers come in handy the morning after their infamous Saturday night parties where the cocktails and electronica flow as much as the waters. Take bathers.

First bricked in 1550, the domed Rudas Baths is another relaxtion point we recommend checking out (1013 Budapest, Döbrentei tér 9). Down by the Danube offers a host of post-festival unwinding rituals that will have you back to normal, no matter how hard you’ve hit it. Start with the healing drinking cure, then move onto the underwater massage with water beam before finishing with a steam sauna.

Hidden
Down by the Buda banks, the former Ukrainian stone-carrier ship,  A38 (1114 Budapest, Budai alsó rakpart), has created quite a name for itself. Part shipshape restaurant, part cultural hub and club, there are three floors to pick from including a top deck roof terrace. The boat is best, though, when filled with a motley crew of Hungarians partying to the likes of DJ Krush or Napalm Death.

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THE PEST SIDE

Eat:
Proving that Hungarian grub isn’t all goulash and gesztenyepüré, Zeller Bistro (1077 Budapest, Izabella utca 38) plates up local home cooking with a modern flourish. The hospitable owners are as creative in the kitchen as they are with their handcrafted drinks, so expect to dine out on things like deer steak with barley and blueberry sauce whilst enjoying an elderflower champagne or two. Booked required.

Drink:
The original Budapest Ruin Bar, Szimpla Kert (1075 Budapest, Kazinczy utca 14), is still one of the greatest taprooms the capital has. Not only does it come with mismatched furniture, colourful chairs and odd-shaped lamps, but foodies love its regular farmers’ market and bargain hunters can rustle through its flea stalls. There are live music and film screenings on occasion, but we love its choice of craft beers in its garden.

Party:
Once witching hour winds its way around, Trafiq (1051 Budapest, Hercegprímás utca 18) is the bar to be seen at. This exclusive watering hole wheels out the DJs as the Budapest’s most stylish and beautiful while away the hours with signature cocktails and caskets of decent whiskey. If the low slung lights and tiled floors aren’t your bag, there are enough darkened cubby holes to hide away in as well. Expect to queue at weekends.

Relax:
Of all the historic health clubs in the city, the renaissance beauty of Szechenyi Bath and Spa (1146 Budapest, Állatkerti körút 9-11) is one of its most famous with its golden domes adorning many a postcard. With some 18 indoor and outdoor pools, plus saunas and steam chambers, there is no chance of coming out without pruning skin. Onsite there are massages and pedicures available as well as drink therapy, mud treatment and detoxification. 

Hidden:
If your blood sugar levels are a little low, then there is no better place to gorge them back up to good than Budapest’s very own Willy Wonka factory, Sugar! (1061 Budapest, Paulay Ede utca 48). Its clinical design helps highlight the bursts of colour in its tubes and pots and baskets which are filled with candies, chocolates, cakes, cookies and every treat you can imagine.

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