Music & Nightlife

Find the best clubs and nightlife in Croatia – and where to see the best live music shows, festivals and concerts

Darko Rundek & Ekipa
Music

Darko Rundek & Ekipa

Darko Rundek has been combining folk music elements from the Balkans and around the world with rock and pop music since the end of the 1970's and has played concerts to thousands all around the region. One of his latest incaranations is as Darko Rundek & Ekipa, in which he plays alongside an ensemble of young, adventurous mmusicians, most of whom live in Zagreb. At this date, they present a performance entitled Zvuk Oluje (Sound of the storm). Quite what that entails or how different it will be from the usually fantastic show this group of musicians put on, we don't quite know. What we do know is that it's another chance to catch one of Croatia's most interesting and adventurous musicians, playing alongside one of the most spirited and forward-thinking combos he's collaborated with in his career.

Applebum launch new music festival in Croatia in 2019
News

Applebum launch new music festival in Croatia in 2019

UK party organisers Applebum have announced they will be holding a festival in Croatia in 2019. Their Applebum Festival: The Beach Beyond, which will take place between 18 and 22 July 2019, becomes the newest addition to the calendar of festivals that take place near Tisno, Murter, throughout the summer season. The festival will offer five days of urban, soul and electronic music and will perhaps fill part of the position vacated by Soundwave Festival, which held their last event at the site in summer 2018. Summer 2018 saw the addition of Hospital Records' drum n' bass-based festival to the series of events in Tisno. Applebum is one of the largest hip-hop and R&B parties in the UK and is named after a song by legendary hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest. Soundwave Festival organisers are also partially involved in the new event.

Nipplepeople
Music

Nipplepeople

Rijeka’s enigmatic electro-popsters Nipplepeople strut their theatrical stuff at Pogon kulture. Expect throbbing synths, body-shaking beats and lots of kinky costume changes.

The best live music venues in Zagreb
Music

The best live music venues in Zagreb

Zagreb may not have the star-power of other European capitals but the city punches well above its weight when it comes to awesome music venues. From giant stadiums to scuzzy rock bars and sweaty techno clubs, let our experts point the way with this handy guide to Zagreb's best music venues. RECOMMENDED: music and festivals in Croatia.

Defected Croatia reveal first guests for 2019
News

Defected Croatia reveal first guests for 2019

Defected Records have announced the first guests who will appear at their Defected Croatia festival in 2019. Defected Croatia is one of the youngest events to take place at the festival site in Tisno, near island Murter. However, the UK company is one of the largest independent house music labels in the world and have held residencies on Ibiza for many years, with their Glitterbox parties being their most recent success there. As a result, although new to the festival circuit in Croatia, they have proved to be an instant success. 2019 will be their third year in Croatia. Among the headliners revealed are Armand Van Helden of You Don't Know Me, The Funk Phenomena and Duck Sauce Barbra Streisand fame. Fast and funky Chicago icon Derrick Carter also appears, as do Masters At Work's Kenny 'Dope' Gonzalez and 'Little' Louie Vega. New York's Todd Terry and his New Jersey neighbours Spen & Karizma will also visit as will one of the original 1980's dance mixers (and former Madonna producer), John Jellybean Benitez. Other highlights from this first wave include Dimitri From Paris, Eats Everything, Honey Dijon and Horse Meat Disco.

Discover Croatia's best nightlife venues

The best live music venues in Zagreb
Music

The best live music venues in Zagreb

Zagreb may not have the star-power of other European capitals but the city punches well above its weight when it comes to awesome music venues. From giant stadiums to scuzzy rock bars and sweaty techno clubs, let our experts point the way with this handy guide to Zagreb's best music venues. RECOMMENDED: music and festivals in Croatia.

The best clubs in Zagreb
Nightlife

The best clubs in Zagreb

Visitors don't always discover the best clubs in Zagreb. Lurking in unlikely locations, they're  guarded by a close-knit circle of regulars and are largely unadvertised. But if you're looking for somewhere to party, you might be surprised at Zagreb's proficient offerings - behind the city's pretty facade lies a thriving subculture, whose holy houses are the post-industrial warehouse clubs scattered around the city. As with neighbouring capital Belgrade, Zagreb's party scene has a hint of Berlin about it, with its unwavering focus on electronic music and that special sense of camraderie that comes from co-raving for whole weekends. Here are the best clubs in the city. RECOMMENDED: more great nightlife in Zagreb.

