Great things to do in Dalmatia this summer

From world famous music festivals to historic re-enactments, live music concerts, art events, food and folklore festivals, there's lots to see and do in Dalmatia this summer.

By Marc Rowlands |
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Holding Croatia's most popular holiday islands, the must-visit cities of Dubrovnik and Split, not to mention beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters and the world famous music festivals of places like Tisno and Zrce beach, Dalmatia is the jewel in the crown of Croatia's tourist offer. There's tons to do each season and this summer is no exception.

Great things to do in Dalmatia this summer

Claptone
© radio saturn
Music, Dance and electronic

Claptone

icon-location-pin Revelin Culture Club, Dubrovnik
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German electronic duo Claptone, known for songs such as 'In The Night', 'Heartbeat' and 'Before I Lose My Mind' undertake a summer residency in Dubrovnik, visiting on three occasions during the summer season. Famous for playing large festival dates and parties for the Defected label, the masked duo have so far released two successful albums, 'Charmer' (2015) and 'Fantast' (2018).

Art

Salvador Dali

icon-location-pin Rector's Palace, Zadar
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The most-famous artist associated with Surrealism, to many, Catalan Salvador Dali's inexplicable, melting images and lobsters on old-fashioned telephones pretty much define that revolutionary art movement. 200 of his sheets, sculptures and other works will be on display at this summer-long exhibition, which is expected to draw large numbers. 

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Things to do, Festivals

Split Summer Festival

icon-location-pin Various venues in Split,
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A mainly outdoors festival in the old town, with its own open-air theatre featuring opera and plays, plus tons of entertainment for kids. Split’s Old Town is the stage for a month of drama, opera, ballet and music performances at one of the oldest performing arts festivals in Croatia.

Copacabana Beach
© Copacabana Beach
Attractions, Beaches

Copacabana Beach

icon-location-pin Dubrovnik

A half-moon of pebbles and gravel set in Seka Bay, Copacabana is one of Dubrovnik's best beaches. Studded with luxury white loungers and deckchairs, there's heaps going on to keep you amused with watersports, paddle boarding and inflatables for the kids. The beachside restaurant provides further inducement to spend the day here with breakfast, lunch and dinner covered. Craving a detox? There are deliciously fresh juices and smoothies available. Hedonists can even enjoy table service of cocktails to your sunlounger. The beach is fabulous for families - there's a giant stretch of coastline for the kiddies to explore, while you can get acquainted with the best of Croatian wine from the beach bar, or enjoy a post-swim massage. The sunset boat trip comes recommended, where you paddle out to see while Dubrovnik is basked in the golden light of sundown.

Time Out says
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GusGus
© GusGus
Music, Dance and electronic

GusGus

icon-location-pin Rampart Cornaro, Split
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Celebrated electro duo from Iceland follow up their phenomenally well-received concert in Šibenik from two years ago. In the last 20+ years, GusGus have produced over 10 studio albums of electronic, house music and trip hop influence with a fluid line-up of personnel, helmed by Daniel Ágúst Haraldsson and Birgir Þórarinsson. They will again be supported by AM:PM Split's deep house duo, who might sound familiar to GusGus fans who caught the performance in Šibenik. 

Šokolijada
© Tereza Proroković
Things to do, Food and drink events

Šokolijada

icon-location-pin Various venues in Nin, Nin
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Though the region is rather more famous to visitors for its seafood, the town of Nin has an ancient tradition for drying and preserving meat, which is celebrated at this one-day event. Cured bacon, smoked, salted and dry aged hams plus local sausages are all on offer here, with locals competing for the best results with their secret marinading, spicing and smoking methods.

