It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Zagreb. Advent has well and truly taken over the city, and there are so many mulled wine vendors that you could go to a different one every day of December and still have some left for January. December is also the month to party. The Garden Brewery welcomes two hip hop giants for one of its biggest nights yet; Illetricity festival culminates with an electrifying night at Boogaloo and New Years Eve calls for all kinds of explosive celebrations across the city. Here are some awesome things to do in Zagreb in December.
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Two genuine hip hop giants battle it out at the Brewery, in celebration of Croatian rap radio station Blackout's 23rd birthday. Esteemed, grammy-winning producer and MC Diamond D, one of the founding members of the Diggin' in the Crates crew, worked on The Fugees' cult 1996 album The Score - widely considered to be one of the best hip hop albums of all time. Large Professor, hailing from New York's Queens, has a similar number of accolades. He founded legendary underground hip hop group Main Source, before going on to produce for big names including Pete Rock, Busta Rhymes, Eric B & Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and the Beastie Boys. They'll battle it out on four turntables, playing funk, sould and rap classics on 7 inch singles.
Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis comes to the National Theatre for what will be the most cerebral event in the build-up to Christmas. Varoufakis, a divisive political figure, is certain to present challenging perspectives on recent political and economic events. The Philosophical Theatre programme is fascinating. In previous editions, it has attracted some of the world's leading intellectuals, from Vanessa Redgrave to the economist Thomas Piketty and radical thinker Slavoj Žižek, and it looks set to continue in the same vein. Opposite Varoufakis will be the evening's host, Srećko Horvat.
Of the most prominent names to emerge from Zagreb’s hip-hop scene, Elemental was formed in 1998 by MCs Mirela Priselac Remi and Luka Tralić Shot, who continue to serve as the songwriting core. Croatia's favourite organic funk-pop-rock outfit functions just as well on stage as it does on the album. This is a rare chance to see them in their hometown, as they help to celebrate the 40th birthday of legendary club KSET. Only 250 tickets are on sale, and to make the exclusive event even more special, it'll the first and last time they'll play new album Body in its entirety.
Break out of your winter malaise with this awesome audio-visual festival. Illectricity celebrates art, design and electronic music. Run by CFSN - a youthful association for visual arts in Zagreb - it's becoming an annual cultural highlight. The month-long festival is an electric line-up of lightshows, art installations and cool parties, culminating in this finale at Boogaloo. The techno-facing line-up features international DJs PETAK, Luke Vibert, Synkro, Gary Gritness, Ivana Ji, DJ Labud, Shao and resident CFSN tune-spinners.