Dubrovnik nightlife guide
Clubs

Dubrovnik nightlife guide

Dubrovnik nightlife is unusual - while the city has an abundance of bars, clubs are relatively few. But what they lack in quantity, they more than make up for in quality. Clubs here tend to capitalise on the city's brilliant architecture; you might find yourself raving in a cavernous 16th-century fortress or between the stony walls of ex-quarantine barracks. Head to one of these places after hitting one of Dubrovnik's many spectacular bars, and you're guaranteed a special night. RECOMMENDED: more bars in Dubrovnik.

LGBT+ guide to Zagreb
LGBT

LGBT+ guide to Zagreb

The rainbow flag doesn't flutter quite as brilliantly in Zagreb as in nearby European capitals, but that's not to say Croatia's capital hasn't got a characterful queer scene of its own. Although compact, a range of organisations and queer-friendly venues work hard to make sure the city's LGBT+ scene is as inclusive and buzzing as possible. Read on for the best gay bars and queer spaces in Zagreb.

Recommended live music events and concert venues

Tvornica kulture • Zagreb
Nightlife

Tvornica kulture • Zagreb

Tvornica kulture (‘The Culture Factory’) has established itself as Zagreb‘s leading medium-sized venue for live rock and pop. The fashionably black, 1,800-capacity main hall (Veliki pogon, ‘Large Workshop’) has now been augmented by the addition of a much more intimate small hall (Mali pogon), which hosts gigs by local bands and disc-spinning after-parties. Mali pogon also works as a café during the day. Concerts take place several times a week, with club nights featuring DJs and visuals at weekends. Ticket prices range from 35kn to 200kn depending on who is playing. Draught beer 15kn, imported Czech Budweiser in bottles 20kn.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Revelin Culture Club • Dubrovnik
Nightlife

Revelin Culture Club • Dubrovnik

A club venue since summer 2011, the angular 16th-century fortress that marks the eastern end of Dubrovnik's Old Town has become the place to go after drinking-up time has been called in the town centre's other bars. Luckily, Dubrovnik's military architects had the foresight to construct what is an ideal venue for a club: the stark interior of bare stone blocks, complete with arched aisle spaces and lofty barreled roofs, provide the perfect backdrop for the state-of-the-art light-show. What Renaissance Ragusans might have made of the lithe females dancing in cages is another question entirely. With an elongated bar, large dancefloor and plenty of surrounding nooks and crannies, it's the kind of place that can cater for large numbers of people without making them feel pushed around. A lot of leading Croatian pop and rock acts perform here throughout the year. In summer, there'll probably be an international DJ appearing here every weekend throughout the season - 2012 saw Fat Boy Slim, Martin Solveig and sundry others lug their record boxes up Revelin's stone steps.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Boogaloo • Zagreb
Nightlife

Boogaloo • Zagreb

A 15-minute walk south of the train station, Boogaloo is a 1,500-capacity DJ club and live venue, opened in a spacious former cinema and cultural centre –  scene of seminal shows by Laibach and Einstürzende Neubauten in the mid-1980s. Expect a varied schedule of retro parties, house or techno DJs, and live international metal acts.    

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
AKC Medika • Zagreb
Nightlife

AKC Medika • Zagreb

Still going strong despite the municipal authorities' threat to dramatically raise the rent, this shrine to all things alternative grew out of Zagreb’s anarchist movement and is still run as a non-profit-making collective. A courtyard decorated by some of Zagreb’s best street artists has a café-bar on one side, and a concert venue-cum-club space on the other. Events range from anarcho-punk gigs to dub reggae DJs and cutting-edge dance music, with all kinds of other styles thrown in for good measure. Visual arts association Otomptom throw impromptu film evenings screening animation and shorts. Popular with a broad spectrum of Zagreb’s club-hungry youth, Medika is much more than just a gathering point for the grungey underground.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Tunel • Rijeka
Clubs

Tunel • Rijeka

This tunnel dug into a railway embankment is heaving most nights, especially at weekends when there’s usually a band and DJs playing techno and/ or electronica. A vaulted stone ceiling, lasers and a good-looking crowd in their twenties and thirties comprise the decor. Getting to the bar, or just finding a place to stand, can be a challenge. The few tables out front fill up in warmer weather.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars

New music

Introducing... Kensington Lima
Music

Introducing... Kensington Lima

Originally from Split, Josip Radić is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He has lived in Zagreb since 2005 and Kensington Lima is his new band project. Radić's name may be familiar to existing fans of new Croatian music; he is one half of the extraordinary Valentino Bošković, alongside Branko Dragičević, who have released three spectacular albums since 2014. 'Valentino Bošković is a collaboration,' explains Radić. 'We are both the authors and performers. Kensington Lima is my solo songwriting project. And on the recordings so far, I also play most of the instruments. Some of these songs have been lying around for the last 15 years. After I turned 30 I decided it was time for me to record them.' In contrast to the sometimes zany, sci-fi quoting and humorous pop music of Valentino Bošković, Radić's Kensington Lima project is more of a serious, heartfelt affair. Kensington Lima is frequently acoustic, barren of the electronic or synthesizer sounds sometimes audible in the duo. In Kensington Lima he is clearly combining American country and rock music elements, often to stunningly beautiful and epic effect. 'Kensington Lima's music is informed by pretty much all of my influences, which range from The Beatles, early Pink Floyd, The Kinks, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Jackson Browne to more recent acts like Wilco, Beck. Or Dawes. They're one of my favourite new bands. It's that kind of west coast rock, Americana sound.' Their sound is not the only difference Ken