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Music, Reggae and dancehall

Seasplash Festival

icon-location-pin Martinska, Sibenik
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Dedicated to soundsystem culture, the ever-popular Seasplash is being held this year in Šibenik. Expect the usual high-quality reggae, dub and bass musics from the best regional contributors plus international headliners like Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Mad Professor and Scientist and a top rate supporting cast which includes Dub Pistols, Vibronics, Edo Maajka, Cause4Concern, Janaka Selekta, KRAK in DUB, Jah Free, Digitron Sound System, Warrior Charge Soundsystem, Moby Stick, Kali Fat Dub, Banana Zvuk, Boca sound system, Sap Leo, Inka, Pluvio, Fullstep Phil. 

Loveweek Festival
© Goran Telak
Music, Dance and electronic

Loveweek Festival

icon-location-pin Zrce Beach,
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Alan Walker, Dennis Cruz, Felix Kröcher, Fritz Kalkbrenner, Helmo and many more. This German EDM festival differs musically from a lot of other events happening on Pag. The week-long programme doesn't just rely on music and night parties but also invites you to relax during the day on the beach, enjoying food and even to try something extreme like bungee jumping. 

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© Milan Sabic
Music

S.A.R.S. Music and Beer Festival

icon-location-pin Sinj barracks, Sinj
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Three day festival, taking place in the evenings at the city of Sinj's old army barracks. Craft beer is at the top of the priorities, but each year the event also holds relatively intimate performances by some of Croatia's top rock, pop and hip hop artists. In 2019, guest performers particularly come from the top flight of local hip hop and include Edo Maajka, Vojko Vrućina, M.O.R.T. Atheist Rap, Dregermajster, Teški Osjećaji, Jufkamental, Seviter, Limbonaut and Tony Rose & The Band of Jakeys

Kali on Ugljan
© Jean-no
Things to do, Food and drink events

Tunuara Fisherman's - Kali Festival

icon-location-pin Various venues in Kali, Ugljan
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People visiting all parts of island Ugljan gather in the shoreline town of Kali for this event, which celebrates the work and traditions of the island's fishing fleet and, most importantly of all, their catch. By day, events like the famous parade of fishing boats occur, but the main festivities occur by night, drawing large amounts of young people and families down to the waterside to eat and drink alfresco, the experience soundtracked by lively local bands.

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Fatboy Slim
© Luna's foto
Music, Dance and electronic

Fatboy Slim

icon-location-pin Revelin Culture Club, Dubrovnik
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One of the most popular DJs ever, known for his hits such as 'Right Here, Right Now', 'Praise You' and 'Eat, Sleep, Rave Repeat' is coming to shake Dubrovnik with his recognised party-starting soundtrack. A rarity to see him in southern Dalmatia, this will be a night to remember for locals and holidaymakers alike.

Francesco Piu and Eric Bibb
© Gianni186
Music, Jazz

Zadar Jazz & Blues Festival

icon-location-pin Museum of Ancient Glass, Zadar
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A well-liked festival of jazz and blues music, taking place on the lovely open-air terrace of the glass museum, which draws a nice crowd and international performers. This year there's even more of an international feel as Cuban band Vocal Sampling brings a sense of salsa and a taste of the tropical to the first night's proceedings. On the second night, Joseph Bowie, a New York musician renowned for his work with avant-garde funk band Defunkt appears with his more recent combo. The final night offers blues singer/songwriter and guitarist Eric Bibb and his band. His career stretches back all the way till the early '70s.

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TAM TAM Music Festival
© TAM TAM Music Festival
Things to do, Festivals

TAM TAM Music Festival

icon-location-pin Various venues in Sućuraj, Sucuraj
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A wonderful music and art programme marks this multiple-day festival in the smallest town on Hvar island. Compared to a lot of international festivals the price of this event is kept extremely low, within the reach of Croatian youth, and you'll meet some lovely people here as a result, as well as getting to experience the beautiful surroundings, great music, art like graffiti and other activities. Osijek's Harvo Jay, Belgrade's Repetitor and Zagreb's Porto Morto are among the bands playing this year, with more to be announced.

