Lose Your Mind & Body To The Best Time You’ve Ever Had - MEOKO Review Hideout Festival

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Imagine… you’re lying on a warm beach next to your friends, all sipping cocktails (or very cheap Croatian vodka depending on your budget)…the sun glistens down on your skin whilst you reminisce about the previous night … the perfect song that dropped on a boat party as the sun set, the sight and sound of thousands of you cheering as the sun came up again over the club where you’d lost your mind and body to the best time you’ve ever had.

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You’re mentally preparing yourself for the next 19 hours of festival time.  This is a rare chance that allows you to take in the spectacular scenery; your eyes scan the view taking in a volcanic landscape, ashen hills that roll out of azure waters.  Watching last night’s revellers who still haven’t been to sleep yet languish in the shallow waters drifting in and out of consciousness, the gorgeous beats pound on about 20 metres behind you in the beach front clubs, all around there’s people laughing, chatting, dancing … the festival goer’s are in true holiday mode and now all that’s real is the vague happy memories of the previous nights and the promise of the events to come.

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This is the week that moved so fast yet stayed in the moment, that tore us apart and built us up again, it’s very own time and reality in the perfect hedonistic bubble – This is Hideout Festival 2012.

Not for the fainthearted, Hideout Festival on Zrce beach, Island of Pag is the place to come if you want to forget cold and wet Britain, your bank account, your name, and just dance until you collapse to some of the best artists in electronic music today.

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Croatia is hotly tipped as “the new Ibiza” (without the 16-euro-for-water price tag) with festivals all over the place every weekend of summer, Hideout is only its second year and is the most main-stream of these with a plethora of artists and genres ranging from dubstep and drum and bass to the deepest of house and pounding techno – basically, there’s something for everything and each artist is either a rising star or at the top of their game.  Headliners included Ricardo Villalobos, Loco Dice, Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, Annie Mac, Skream and Benga, Skrillex, Sub Focus, Claude Von Stroke, Ben Klock, Maya Jane Coles, Damian Lazarus, Heidi, Kerri Chandler, Erol Alkan, Shy Fx, Simian Mobile Disco – the list just goes on and on: https://www.hideoutfestival.com/2012-line-up

We spent a week here as we didn’t want to miss pre-parties, post-parties, boat parties, pool parties as well as beach time and watersports….not forgetting the main event itself.  I’ll cover my highlights as frankly there were far, far too many good things I saw, heard, experienced and probably forgot, to mention all of them…

Thursday we enjoyed the most beautiful of sunsets at the Mono_Cult boat party, who played delicious grooves to an intoxicatingly happy crowd; including one of the best moments of a festival I have EVER experienced and will be unlikely to forget, as they played Joe Goddard’s remix of Nneka shining star as the last of the sun’s rays shone on the boat and the sky turned pink.

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On Friday the 29th we caught Kerri Chandler, always a crowd pleaser, play an extra long set at Kalypso which is a new venue of Hideout, at the far end of Zrce beach (ie only a five minute walk from the other two clubs).  Starting at midnight (early on for Hideout times) the club was already heaving with dancing semi-naked people making the most of the various stages and platforms, and Kerri lasted until four making sure he kicked the festival off with his fantastic soulful house.


What I hadn’t prepared myself for, was the fact I would actually venture over to and even ENJOY was the drum and bass that took over at Papaya, the largest club with huge stage which almost backs out onto the sea,  with an almost collesium like layout.   Sub Focus ensured every single person in the vicinity went wild with their dubstep influenced hits whilst Steppa played festival favourites including quite a few prodigy samples as the sun came up and it was pretty nice to see energetic dancing for a change instead of the generic fist pump.


Saturday was the most popular of the pool parties as Hot Creations took over the Papaya with Cera Alba, Richy Ahmed, Jamie Jones, Robert James and Seth Troxler.  The party was full of bassey summertime sounds and of course their classic deep house, but we had to leave early to ensure we boarded the Dirtybird Boat party.  Which, I can only describe as, was completely insane.  It was my favourite four hours of the festival by far with two of the loveliest DJ’s around, with Claude Von Stroke showing us exactly why he’s a master of dirty house, and man of the moment Eats Everything playing his already instant classics entrance song and the size, as well as his brilliant remix of Circles by Adam F.  These guys know how to have sweaty, dance-inducing fun, and after this event, Saturday become pretty blurry.

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Sunday was the long awaited Crosstown Rebels boat party, but with two headliners Maceo Plex and Damian Lazarus sadly not appearing (due to no fault of their own) we were unsure what the mood was going to be like…. but Richy Ahmed, the hero he is, more than compensated with his unique blend of genre-combining house that the crowd lapped up. Subb-Ann then stepped in playing some of the fantastic remixes he’s become famous for including the Noir and Haze classic Around, as well as smashing sun-down tracks like Jagged’s Hello Kool Nice (Quarion remix).  As we pulled into the town’s harbour, the boats lighting and the streetlights shimmering off the water, the music eventually had to fade but as the crowd yelled for more, Robert James led a beat-boxing finale.

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Later we watched Seth Troxler play my favourite set of the festival, intelligent to the needs of the crowd his house pounded through papaya ensuring nobody was going home before dawn with tracks from the like of Lee Curtis and Freks, indeed the crowd appeared trance-like in the maestro’s hand.

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Ricardo Villalobos played the last sunrise of the festival to a crowd that were still dancing and cheering like they would never leave, veering away from his infamous minimal to play more summery beats including remixes of the late Donna Summer’s I feel love and the kraftwerk remix of Whitney Houston’s I wanna Dance with somebody.  A fitting finale.

If you’re going to make the most of Hideout you will need buckets of stamina and an appetite for serious fun, and this festival won’t suit you if you’re not happy surrounded by sweating , good looking, happy and generally very nice brits; but in return for your endurance and cash you’re rewarded with so, SO much … perfect sunsets on the water; amazing open air clubs; euphoric pool parties; memorable sets from favourite artists and once in a life time, hands in the air sunrises; and ultimately what many say has been the best week of their lives … so there you have it.. Hideout 2013 awaits you.

Words by Rosa Devlin