Introducing... Mimika Orchestra
Music

Introducing... Mimika Orchestra

Being eight years old, Mimika Orchestra needs much less of an introduction than other groups featured in this column, particularly to those in London where the orchestra was formed and performed over several years. But, for the last two years, the outfit's composer and leader Mak Murtić has been back in his home city, Zagreb. His prolific output and ceaseless musical adventuring has since had as significant an impact as anyone's in the city. Plus, Mimika Orchestra have just released their third album, the fascinating and accomplished 'Divinities Of The Earth And The Waters', so it's a great time to talk about them.Mak Murtić spent seven years studying and working in London where he became absorbed into a young and exciting music scene of infinite musical possibilities involving an infinite number of fantastic players. Some of the musicians he played and collaborated with there are among the most talked about names on the now internationally recognised, new London jazz scene, such as saxophonists Shabaka Hutchings and Nubya Garcia, and tuba player Theon Cross (whose brother Nathaniel Cross plays the trombone in Mimika). 'There were all of these jam sessions going on,' says Murtić, 'I don't think it was really my studies which inspired Mimika.'Meeting so many talents, Murtić's ideas and Mimika's line up expanded drastically; they are now an orchestra who can number anything between 12 and over 20 members in live performance, containing two singers, several brass instruments, st

Introducing... JeboTon ansambl
Music

Introducing... JeboTon ansambl

JeboTon ansambl are a much-loved group of street musicians, frequently found serenading the public of their home city Zagreb, especially in and around Cvjetni trg (Flower square). Their extensive line up can hold as many as 15 different musicians at any given time and even more appear on their debut album, the very recently released Širi Ljubav Ili Šuti (Spread Love Or Be Quiet) which is available to hear on the JeboTon ansambl Bandcamp page and on Youtube. Songs contained on the album have been written and honed in live performance over the last three or four years, the ensemble growing out of the JeboTon collective of Zagreb bands which currently includes Peglica i Komandos, Porto Morto, Sfumato and Trophy Jump. JeboTon also used to contain the much-missed bands Lobotomija, Druker, Hren, Prazna Lepinja, Spremište and Antidepresiv. Members of all these fallen heroes can now be found within the JeboTon ensemble or the current JeboTon bands. JeboTon ansambl is an acoustic outlet for these musicians, many of them playing in more electrified form within their other projects. Their sound is one of acoustic guitars, bass and hand percussion, backed with brass and violin, their vocals delivered collectively in rousing and largely optimistic manner. Like many, the group have ditched their home city of Zagreb this August in order to tour the coast, promoting Širi Ljubav Ili Šuti, bringing good vibes wherever they go and making healthy seaside-dwelling teenagers feel good about the

Introducing... Side Project
Music

Introducing... Side Project

Side Project are a pop duo made up of Luka Vidović and Anja Papa, both of whom are the group's songwriters, vocalists and key musicians. Formed in Zagreb in 2012, 'pop music' doesn't really adequately describe the pair's unique sound. 'We've been labelled as graveyard pop, synth pop and dark pop,” says Anja, 'but it's hard for us to describe our own music. Both of us can switch from listening to K-pop to post punk to grunge to new wave in the span of 30 minutes. And it's only natural you can hear the influences of everything we listen to in our music. Our lyrics tend to be a little darker than your usual pop song.' Side Project released their impressive debut album Things Which No One Else Should Know About in 2015, but 2017 saw an eruption of creativity from the group. They released two albums in that year; a soundtrack to that year's Croatian short science fiction film, The Last Well, and the second Side Project album proper, Lonely Boys (all of which can be heard on Side Project's Bandcamp page). Side Project's musicianship, adventurous songwriting and dual vocals, perhaps especially Vidović's soaring and at times Dave Gahan-esque style, sound more confident than ever on this sophomore release. 'Everyone always says that Luka sounds like Dave Gahan,' laughs Anja, 'and sometimes he does. Depeche Mode is a band we love a lot, but we're not really striving to be like them. We've been listening to a lot of electronic music like Zhu, Wednesday Campanella, Bicep and Moderat r