Zadar sea organs
© xbrchx
Things to do, Quirky events

Millenium Jump

icon-location-pin Various venues in Zadar,
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Growing in popularity, fun and choreography every year, the Millenium Jump will see over 1500 people form a locked line before, on command, they all leap into the sea. If you don't fancy taking part, it's still an awesome spectacle to watch. The line of leapers this year will run from the Sea Organ all the way down to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science.

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Graffiti Na Gradele 18
©Graffiti Na Gradele
Things to do, Festivals

Graffiti na Gradele

icon-location-pin Various venues in Bol,
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Held in the town of Bol on island Brač, Graffiti Na Gradele is an international graffiti festival that also celebrates other aspects of hip hop culture. Now in its eighth year, the three-day event sees street artists, graffiti writers, DJs, skaters, musicians and urban culture enthusiasts descend on this unlikely environment for a great party. They leave in their wake wonderful artworks on the walls of the town. Music at the 2019 edition comes from Croatian hip hop acts Bad Copy, Krešo Bengalka and Vojko Vrućina plus High5 and Buntai. Visitors may not understand the words, but the regional DJs will be more accessible local and the appeal of the amazing art is universal. This year, artists include Malakkai, Erase (BG), Arsek (BG), Star (SRB), Lunar, CHEZ 186, Sarme, Casino, Royal, Senkone, SMACK184 and Anxio.

Art, Film and video

Supertoon

icon-location-pin Various Venues in Šibenik, Sibenik
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A celebration of everything to do with the short animated film, it embraces children’s cartoons, animated music videos and retrospectives of great animators of the past. There are prizes for the best films, ensuring an increasingly solid number of international entries.

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Magic Time Vinyl Festival
Magic Time Vinyl Festival
Music, Music festivals

Magic Time Vinyl Festival

icon-location-pin Perinuša, Imotski
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The Magic Time Vinyl Festival returns to the nature reserve Perinuša on the outskirts of Imotski city. On just its fourth annual occurrence it has become one of the largest and best homegrown music festivals happening in the Dalmatian hinterland. Beginning on Thursday July 26 and finishing late in the evening on Saturday July 28, the event sees DJs and musicians from all over Dalmatia supply a wide mixture of music throughout the day and night. The music will be played exclusively from vinyl records. The event is extremely well received by a crowd of all ages who travel from Split, Makarska, Baška Voda, from villages and towns throughout Dalmatia and from across the border in Herzegovina. Last year small children could be seen dancing with their grandparents, while their university-age cousins partied through the night, as some 15,000 passed through the event's riverside location. By playing only vinyl records, festival organisers aim to revive old, forgotten tunes and musical styles. In contrast to today's disposable, digital music, they regard the songs they play as having a permanence like the physical piece of vinyl itself. This year sees the entertainment stretched to two stages of music for the first time, a great indication of how much this popular party is growing. There are gastro food stalls and three nights of free camping available to all visitors.

© Gered Mankowitz / Monika Kruse
Music, Dance and electronic

Project Vojarna

icon-location-pin Former Barracks of Bribir's Knezes, Sibenik
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Dave Clarke and Monica Kruse. This two-day open-air rave will host two internationally famous DJs, one headlining on each night, as well as local performers who so far still remain unannounced. The inspired rave location is a former army barracks, not far from Šibenik. UK techno and electro stalwart Dave Clarke plays on Friday, with German techno DJ/producer and record label owner Monika Kruse appearing on Saturday.  

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Music, Music festivals

SuncéBeat

icon-location-pin The Garden Tisno,
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Kerri Chandler, David Morales, Mr. G (DJ set), The Black Madonna, Kenny Dope, Tony Humphries, Joey Negro, Gilles Peterson, Soul Clap, Mr Scruff, Antal RH, Osúnlade, Crazy P, Sandy Rivera, Spen, Karizma, Henrik Schwarz, Marcellus Pittman, Dan Shake, John Morales and many more.  ‘Soul has no musical, geographical, or racial boundaries,’ Roy Ayers, one of the most-sampled artists in music and the ‘Godfather of Neo-soul’, once said. This spirit is also perfectly in tune with Tisno’s soulful house utopia: SuncéBeat. With promoters having called time on their legendary UK weekender in Southport, their focus has turned towards the Adriatic. Celebrating its tenth anniversary at this edition, this year’s bill reads like a fraternity of house legends.

