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INmusic Festival 2014 Rep Review

Nestled on the outskirts of Croatia's gorgeous capital Zagrab, lies INmusic Festival.

wobbly bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surrounded by the pristine waters of Lake Jarun, the festival site is split between two lush and verdant islands. Since its inception in 2006, the festival has consistently housed performances from some of the worlds most renowned musicians, including the likes of Foals, Pixies and Arctic Monkeys. Although predominantly showcasing indie and rock acts, INmusic also caters for the a more dance orientated crowd with a electronic tent that plays until the early hours.

 

Having never been before, I couldn't wait to see what Croatia's largest open air festival had in store.

 

 

We arrive on Sunday afternoon to find the island awash in glorious Croatian sunshine and cradled by an azure lake. INmusic is like no other festival I've ever experienced. Despite having a capacity of 60,000 people across the course of the weekend, INmusic retains a sense of locality and community that I have rarely encountered at other festivals. Consistently, I find myself bumping into the same people over and over again. The winners of 2014's All About The Music competition, Stop Drop Robot, must have thought I was stalking them, such was the consistency of our impromptu rendezvous.

 

The camp site itself straddles the beach of Lake Jarun, and each morning I stumble out of my tent into the deliciously cool waters before sunning myself on the beach. The festival hasn't even started and already I'm sold.

 

The days are spent roaming the camp site, dipping in and out of the lake and sipping on ice cold lemon flavoured lager at the bargain price of 20 Kuna a can, which works out as roughly £2. As festivals go, INmusic is something of a bargain. The festival site's proximity to the city of Zagreb also means that the more adventurous (and quite possibly, the less hungover) festivalgoers can wander the cobbled streets of Croatia's capital in the day without missing any of the festival action.

 

As the evening rolls around the festival site opens up and we're greeted with the delightful prospect of crossing a recently constructed wobbly blue bridge. Despite our trepidation, the bridge turns out to be a hilarious addition to the INmusic experience. As we bounce across the bridge, pondering the ominous drunken return journey, we're reassured by the presence of two lifeboats loitering on either side, which thankfully, and somewhat shockingly we manage to avoid using.

 

Stop Drop Robot, the winner of eufest's annual music competition, All About The Music, play an astounding set on the mainstage before Foals headline later that night. The band fill the stage with their own brand of heavy electronic rock and their track Sugar Weep has the crowd skanking furiously. By the time the set ends, the band have gathered a crowd from across the site and a the beginnings of a mosh pitt forms when the lead singer Sam, starts giving away free EP's at the end of the gig.

Last year's All About The Music winners, Roger The Mascot, play shortly afterwards on the World Stage with a crowd of devoted Croatian fans echoing the words to their unofficial world cup song – Badboi.

 

As the evening progresses both Crystal Fighters and Foals take to the stage. Crystal Fighters are awe inspiring, and thanks to Stop Drop Robot and their recently acquired artist passes, they manage to sneak me backstage, where to my amazement and delight I find myself watching Foals from the wings of the main stage - definitely one ticked off the bucket list.

 

Another thing that brings people back to INmusic year after year is the crowd that it attracts. Despite its growth and increased popularity, the festival retains a harmonious and carefree atmosphere that lures festival lovers from across Europe. The resulting crowd is a like-minded mix of people, that creates one of the safest and most hassle-free festival atmospheres I have ever known.

Even if the headline acts don't tickle your pickle, INmusic has a range of weird and wonderful activities to keep you occupied, everything from yoga and slacklining lessons in the day, to karaoke at night. The human jukebox also turns out to be a stock favourite, a tiny wagon with a whole band crammed inside. The miniature stage spills out funky versions of well known and loved songs, a guaranteed crowd pleaser for a tipsy festival audience.

 

For me the festival is a hidden jewel in the European festival scene. Still relatively unknown on a mass scale, INmusic remains one of Europe's most economic festivals, and yet, world renowned artists such as The Black Keys, Foals, MGMT and Crystal Fighters appear year after year. The location is dream like. A mirage like lake, and the vibrant city of Zagreb just a short tram ride away. I think I've left a piece of my soul tucked into the earth at Lake Jarun and I for one will certainly be returning next year to add another.

Words and images: Kat Stevens

 

 

 

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