Looking to spend your summer vacation in Croatia, this beautiful Mediterranean country? It’s certainly a great choice because there are plenty of beautiful beaches you can enjoy on its coast, the Adriatic Sea is absolutely pristine and the food (and the wine) is excellent. However, many tourists, especially younger ones, will also look for places that offer some good quality fun.
Fortunately, the whole country is brimming with various festivals and events you can visit in summer and which guarantee you will have one heck of a time.
People from all over Europe (and beyond) attend these things, hang out with each other, meet new friends and create memories that will last them a lifetime.
If you’re interested in something like that, here’s a list of the best music festivals in Croatia with some info on each of them.
1. INmusic Festival
We start things off in Croatia’s capital city of Zagreb. While it is not located on the coast, the city boasts a big lake (Jarun), which is the venue for INmusic Festival.
The festival usually takes place at the end of June (this year it’s scheduled to last from June 24 to June 26) and hosts a whole array of quite famous artists. For example, The Cure will appear there this summer, backed by LP, Foals, Garbage, Skindred and many more.
In other words, there should be something for everyone here. About 30,000 people attend this event every year, and another big plus is that a big campsite is always set up for the visitors, so up to 4000 people can truly enjoy that unique festival vibe.
This open-air festival began its journey in 2006 and is still going strong, and just to give you an idea of the level of quality you can expect, we will say that it was named one of top 20 summer festivals in Europe by The Times and one of the best 50 in the world by CNN. Come and see why!
Related read: Road trip itinerary from Dubrovnik to Zagreb
2. Love International Festival
Moving on to the coast. The small town of Tisno is located near Šibenik and over the last few years has become well known for Love International Festival.
This event will take place from July 3 to July 10 this year, so you have one full week of good house/electronic music ahead of you. Beautiful Swimmers, A Love From Outer Space, DJ Harvey, Joy Orbison, and many others will perform, plus there are boat parties and parties at the nearby Barbarella’s discotheque you can also attend as a part of this festival.
Be aware that the tickets for these latter two things have to be bought separately. With beautiful nature all around you, it’s a great way to enjoy some quality time with your significant other.
After all, this is a LOVE festival.
3. Ultra Europe
Now, this is probably the biggest party in Croatia and beyond.
Ultra Europe is a spin-off of the famous Ultra Music Festival in Miami, but this event in Split certainly doesn’t lag behind the original. It takes place at the city stadium (yes, a stadium!), where tens of thousands of people from all over the world enjoy the very best electronic dance music has to offer these days. Think of the names like Carl Cox, Afrojack, David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Armin van Buren, Nicky Romero… that kind of class.
The main event will take place from July 12 to July 14, but there will be a whole lot of parties before and after that. Many of them will take place on the surrounding islands, which just brings the whole thing to a whole new level. There are also boat parties and many other things to enjoy.
No wonder this has been widely recognized as one of the best music festivals in Europe, not to mention Croatia. So, if you’re a fan of this kind of music, attending Ultra Europe is a must!
4. Fresh Island Festival
Right after Ultra Europe, there is another great music event you can visit, albeit for a different type of music fan.
Fresh Island Festival is all about hip-hop and R’n’B. Taking place in Novalja on the island of Pag from July 15 to July 17, it’s a good way to keep partying after Split if you still have the energy and don’t mind the change of the music genre. B Young, Tim Westwood, DJ Semtex, and Lil Uzi Vert are just some of the names you can expect, with boat parties and parties before and after the main event being present here, too.
Very popular and very well organized, Fresh Island Festival is certainly a great choice and one of the best music festivals in Croatia.
5. Seasplash Festival
Seasplash Festival is another event that takes place near Šibenik, a beautiful town full of cultural monuments and great beaches. Martinska is one of the latter, and the festival takes full advantage of the magical surroundings around here.
The whole thing starts on July 17 with a concert to celebrate the grand opening (Brain Holidays, New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble and Bass Culture Sound System are in charge of the program that day) and ends on July 21. Many different kinds of music are included here, from reggae and drum N bass to electronic music and punk rock.