Nin Salt Works
© Solana Nin
Things to do, Festivals

The Festival of Salt

icon-location-pin Various venues in Nin, Nin
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The Nin Salt Works is one of the last few places where salt is extracted from the sea and still produced in the traditional way. The method is much kinder to the local flora and fauna, so one aspect of this celebration is to celebrate these natural surroundings supported by the Salt Works. Everything salt-related, from locally-made salt shakers, beauty products and giant salt crystals will also be on display in The Nin Salt Works Museum and Shop, as are examples of the industry's long history in the town.

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Music, Dance and electronic

Nox Festival

icon-location-pin Martinska, Sibenik
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A newcomer to the domestic festival scene, Nox Festival this year offers its first extended two-day event and shows incredible ambition and nous with its choice of headliners. Detroit techno and electro original Juan Atkins is the top name on Friday, with Israeli duo Red Axes (pictured) taking the top slot on Saturday. No doubt this homegrown affair has the capacity to appeal to visiting international audiences with such names. The supporting line up is no less impressive, with local hero Petar Dundov, Detroit techno second waver Kenny Larkin, Beepolar, Coeus, Dee, DJ Jock, Forniva and Lawrence Klein too. The event occurs not far from Šibenik, on the same seaside site that Seasplash will use this year.

Sinjska Alka
© Sinjska Alka
Things to do, Performances

Sinjska Alka

icon-location-pin Sinj, Sinj
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For more than 300 years, a jousting tournament has taken place in Sinj, small town in inland Dalmatia, half an hour from Split. Commemorating a historical battle against the Ottoman Empire, it’s a popular event in which competitors in historic costumes ride around trying to hit target rings. An important part of the tradition is that only people from Sinj and vicinity can participate, like Siena’s Palio. Make sure you book tickets in advance, especially for the main competition on Sunday. Even if jousting isn’t your thing, the streets of Sinj will be filled with people and it’s a fun day out.

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Tisno Garden
© The Garden Croatia
Music, Music festivals

Fuliranje na moru

icon-location-pin The Garden Tisno,
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Darko Rundek, Damir Urban, Detour, Massimo, Psihomodo Pop and more. 12 Croatian musicians and DJs perform for four days in a beautiful festival resort that's usually reserved for big name international events and their audiences. A hugely welcome addition to the calendar of events in Tisno. Good luck!

SuperUho Festival
© Fotosekcija KSET-a
Music, Jazz

SuperUho Festival

icon-location-pin Various venues in Primošten, Primosten
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Marc Ribot, Art Brut, Colin Stetson, Shilpa Ray, Chui and The Fogsellers. The sixth edition of this festival is a treat for all jazz lovers. This year the organisers announced a more acoustic and intimate festival. The qualkity of the world class jazz will not be affected, including performances by longtime Tom Waits collaborator Marc Ribot and Colin Stetson.

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Ofenbach
© Sven Mandel
Music, Dance and electronic

Revelin Festival

icon-location-pin Revelin Culture Club, Dubrovnik
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Two days of raving to house, techno and EDM in the atmospheric setting of Revelin Fortress. Lineup features a range of stellar DJs including Ofenbach, Miami Rockets & Vanillaz and Kungs.

