I can finally check an international music festival off my list, though I am looking forward to the next one. This weekend, I attended Ultra Europe in Split, Croatia for its seventh edition. Amidst the last minute venue change, here is my review of the event.
After landing in the country just 30 minutes before doors opening, the excitement of being at an Ultra festival began to set in. I got ready and headed to the venue. Lights flashed in the night sky as my friend and I made our way from across the kastel (village) we were staying at. Upon arrival, we headed to the Resistance stage where Patrice Baumel was throwing down. Tucked away in the corner and blacked out for that underground effect, this stage killed it all night long. Maceo Plex followed after Patrice. Having been my first time seeing Maceo, he did not disappoint. NGHTMRE + Slander presented Gud Vibrations at the main stage and amped up the crowd. Adam Beyer closed out Resistance the first night, making it a good start to the weekend.
DJ Snake started off the main stage and hyped the crowd’s energy up.
Tchami x Malaa followed later that evening and absolutely nailed it. Their performance captivated everyone as it was their ‘No Redemption‘ set. I enjoyed all my favorite songs from them including ‘Notorious‘, ‘Adieu‘, and ‘Missing You‘. I’ve followed Tchami throughout the years and seeing them live is always a real treat.
Richie Hawtin blew my expectations out of the water, as the lights and sound were perfect.
Afrojack played towards the end of the night and I’ve never seen a more turned up crowd. Even the MC providing the in-between sets commentary praised him.
The UMF stage hid in the back right corner of the park. It provided talent from multiple genres. I heard a little bit of everything there from dubstep, hardstyle, and even psytrance. I wasn’t able to check out all the artists but a good number of attendees did. Great local support!
Marco Carola closed out day 2 and the Italian global ambassador of techno did not disappoint. Everyone came for his set and we all partied until dawn.
Making my way out of the festival, I caught the last few minutes of Alesso’s set. A lot of throwbacks and feels came with that one. The sun rose in the sky as we made our way back home. Another day complete with great talent.
This is the day everyone waited for. Rezz opened up the main stage for me and she was everything I needed. Powering through this marathon weekend, Above & Beyond took the stage after her. They closed with ‘Sun and Moon’, a classic I haven’t heard in a while. Swedish House Mafia delivered an unparalleled festival-closing performance, and this was my first time seeing them. It was an extra special time for me. They included an exciting audiovisual journey combined with an inspiring soundtrack of their signature old and new tracks.
Carl Cox brought the tent down on the third day. Pandemonium inside and outside the stage ensued. Everyone had a great time, smiles on their faces and dancing like animals all around.
Here Is My Takeaway
I think the festival organizers did their best with the little time they had in regards to the venue change. In order to purchase anything (food or alcohol), money needed to be put on our wristbands. Anyone with a Mastercard or Maestro card could get a discount. This seems like something new to Ultra. It caused traffic getting in the first night, but after familiarizing myself with the site, things got easier. The sound quality fluctuated throughout the weekend, but the overall music delivered wonderfully.
Seeing people from all over the world come together to this festival was great. This year’s festival boasted a record-breaking total attendance of 120,000+ fans. Over the course of three days, attendees from 143 different countries and all six inhabited continents came. Their relocation to Park Mladeži supported this increased attendance, and hopefully will allow for further expansion as UE continues.
Their 2020 rendition is on its way, so for anyone interested in going, go!