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Talking festivals in Croatia with Mimi & Labud

Time Out checks in with techno pundits Mimi & Labud, founders of Ekstrakt and organisers of major events in Zagreb

Mimi & Labud are authorities on the local dance music scene in Zagreb - and beyond. They're the founders of Ekstrakt, and organisers of major events in the Croatian capital: sure-fire experts on dance music culture, and the summer festivals which have proved to be such a game changer.

How has the Croatian music scene changed in the last ten years?

It changed quite a lot. After the big boom of electronic music and underground rave parties in the mid 1990s, it all went down a bit at the beginning of the millennium. In the last five years, things started to change back to normal, so we can say that we have very healthy scene at the moment.

How do you think the festival scene has affected growth of electronic music in Croatia?

The festival boom has certainly helped local scene to grow. Festivals do a lot by educating local audience, giving them the freshest and newest trends in electronic music. It also helped getting Croatia better known in the electronic music scene as a whole, so now more foreign artists are interested in coming to play here, either because they already had a great time, or they’ve heard amazing stories of notorious Croatian parties. Festivals also raised the bar by bringing amazing sound systems, which has improved the technical aspect of our party scene.

Do some festivals deal more with the local scene? Which ones?

Even though some foreign festival promoters aren’t that clued up about our local scene, there are some that have good understanding of it and the courage to give local talent a chance to shine in front of a wider foreign audience. Sonus, Dimensions and Garden Festivals have been really supportive of the local scene and DJs, giving artists chance to play on the same stages with the main festival guests, or dedicating whole stages for Croatian label showcases. On the other hand, local authorities should realise the potential and importance of such festivals even more.

And Sonus…?

We’re very excited. We’ve played at Sonus Festival the last two years and the energy of the crowd was crazy. Seeing how it’s grown, we expect even more this year.

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