Words: Elliott Waring, Film: Ben Richards
Unknown Festival, the newest edition to the Croatian summer season, and one of my personal favourites so far. Located on a coastline holiday village close to the town of Rovinj, this festival site had it all. 3 and 4* apartment blocks with air-con, a campsite complete with toilet blocks and showers, an infinity pool heading out to the Adriatic sea and some really quirky stages.
Steering clear of the glam, Ibiza-esque, Zrce beach feeling of Hideout, Unknown adopted a more bohemian approach to partying with stages such as the Forest Stage, Mad Ferrets mirror world and the Moroccan Medina, complete with hammocks and shisha pipes. The design of the site by the organisers (WHP, Field Day and Hideout) was very much reflected in the overall vibe of the festival. The posey gym wankers who flooded to Hideout earlier in the summer were few and far between and in their place, groups of adventurous party goers who were simply there to have a good time, not because it was the cool thing to do.
In addition to the Main Stage (my least favourite), the Pool Stage and the Forrest Stage, the festival organisers sought the creative input from Sheffield based artist Kid Acne for a number of art installations and his very own stage
The line-up itself boasted a number of heavyweight artists that spanned across the electronic music spectrum. Live acts included Four Tet, Henrik Schwarz, Jon Hopkins and TEED as well as London based band Django Django, and Radio 1 favourites Disclosure and Jessie Ware. As well as the live acts, crowds enjoyed DJ sets from Craig Richards, Dixon, Floating Points, George Fitzgerald, Joy Orbison, John Talabot, Oneman, Kerri Chandler, PBR Streetgang, Todd Terje and many, many more.
Personal favourites include Henrik Schwarz’s amazing set highlighted with this, followed by AME with an equally impressive selection of tracks. As always, Flo Po raised the bar with an eclectic mix spanning multiple genres, digging disco wonders from his record bag that had the crowd collectively wondering ‘how? ‘ Maceo Plex and Kerri Chandler both had the pool stage pumping while the Boiler Room took over an island just off the coast for 2 days of invite only parties.
Overall, Unknown festival was a great success for its first year. Apart from the torrential downpour on the Wednesday that wiped away half the campsite (which we watched from our apartment- cop out I know), the weather was amazing. The music that I saw was spot on and the crowd was faultless- something I have come to learn has a huge impact on the festival as a whole. I will definitely be heading back next year to see what improvements will be made. You too can head into the unknown with a custom tailored package from Music Festival Holidays.