Red Lebanon and DJ Raggo on Membrain Festival
© Membrain Festival
Music, Dance and electronic

Membrain Festival

icon-location-pin Martinska, Sibenik
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Loxi, DLR, Pessimist, Overlook, Clarity, Ruffhouse and many more. Titling themselves as 'Europe's heartiest underground bass culture festival', this festival aims to recreate the good old fashioned rave parties, with the exception that it's set on the relaxed Mediterranean coast and not in some dodgy, dangerous warehouse. It also hopes to promote new artists and network them with amongst established colleagues and labels. And of course to give their visitors a party to remember. 

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Things to do, Festivals

Dubrovnik Summer Festival

icon-location-pin Various venues in Dubrovnik,
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Celebrating its 70th birthday this year, to say Dubrovnik’s Summer Festival is something of an institution would be an understatement. Once again, stunning performances will take place at venues around the city including, but not limited to, classical performances from prominent orchestras, ballet (including a visit by the prestigious Russian Mariinsky Theatre and a piece based on John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’), folklore, choral singing, plays from directors both local and foreign and award-winning films screened under the open sky. The theme for this special birthday edition is city myths.

St. Donat church
© Silverije
Music, Music festivals

The Musical Evenings in St Donat

icon-location-pin St Donat's Church, Zadar
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Taking place in Zadar's Church of St Donatus, this longstanding celebration of music is so popular that it has grown out of its confines in the church and some events now take part in several venues throughout the city. The month-long event will welcome numerous local ensembles and solo artists, plus several international contributors. The sounds of chamber music, performed within the acoustically-rich and ambient setting of the church is an experience not easily forgotten.

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Music

Šakan Festival

icon-location-pin various venues in Brela,
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Distinct and inspired curation mark this festival on the beautiful Makarska riviera. It's largely a celebration of top-flight homegrown musicians, such as Croatian alternative rock legends Goran Bare & Majke, Dalmatian rapper Vojko Vrućina and alternative Rijeka band Them Moose Rush, but there's nothing on this line-up that wouldn't entertain visitors, despite the language barrier. Perhaps best of all though is the headlining spot taken on one night by Jay Farrar. Co-founder in the late '80s of the highly influential alternative country band Uncle Tupelo (with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and Mike Heidorn), Farrar went on to found another highly influential group, Son Volt, in 1994. The band has released ten albums, their latest 'Union' having arrived in early 2019. As a solo musician, Farrar has released two studio albums, two EPs, a documentary movie soundtrack and several live albums. A songwriter, guitarist, pianist, harmonicist and a vocalist, this is the first time this critically acclaimed, cult artist has visited Croatia. And what a setting in which to see him!

Barrakud Croatia
© Michele Castana
Music, Dance and electronic

Barrakud Croatia

icon-location-pin Zrce Beach,
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Paul Kalkbrenner, BowLand, Ellen Allien, Marco Faraone, FJAAK and Gladis. Music, partying and travelling, this festival has it all and light up the summer of every rave fan. The music will be a mixture of main stage dance music sounds, house and techno and it takes place on the famous Pag island party beach of Zrce.

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© Nikoina Mimić Dujmović
Music, Dance and electronic

Defected Croatia

icon-location-pin The Garden Tisno,
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Armand Van Helden, Claptone, Dennis Ferrer, Dimitri from Paris, Derrick Carter, Masters at Work, Eats Everything, Honey Dijon, Nightmares on Wax, Horse Meat Disco, MK, Purple Disco Machine, Roger Sanchez, Sam Divine, Todd Edwards, Todd Terry and many more. This legendary Ibiza party has swapped shores, defecting to the Adriatic coast for six solid days of house hedonism, with daytime beach sessions and boat parties booming away in the background. The main stage is located in the Garden’s natural amphitheatre, and the Beach Stage will send reverb fluttering over the Adriatic waves, while Barbarella’s Discotheque hosts heady after-hours clubbing. No corners are cut on the line-up front: the headliners this year are Armand Van Helden, Dimitri from Paris and Masters at Work.

