Can they surpass themselves after such an amazing debut edition? That was the big question as Tisno’s Garden Resort once again became a honey pot for all things drum & bass. Hospital did such a sterling job of hosting their first-ever overseas festival last year. Now the pressure was on to deliver once again and continue to cement this event as an essential venture for DnB lovers.
Walking through the gates of the Garden Resort, which is one of the premier party spots in all of Europe, the attention to detail surrounding the planning of this festival was clear.Upon looking through the festival programme there was a gargantuan selection of DJs along with reminders regarding a whole host of other amusing activities, including yoga and a treasure hunt.
After dancing the night away to the sounds of the genre’s finest selectors there were many that needed some recuperation. Thanks to Hospital there were a number of fun and soothing ways to recharge your batteries, which certainly enriched the experience.
Last year the boat parties stood out as the best highlight of the festival. There was something about the combination of intimate DJ sets mixed with the breathtaking views out at sea that made for the most amazing afternoons and evenings. Standing a foot away from the artists, seeing what records they were about to unleash was a real privilege. This proved to be a popular location on the boat as Shogun Audio boss Friction stepped up to take control - when the line up was announced there was a huge feeling of elation to see both him and Andy C, two titans of the scene, at the same event.
The three-hour voyage seemed to fly by in seconds as Turno delivered the most earth-shattering beats. Just as the boat was nearing the Garden Resort, both DJs saved the best until last, joining forces for an impromptu b2b with Linguistics quite rightly warning that ‘things were about to get silly’. As if there wasn’t enough happiness etched on everyone’s faces already, Friction then paused as a marriage proposal took place, with a monumental roar breaking out when the lady said yes.
Hospitality on the Beach also gives ravers the chance to sample the delights of Barbarella’s Discotheque. Stepping foot inside this open-air club once again it was easy to succumb to its charm, the dance floor and stage enveloped by the glistening skyline up above.
The first night at the venue - which is a short coach journey from the main site - saw some of the most fearsome combinations, including Friction b2b Randall b2b S.P.Y. Once the latter of the three stepped up and opened with a world exclusive track the energy levels suddenly cranked up ten gears. Witnessing this almighty trio, who would never normally join forces, take it in turns to do their damage, prompting mass pandemonium throughout the crowd was a joy to behold.
Alongside the wonderful selection of beats and glorious weather there seemed to be a lot of love in the air. Aside from the marriage proposal, aboard the boat for the Outline at Sea party, Dynamite demanded a round of applause as Fred V and girlfriend Joanne celebrated their 1st anniversary. It was impossible to escape the feeling of joy and happiness amongst everyone. Turning around to admire the stunning waters of the Adriatic whilst noticing a sea of beaming smiles on deck was the norm from start to finish.
In the evening it was all about Kings of the Rollers. Last year’s boat party featuring the trio was one of the best parts and so it proved to be a mesmeric journey across the Adriatic once more. It seems mad to think that just a few years ago Hospital would never have championed the type of heavyweight carnage associated with KOTR sets. Now they are front and centre on most line ups much to the delight of DnB lovers.
These three are sensational artists in their own right but when they combine the selections are out of this world. Voltage in particular has always stood out, for his ability to produce the most bone-shattering blends inciting riotous behaviour within a few minutes of his appearance in front of the turntables. His mixing was also given the seal of approval from the always jubilant Inja, with the mic man shaking Voltage and commenting on how filthy the tracks were.
When you go to a festival it is normally a treat to see your favourite DJs once. To witness them play multiple sets at the same event is like spending a day in heaven. This thankfully turned out to be the case with Marky. After shutting down the Beach stage the night before, the Brazilian maestro was back a little over 12 hours later to showcase his wizardry out at sea. Within a matter of minutes the pioneer that is Fabio arose from his perch and duly rewound the music. He then proceeded to do this another three times, displaying just how impressed he was. Those moments usually happen once in a blue moon as a DJ but for someone of Fabio’s stature to do it so many times during one set was truly staggering.
The Londoner then took to the mic. With the whole boat fixated on his every breath, Fabio gave a glowing speech confessing how he would never have envisaged DnB still being this popular when he first started 28 years ago. He went on to comment how this type of music is a better staple of British culture than grime and that Marky will always be the greatest showman. True to his word the South American closed with Michael Jackson’s ‘Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough’ even showcasing his vocal skills as well with a perfectly-sung verse. Moments like this are what make for a truly magical festival experience and will certainly live long in the memory for years to come.
In the evening there was a whole host of amazing artists to catch with the mighty Dbridge bringing proceedings to a close on the Beach stage. Meanwhile Hybrid Minds were one of just four artists playing for five hours over at the Olive Grove. These sets are usually as much a test as a treat for DJs, being given the chance to do what they love for so long whilst needing to keep the crowd entertained for several hours.
As if that wasn’t enough there was also the small matter of a three-hour set from Andy C. The RAM Records head honcho is no stranger to playing sets at a rather ridiculous tempo and his performance over at the Garden was no different. Three hours seemed to pass by in a matter of moments such was the devastating and mind-boggling sorcery in front of the decks.
Over at Barbarella’s, Hospitality decided to stage the most wondrous third and final after party. If b2b sets were high on your agenda then the Sunday after party was not to be missed. There were three in total, including a ridiculously good set from Flava D, once again showcasing her outstanding versatility as a DJ. The Bournemouth-born artist, played last year’s festival with many watching in admiration as she effortlessly turned her hand to a completely different genre.
Not to be outdone Pola & Bryson set the scene for the final day, with a hugely house-orientated performance. This proved to be a rather refreshing theme across the festival, with artists springing all kinds of weird and wonderful surprises in the form of their musical selections.
There were always plenty of people queueing for the boat parties but no other seemed as popular as the one hosted by Run. The brand, which originates from arguably the biggest DnB hive in all the UK, Bristol, has always assembled a star-studded cast for their events and this one was no exception.
Bringing a veteran like DJ Hype on board was always going to be hugely appreciated, given his outstanding technical ability on the decks and unparalleled knowledge of the genre. Turno was playing his third set of the festival, flying back to the UK to play Nass in between. All that travelling was certainly worth it for the overwhelming joy he provided all the festival goers in Croatia across his trio of performances. It was clear to see just how much people appreciated his performance on the boat. At the end he was asked all kinds of questions like would he play the last ten hours of the festival? Could he return next year with A.M.C.?
As London Elektricity took to the Beach stage everyone was gearing up for the final chapter of this year’s edition. You could see sombre looks painted on people’s faces as the reality dawned this amazing holiday was about to draw to a close for another year. Little did they realize the artists had other ideas, with Krakota, Grafix, Etherwood and Lakeway deciding the festival was not yet finished.
Carasel admitted this festival had been electric once again and that he and the artists weren’t ready to go home just yet. Witnessing a truly spectacular and unplanned b2b2b2b for over two hours after the music was supposed to stop made for a sensational climax.
With another edition in the bag it feels right to certify this as a truly wonderful DnB holiday. Within just a few short years Hospital have managed to provide a getaway which offers a stunning setting combined with a spectacular musical showcase. If next summer came around and Hospitality on the Beach didn’t return to Tisno it would spark a universal outcry throughout the entire community.
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