Croatia Festival Guide 2012

Here's our guide to the whens, the wheres and the whos of Europe's newest festival hotspot.

Jayne Robinson

Date published: 28th May 2012

Croatia is fast becoming one of Europe's party hotspots, with its striking coastline playing host to a multitude of music festivals throughout the summer months. 

From abandoned forts to sun soaked beaches, and scented pine forests to boat parties across the crystal seas,  Croatia's coastline offers a wealth of stunning festival settings that are a world away from the muddy fields of the UK. 

And with more airlines providing affordable flights to Croatia from a range of UK airports, getting there is easier than ever. Many festival goers do however choose to forego flying in favour of a European road trip to their paradise of choice. 

Croatia's festivals are concentrated in three main areas - The Garden at Tisno, Zcre Beach on the Island of Pag and Punta Christo in Pula.  

Here's what's happening where this Summer:

The Garden, Tisno 

Nearest airports: Zadar (45 mins), Spilt (60 mins)

The Garden at Tisno is a new location for 2012, with the former Garden venue being located along the coast at Petrcane. The new site is set in a dramatic natural amphitheatre overlooking a beautiful sandy bay and the Kornati Islands in the distance - which make for a great day trip and a magical backdrop for boat parties to explore. Conveniently located halfway between Zadar (45 mins) and Split (60 mins) airports, Tisno is a charming old town with a host of restaurants, cafes, apartments and small boutique hotels.

The festival site itself features a main outdoor stage, beach bar, outdoor club, launch site for boat parties and plenty of on-site accommodation. 

Find out more about The Garden, Tisno

The following festivals take place at The Garden, Tisno:

Electric Elephant 

Run by the team behind legendary Manchester night Electric Chair, Electric Elephant is an annual gathering of like-minded, music loving souls enjoying four blissed out days of boat parties, outdoor and indoor clubbing and live music, and chilled out beach action. 

When: 12th - 16th July 2012

2012 line-up: Kompakt.FM with: Michael Mayer, Rebolledo, Shumi & Terranova, A Love From Outer Space with: Andrew Weatherall & Sean Johnston, Optimo, Karizma, Ivan Smagghe, Justin Robertson, Mike Simonetti (Italians Do It Better), Trevor Jackson (Playgroup), Lone, Ewan Pearson, DJ Deep, Marcellus Pittman, Chris Duckenfield, Unabombers, Moodymanc (20:20 Vision) and more. See the full Electric Elephant 2012 line up

Tickets: £89.99 (boat parties extra)

Buy tickets for Electric Elephant 2012 

Suncebeat 3 

An intimate, week long music festival with a real international atmosphere, attended by 2,000 soulful music lovers from over 40 countries across the world.

When: 25th - 31st July 

2012 line-up: Dimitri from Paris, Dennis Ferrer, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Jazzanova feat. Paul Randolph, Dixon, Henrik Schwarz, Kyle Hall, Morgan Geist, Kerri Chandler, Karizma, Rich Medina and more. See the full Suncebeat 2012 line-up.

Tickets: £105

Buy tickets for Suncebeat 3 2012 


When: 19th - 23rd July 2012

2012 line-up: De la Soul, Fink, DJ Yoda, Plaid, Ghostpoet, Craig Charles, Hidden Orchestra, DJ Kentaro, Matthew Hallsaw, Mr Thing and many more. 

Tickets: £105

The Garden Festival 

The first festival to use The Garden as a festival site, The Garden Festival has grown from humble beginnings in 2006 to a gathering of 2000 people, taking place over two weekends in July. Choose to stay for both weekends or just stay for one; either way you'll discover a rich musical programme of live acts and DJs, magical boat parties, and some of the friendliest festival-goers on the planet. 

When: 4th - 11th July 2012

2012 line-up: Live: Nicholas Jaar, Tiger + Woods, 2020 Soundsystem, No Fakin feat Kwasi DJs: Ben UFO, Metro Area (Darshan Jesrani), Kenny Dope, Greg Wilson, Tim Sweeney, Space Dimension Controller, 6th Borough Project, Laura Jones, Eats Everything, Appleblim, Gavin Herlihy, Justin Vandervolgen, Midland, Crazy P Soundsystem, PBR Streetgang, Solomun and many more. 

Tickets: £90

Stop Making Sense

Organsiers call SMS Festival '5 days of musical anarchy by the sea, in the sun and under the full moon'. The festival features an always impressive line-up of international DJs and bands, with music to suit all tastes from some of the most renowned UK party hosts. 