Music, Dance and electronic

FreeMental Festival: Beta Edition

icon-location-pin Tarej, Cres Island
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The beautiful sights of island Cres make for a wonderful and wild backdrop to this festival of psytrance, downtempo, chill, ambient and dub music. The psychedelic trance will be the main rave sounds to party to, but other musics such techno will play a part in the dancefloor soundtrack. Dub and chill music will be played throughout the four days and three nights across three separate stages.

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© Felix Hohagen
Music, Dance and electronic

Sonus Festival 2019

icon-location-pin Zrce Beach,
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Set around the beautiful Zrće beach on the island of Pag, just off the west coast of Croatia, Sonus is a techno and tech house festival with a line-up of internationally recognised DJ talent. The festival has quickly earned its place as a serious contender on the calendar of must-visit Croatian festivals and this edition again sees some of the world’s top tastemakers taking to its open-air stages and boat parties, including Adriatique, Amelie Lens, Andrea Oliva, Apollonia, Ben Klock, Chris Liebing, Daniel Avery, Dax J, Henrik Schwarz (live), I Hate Models, Jamie Jones, Len Faki, Loco Dice, Maceo Plex, Marco Carola, Pan-Pot, Patrick Topping & Richy Ahmed, Ricardo Villalobos, Richie Hawtin, Rødhåd, Seth Troxler, Solomun, Sonja Moonear, Sven Väth and Tale Of Us. Sonus is also one of the few festivals to strongly showcase homegrown Croatian and regional DJ talent.

Dekmantel Selectors
©Kasia Zacharko
Music, Music festivals

Dekmantel Selectors

icon-location-pin The Garden Tisno,
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Albion, Andy Votel, Ben UFO, Donato Dozzy, Francois K, Colleen 'Cosmo' Murphy, Demdike Stare, John Gómez, Mark Seven, Objekt, Palms Trax, Vladimir Ivkovic, Young Marco and many more. The small sister of Amsterdam giant Dekmantel brings cutting-edge techno to the Dalmatian coast. This end-of-season party feels like an intimate homecoming bash for the Dutch crew and two thousand revellers, a techno-utopia with a dizzyingly diverse lineup. A festival designed for music-lovers by music-lovers, Dekmantel delves into the obscure vinyl collections of DJs like Young Marco and Andy Votel. Boat parties are a special highlight, a chance to hear impossibly rare, danceable tunes by labels such as Belgrade’s Yugovinyl.

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Goulash Disko
© Goulash Disko
Music, Music festivals

Goulash Disko

icon-location-pin Komiža, Komiza
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Totally crowdfunded and sponsor-free, Goulash Disko is a truly independent festival that cares about nothing but music and music-lovers. This year it takes place at the coastal town of Komiža, which boasts idyllic beaches and an eccentric crowd of global bass lovers. Unlike the UK-run festival big guns, Goulash Disko is actually trying to downsize rather than expand, with a view to becoming more integrated into the community that lives in this small fishing village. Expect a highly eclectic lineup, with all kinds of music from the Global Underground: Tropical grooves, organica, gipsy punk, Arab disco, swing folk, tribal techno and everything in between.

Zadar Craft Beer Festival
Zadar Craft Beer Festival
Things to do, Food and drink events

Zadar Craft Beer Festival

icon-location-pin Various venues in Zadar,
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With Croatia's craft beer scene having exploded in options over the last 10 years, there soon may well be more craft beer festivals in the country as there are craft beers. At five years old, this is one of the well-recognised ones, offering a surprising variety of taste experiences from both Croatian brewers and international counterparts. Of course, there will be a decent music programme attached and plenty of carb-rich street food to help you soak up all that lovely beer. 

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Korkyra Baroque Festival
© Korkyra Baroque Festival
Things to do, Festivals

Korkyra Baroque Festival

icon-location-pin Various venues in Korčula,
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The eighth Korkyra Baroque festival will showcase soloists and ensembles from Croatia and abroad, performing everything from their own original pieces to interpretations of traditional works. This successful festival also celebrates the island of Korčula and its culture.

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