From Manchester to: Love International Festival, Croatia

With Glastonbury being in its fallow year this year, January saw my friends suggesting a jaunt to Croatia for the Love International Festival. After (very little) persuasion, we hopped aboard the love train (plane) and headed for the Croatian town of Tisno.

Arriving in Split, and after a short trip to Hvar, we all met up and travelled to ‘The Garden’, the destination for Love International and our week-long stay. As 30+ festival goers, it only seemed right to book the onsite apartments – no camping for us with the 30-degree heat.

The Garden started life as a holiday camp for the Croatian military but is now the base of many of the country’s festivals, including Love International. The site sits opposite the small town of Tisno, in a bay that conveniently helps insulate the surrounding areas from any considerable noise.

© Photography by Jake Davis for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

The first evening was set aside for exploration, eating in the terrace restaurant and taking in the stages including the Olive Grove and the new 2018 Beach Stage. Even in the dark, we were blown away by the bay and the idyllic setting for our seven days of disco and DJs.

As it was our first night, we decided we had to check out Barbarella’s to see Young Marco, the after-hours open-air club that sees a bank of DJs play on until 8am each day.

Our daytimes were spent alternating between the beach, enjoying the sounds from the Beach Stage – usually full of revelers either working through their hangovers in the sun or dancing in the Olive Grove. The days were spent sipping on mojito pitchers and taking in others covered in glitter and sequins.

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

Sunday we were all aboard the Argonaughty, one of the famous Love International boats that go out twice a day alongside the Martina. Our slot was graced by Honey Sound System, Galen & Solar and what started off as a chilled vibe on the top deck, sipping prosecco and watching the sunset, turned into a mini rave on the boat as we returned to the bay.

By far our favourite sets were Midland, smashing a four hour set on Friday to a rowdy crowd up for a great time, Crazy P whose energetic performance got us all going, followed by Rub & Tug for full disco vibes. And, as always Horse Meat Disco, who were the perfect finale to the perfect week, and who led me to the discovery of Abba song, The Visitors.

What I loved about the vibe of the festival is that we were able to dip in and out of loads of different sets and stages.

We also ventured into sleepy Tisno and Betina which were both worth an explore. We took a water taxi to Betina and ate in Konobo Boba, a beautiful restaurant, full of truffle and seafood delights.

Krka National Park was also recommended for a visit, with fresh water swimming, waterfalls and hikes should you need a breather from dancing continuously for seven days.

Our final day was spent chilling out in the hammocks set back in the bay, watching the final festival goers head out to the secret island party or amongst sleepy people taking in the last bits of Croatian sunshine.

© Photography by Jake Davis for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

What a week, hats off to the organisers and everyone involved, not only did I fall in love with Croatia, but I well and truly fell for Love International.

You can register for Love International 2019 tickets here:

2019 Tickets

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