When: 2nd - 6th August

2012 line-up: Promoters curating line-ups this year include SecretSundaze, Ostgut Ton, Need2Soul, Finger Lickin' MNGMT, Bridging the Gap, Dalston Superstore, Man Make Music, Electric Minds and loads more. 

Zcre Beach, Isle of Pag

Nearest airport: Zadar (1.5 hrs)

A long, sprawling beach gently sloping into the crystal clear sea and surrounded by woodland, close to the town of Novalja in the north-east of the Island of Pag. Zcre is a lively destination with three beachside clubs - Aquarius, Papaya and Kalypso.

Accommodation is available in Novalja, which is just a short bus ride from Zcre Beach. A nearby, seaside campsite also offers excellent facilities and is easily accessible via bus. 

Find out more about Zcre Beach, Isle of Pag

The following events take place at Zcre Beach:


Returning to Croatia for only the second time, Hideout has already established itself as one of the big boys of the international festival circuit. Created by the seemingly unstoppable team behind The Warehouse Project and Parklife Weekender, Hideout features an international cast of electronic artists in a stunning beachside setting. 

When: 29th June - 1st July

2012 line-up: Ricardo Villalobos, Chase & Status, Loco Dice, Annie Mac, Skream & Benga, jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, SBTRKT, Sub Focus, Skrillex, Andy C and many more. See the full Hideout 2012 line up.

How much: £103

Sold Out 

Fresh Island 

Croatia's first hip-hop and R n B festival, Fresh Island is a three day event that takes place between Papaya Club and Aquarius Club at Zcre Beach, featuring some huge RnB and Hip Hop acts from around the world. 

When: 5th - 8th July 2012 

2012 line-up: Nas, Eve, DJ Muggs (Cypress Hill), Revolution, Spin Doctor and many more.  See the full Fresh Island line-up.

How much: £34.90 or £49.90 VIP

Buy Fresh Island tickets 

Papaya Day and Night

Taking place at the 5000 capacity, open air Papaya club across the whole summer, Papaya Day and Night is a full programme of incredible events by four of the UK's biggest club brands: Wax:On, Fire It Up, Kinky Malinki and Bitch. 7 Day passes cost just £50 and will give you unlimited access to Papaya events for your chosen week.  Find out more about Papaya Day and Night

2012 line-up: Carl Cox, Axwell, Armin Van buuren, Eddie Halliwell, AN21, Max Vangelli, Marco V, Simian Mobile Disco, Marco Corolla, Nicky Romero, Cadenza, Hardwell, Joris Voorn and loads more. See the full Papaya Day and Night programme.

Tickets: £50 for a 7 Day pass

Buy a 7 day pass for Papaya Day and Night

Punta Christo, Pula

Punta Christo is an abandoned 19th Century fort, located on a dramatic peninsular just across the bay from the ancient town of Pula, in the north of Croatia. With its hilltop location, the festival site offers stunning views across the Gulf of Pula and makes for a magical setting both day and night. Accommodation is available at the on-site campsite, or a range fi nearby hotels, hostels and apartments. 

Nearest airports: Pula (20 mins), Ljubljana (90mins), Trieste (2hr 20min), Zagreb (3.5hr), Venice (4hr).

Festivals at Punta Christo:

Dimensions Festival

Brought to you by the team behind Outlook, Dimensions is a brand new festival for 2012 that will bring the best in underground electronic music to the abandoned Punta Christa fort this September.

When: 6th - 9th September 2012 

2012 line-up: Carl Craig 69, Little Dragon, Moodymann, Four Tet (live), Theo Parrish, Mount Kimbie, Marcel Dettman, Ben Klock, Joy Orbison, Dyed Soundorom, Gold Panda and many more. See the full Dimensions 2012 line-up.

Tickets: £120

Buy tickets for Dimensions Festival  

Outlook festival

Described by organisers as 'Europe's biggest bass music and soundsystem culture festival', Outlook is four days of outdoor clubbing, boat parties and beach parties in the striking surroundings of the abandoned Punta Christa Fort near Pula. 

When: 30th August - 3rd September 2012 

2012 line-up: Fat Freddy’s Drop, Skream, Andy C, Jah Shaka, Max Romeo, Phife (A Tribe Called Quest), Lee Scratch Perry, Digital Mystikz – Mala & Coki, Twinkle Brothers, Hatcha, Friction, DJ Marky and loads more. 

Read more Croatia news, reviews and features and find out more about the country in our 2012 Croatia guide.

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