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Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The Garden Festival 2011 Preview

Here's to looking forward to the Garden Festival 2011!
I can't tell you how excited we are here are SlothBoogie towers for this festival in the Croatian sun for an entire week between 6th - 13th July! Some of the line up has been released already and it makes it a mouthwatering read for any disco fans out there.

Have a little skim below:
*** LIVE ACTS: Art Department • Electric Wire Hustle • Odyssey • Robert Owens • Tensnake
DJ SETS: Adam Regan • Adam Shelton • Aldo Morro • Basement Boogaloo • Bobby Beige • Christophe (Redux) • Commix • Cosmo • Crazy P • Dave Jarvis • Dean Smith • Discomendments • Dolan Bergin • Dom Chung • El Diablos • Electric Minds • Emma Chibuku • Eric Duncan • Faith • Felix Dickinson • Futureboogie DJ's • Futuredisco • Geddes • Greg Wilson • Hang The Dj • James Holroyd • Jogarde • Larry Heard (AKA Mr Fingers) • Mark E • Matty J & Ben Terry • Maxxi Soundsystem • Motor City Drum Ensemble • Move D • Mulletover • No Fakin DJ's • Norman Jay • Ole Smokey • Paddy Freeform • PBR Streetgang • Quantic • Sean Brosnan • Sofrito Soundsystem • Soul Clap • Straight A's • Stu Patterson • Terry Farley • Tirk • Toby Tobias ***

Apart from the cool line up, one of the things I'm most looking forward to is partying on a boat... and trust me that is exactly what this festival is all about! A selection of the headliners all take turns putting on parties throughout the week on the famous Argonaughty ship.
My highlights are the Resident Advisor Ahoy! with Soul Clap and The Pool Punt with Greg Wilson, but basicly all of them are a big slice of sunny sea based fun timez!
Click HERE to check out the various boat trips but be quick because they are selling out fast!

So your day times are covered with boating activities... but what about the after hours fun timez?
Well Barbarellas Discotheque is where you head for yet more awesome acts until the early hours.
The end of the week party is my top tip with none other than Crazy P, Julio Bashmore and Future Boogie putting the finishing touches on what is sure to be one of the best weeks of your life!

  Crazy P - Stop Space Return (Hot Toddy Mix)

  Julio Bashmore - BATTLE FOR MIDDLE YOU

  El Harvo - Futureboogie - Slomo to Fastmo : Feb 2011

We decided to go a little deeper with this preview than just our mumblings of how cool it all is and get the festival owners to tell us what the Garden Festival is really all about.

Let’s get to know you guys, introduce yourselves and what do you do when your not organising the festival? 
What was it that made you wake up and think, 'I'm gonna start my own Festival' and why/how did you discover and choose the current site?
Nick and Charlotte Colgan moved to Zadar with their family in 2004 to open what was Croatia’s first outdoor lounge bar, The Garden Zadar. With a stunning location on the ancient city walls overlooking the harbour and great music supplied by many old friends from the UK’s dance music underground, it proved an instant success. Encouraged by the reactions of all who came and fell in love with the region, Nick began looking for a spot to hold a boutique festival, and had soon stumbled across an amazing beachfront site on a pine tree covered peninsula in the nearby village of Petrcane. With the help of old friends Eddie and Gail O’Callaghan, who had also recently moved to Dalmatia, they set about renovating the fabulous 70s built venue ready for the first Garden Festival in 2006.

How has the festival evolved since its beginning in 2006?
The original plan was really to bring together all of the various groups of DJs, bands, promoters and music lovers from across the UK and Europe that we had been working with over many years in promotion and provide them with an ideal sundrenched setting for a holiday and festival combined. To be honest that remains our basic aim, but fortunately the reaction among the music community has been so good that we have been able to broaden our horizons and book acts from different genres of music and as far afield as the US and Japan.

