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Interview with Hideout director Dan Blackledge

Hideout is celebrating its sixth birthday in 2016. We speak to the man behind this major festival about setting up in Croatia – and its potential

© Hideout

Still a young-ish gun in the ever-expanding Croatian dance festival scene, and certainly one of the most popular, Hideout has put together a thumping line-up with some of Europe's best DJs and electronic acts. Ravers are promised a beautiful backdrop – the Zrce beach on the isle of Pag, just off the west coast of Croatia – as well as boat parties galore. Director Dan Blackledge discusses the history of Hideout, and what he has in store for this superlative party.

Why Croatia?

It’s a beautiful country with lots of amazing locations, great weather, great food and great people.

What were your thoughts before you went?

I had no idea what Zrće beach looked like so to be faced by three open-air venues on a beach flanked by trees and mountains was a very nice surprise.

Is there a definitive scene now? How do the festival interact with each other?

There are some amazing festivals out there now, Sonus, Dimensions, Outlook…. One thing it needs more of is live music but we’re working on that. We all get along and make sure we have diverse line-ups. Everyone has their own style so we don’t need to outbid each other for artists or anything like that. The market is big enough for everyone to do well and there is a lot of mutual respect between us all.

Tell us about your audience

Hideout is mainly a UK crowd but we do have customers from all over the world. We’d love to have more local people attend our events – we do a lot of marketing there and we do see an increase each year.

How do you see the Croatian scene panning out?

Croatia sort of has all boxes ticked now that Ultra is on the map as well. But there is always room for new, innovative concepts so hopefully we’ll see it develop in some interesting way. 

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