Getting a ticket will also secure you a camping spot, plus there are several different workshops you can attend during the festival, such as the yoga workshop, photography workshop, etc. In short, great music, beautiful surroundings, and a beautiful town nearby. Summer in Croatia at its finest.
6. NOX Festival
Back to Martinska and Šibenik for this one. NOX Festival is a festival dedicated solely to electronic music which will be held on August 2 and 3. It’s a bit smaller festival in scope, but it certainly delivers when it comes to quality.
Its two stages will host about 20 artists over those two days, with the biggest names being Juan Atkins and Red Axes. You will also have the opportunity to listen to some of the more popular Croatian musicians, so if you didn’t get to enjoy Martinska in mid-July, this is your chance.
Do keep in mind that this is peak season, and a lot of Italians will be enjoying their ferragosto in Croatia, so the sooner you book everything the better.
7. Monteparadiso Hardcore Punk Festival
Time to get away from electronic music a bit. Monteparadiso Hardcore Punk Festival in the town of Pula will host a variety of bands and artists from quite literally all over the world from August 1 to August 3. Apart from some bands from Croatia, there will be performers from Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Slovenia, and even Japan (Alkasilka).
So, plenty of interesting stuff to hear if you’re a hardcore punk fan. Additionally, Pula is an absolutely beautiful town to visit because its roots go all the way back to ancient Roman times and the town boasts an incredible colosseum that has been perfectly preserved over millennia and is still used for various events today. So, you can easily combine good music with incredible sights if you’re interested in that.
8. Camp Mars Europe Festival
OK, now this is something fairly unique. Camp Mars Europe Festival is organized by none other than Jared Leto and will once again take you near Šibenik, this time to the tiny island of Obonjan, from August 9 to August 12. This is the fifth edition of Camp Mars Festival, but all previous events took place in California.
What sets this event apart from all others is that it’s a luxury festival meant for those who want to meet Leto in person and hang out with his band Thirty Seconds to Mars who will also perform at the festival. Of course, you will have to pay a pretty penny for that – ticket range from at least 1500 to 6500 dollars – but if you won’t spare any expense to meet your idol, go right ahead.
It should be noted that the price includes accommodation, food and meeting the band. There will also be many other activities you can purchase, like massages and yoga or meditation sessions, but keep in mind that no alcohol is allowed here.
Furthermore, the so-called Ultimate Experience Package will allow you to travel Croatian coast with Jared himself, as well as provide you with a butler, dinner with Leto and stuff like that. You will have to make a special inquiry for the price and availability of this package with the organizers, though. In short – Jared Leto fans, welcome to paradise.
9. Sonus Festival
If you’re looking for a place where you can party until you can no longer stand on your feet, Zrće Beach is the place to visit.
This beautiful place has become Croatia’s party Mecca over the last few years, and Sonus Festival is a perfect excuse to go and check it out. Again, techno and electronic music is the name of the game here, with Amelia Lens, Marco Carola and Tale Of Us leading the charge, all from August 18 to August 22.
Boat parties and many other activities will be available too, plus the whole thing even got the Ambassador award (a Croatian recognition) for the best electronic music festival in the country. Definitely worth your time and money, as witnessed by thousands of visitors every year.
10. Outlook Festival
Even as summer wanes, festivals in Croatia do not stop. Outlook Festival is scheduled for the beginning of September in the aforementioned ancient town of Pula, so if you like reggae, hip-hop, dubstep and drum N bass you really should give this a go.
The whole thing starts on September 4 with a spectacular concert in the town’s ancient Roman colosseum. Now, how’s that for a concert venue! After that, the music will move to the town’s fort and the whole thing will last until September 9. Grooverider, Calibre, dBridge, Randalla, Bugzy Malone, Goldie… these are just some of the names you can enjoy.
Great town to explore and a great festival to visit, the perfect way to end your summer on a high note.