If it’s possible can you pick your 3 favourite memories from all those years?
That’s an impossible one to answer! So many great live shows, DJ sets, boat parties and sunsets. Rather than try and condense it into three memories, it would be more representative to describe an average day so here goes. Wake up, shower at your apartment in the village, walk along the seafront and have breakfast at one of the restaurants and cafes along the promenade, and then feeling refreshed stroll over to the festival site. Music starts at the beachfront Tiki bar at 12noon, with relaxed and eclectic tunes to start with, ideal for lazing around the beach and soaking up the sunshine. Take a refreshing dip in the warm azure sea or choose a cocktail; both of which will chase away your hangover and put you in the mood to groove :) The tunes will gradually lift in tempo throughout the day so get dancing away in the sunshine or even in the sea – the Tiki Bar actually just right into the Adriatic and you can dance with the water splashing around your ankles. When you get hungry after all that dancing, there will be delicious freshly cooked food on site or you can nip back to one of the great seafood restaurants in the village. The infamous Argonaughty Boat Parties set sail twice daily and are not to be missed, four hours afloat with a dynamite soundtrack and a backdrop of sunset over the islands. When night falls the dance floors really start to rock. World-class DJs at the seafront and amazing live acts on the main stage keep everything jumping till 1am, when we chill things down outside so you can relax and chat under the stars or for the hardened party people it’s in to the Discotheque for the full on club experience till dawn.

What have you learnt about running a festival over those years?
That there’s not much you can do about it on Monday!

What would be your top 5 tips for people who would consider starting their own festival?
1..Look to the long term. It’s essential for an event to build up trust and that can only happen over time.

2..Consider what it is that makes your event unique; there is such a proliferation of festivals with new ones starting every year that you have to stand out from the crowd.

3..Production costs from staging and power right down to toilets and trash removal should be considered first as its easy to get lost in the more seductive creative aspects.

4..When the event is on, communication is vital because problems arise in a heartbeat, and time wont be on your side!

5..If you’re tempted to take on volunteers, beware as they have a tendency to disappear when you most need them.

The line up last year was immense, how do you go about choosing the artists you want to play?
Quality first… We work mainly in the area of the more soulful edge of the dance music underground, incorporating all the music we love from jazz, soul, hip-hop and reggae through to the many wonderful facets of house music of the past, present and future. Although some of the acts we book are internationally renowned, we don’t feel compelled to just list big names as we aim for a combination of proven artists who have earned the respect and admiration of the music community coupled with cutting edge acts who are extending the boundaries. Where possible all the artist stay for at least three days so they treat the festival as a mini holiday. And as we don’t do VIP areas etc the artists can always to be found grooving along with the crowd and enjoying the party as much as anyone. In a nutshell Divas and Prima Donnas need not apply!

Can you give us any insider gossip on what’s coming up this year from people who havent been announced yet?
Who are you most looking forward to hearing this year?
All we can safely say is that there are many more exciting announcements on the horizon so keep checking the website www.thegardenfestival.eu for the latest news.

We are definitely tingling with excitement about New York City’s disco giants ODYSSEY playing a full live show, hearing Back To Our Roots and Native New Yorker will be mind-blowing in this setting. For new and groundbreaking acts Elecrtric Wire Hustle from New Zealand are generating a great buzz at the moment, and Tensnake has been going from strength to strength and it’s great to have him back again.

Lots of people are hoping to keep the festival a small boutique type vibe to it... how do you see the festival evolving in the years to come?
Keep improving the quality in every area and stay true to our original ethos. We promote the music we both love and are determined to continue in that vein, but remember the underground is everywhere and we always have guests come from all over the music loving globe. This year will have crews from Zagreb, Ljubljana in Slovenia and Budapest in Hungary, and are forging links with Berlin and even looking forward to reconnecting with California.

And finally what's your favourite track that you're loving right now?
Anything off the Electric Wire Hustle album. It’s dynamite!

Thanks so much for your time guys, really looking forward to coming out there :)
Great. Make sure we get introduced we can have a beer in the sunshine :)
Interview with Eddie O' Callaghan
Photos by Emmett McLaughlin

So there we go folks... if that interview didnt make you want to book your flights and get out there right now then there must be something wrong with you!
For more info and line up news as it comes out go here:

(I actually have a couple of spare tickets so if anyone wants to go... get in touch with me.)


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