The best music in Croatia this month
There's arguably not a better time for music in Croatia than December. With Advent celebrations taking place across the whole country, there are many free gigs in Croatia this month. During winter the clubbing scene is also in full swing, so international DJs join world-class opera, classical music and ballet productions, ethno/folk music giants, the best of visiting rock bands plus homegrown heroes of pop and hip hop on this month's recommended list.
The best music events at this year's Advent in Karlovac
This year's Advent in Karlovac is the city's biggest yet and one of the programme's best features is its music content, most of which is free and takes place at the Karlovac Music Pavilion. The city has a long reputation for music, being home to the oldest music school in Croatia and many music professionals have studied and performed in the city since it was first founded in 1804. Look out for performances by the current students and faculty as part of this year's Advent, as well as concerts by some of Croatia's biggest stars from the worlds of pop, rock, hip hop and ethno music.
The best places to see The Nutcracker in Croatia this Christmas
This Christmas, Croatia is going nutty for The Nutcracker. The magical ballet is the theme of this year's Advent in Zagreb and you can expect to see its characters come to life throughout the capital city. A firm family favourite with an unforgettable score by Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker has been performed in Croatia more times than any other ballet. This year, no less than five internationally-renowned ballet ensembles interpret the show across Croatia's major cities Split, Rijeka, Osijek, Zadar and Zagreb.
Canadian singer Celine Dion is one of the world's most popular singers. She has released the highest-selling music of all time in her native French language and secured worldwide success after beginning to record in English from the early '90s. Hits like 'The Power of Love', 'Think Twice', 'Because You Loved Me', 'It's All Coming Back to Me Now', 'I'm Your Angel' and the monstrous 'My Heart Will Go On' from the Titanic movie will surely get an airing at this show alongside songs from her latest album 'Courage' (2019), which is her first USA number one album in over a decade and a half. With an established reputation as a live performer, expect a spectacular show from the queen of Canadian music.
The best clubs and nightlife in Rijeka
If you're looking for somewhere to drink, dance or party in Rijeka, you're spoilt for choice. Ever rebellious Rijeka has a nightlife scene that matches its reputation as Croatia's most alternative city, with an intoxicating array of fun bars, pubs and clubs. Hit up these late-night bars and clubs in Rijeka to quench your thirst into the early hours.
Discover Croatia's best nightlife venues
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
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
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
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.
The best music events in Croatia
Recommended live music events and concert venues
Introducing... Tobi North
Tobi North is Zagreb’s new kid on the block. The London-born Singaporean has spent the last 5 years in the Croatian capital syncing his trendy hip-hop and RnB beats to Europe’s promising alternative pop scene, contributing to Croatia’s lively urban music scene. The man providing the good vibes is Jun Ishida, who is also an up and coming figure on Zagreb’s DJ scene. Performing under the alias of ‘Jaxtasy’, he has previously been seen supporting some of Croatia’s most well-known rap stars like Vojko V, Kukus and Connect. However, his truer art can be found in the depths of his culturally relevant, hip-hop hybrid sounds, which he issues under the name Tobi North. Taking on heavy influence from the anonymous hip-hop and RnB artists Blackbear and Afthetheparty, who energize the hopeless romantic expressed in the explicit vocals and melancholic flow. In contrast, the optimistic synth sounds are drawn from the nu-disco form of ‘MuraMasa’. The music also encompasses progressive ideas found in experimental metal. Tobi North’s muses over his inspirations ‘I have been writing music since I was very young, it’s all I know. During my short life, I’ve witnessed the music industry turn more into a business than it has ever been before, my ambition does not lie in commercial success but rather to bring back the artistry and heart that modern hip-hop seems to have forgotten’. The young performer recently shot his new ‘Everyday’ music video in London, his debut video ‘Again’ having eme
Introducing... Mel Camino
Mel Camino, who hail from Velika Gorica, just outside Zagreb, have been active for the last 12 years, although out of the spotlight of the mainstream music scene. They have released four studio albums to date 'Kapadokija', 'Kolumbo svoje duše, 'Avion bez uzletne piste' and their latest 'Kad?Sad!', all of which can be heard on the group's Bandcamp page. The band has a free concert in Zagreb's Močvara on 29th November and to coincide with this they are releasing a video for their latest single 'Vidova'. Mel Camino's sounds cover ethno melodies, classic/alternative rock, electronic, or mixture of each. Support at the concert comes from Feral Instinct, an alternative metal band also from Velika Gorica/Zagreb and Solarov, a Zagreb band with rock and electronic influences.
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
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