‘A Drum & Bass Holiday’ - Hospitality On The Beach 2019
And we’re back! And by this, I mean back from ‘A PARTY IN CROATIA!!’ as they say. Last week until now Maneki swapped the concrete jungle of South East London for the pebble beaches of Tisno for Hospitality On The Beach..and darn hospitable it sure was, and we don’t just mean the free beers on our KLM flights out there. Here’s a rundown of the festival for any gun finger toters thinking of checking it out next for a holiday of sun, sea and of course….snares. P.S all of the pictures and the video above were captured on mobile devices!
Like many Croatian music festivals, Hospitality On The Beach had an edge on all of the cowpat ridden swamps we are used to back in blighty in that it looked and felt gorgeous. Tisno is a small coastal resort nestled on the lower Croatian coastline and surrounded by lush, naturally beautiful islands. The 30+ degree weather and hilly terrain also make camping a no no for most, with the majority of festival-goers opting for beach-side apartments. The apartment living really helped reinforce the quote printed on my wristband ‘A Drum And Bass Holiday’ as the laid-back atmosphere and not waking up with trench foot in a £15 Argos tent really made it feel like we had perfectly blended a beach holiday and a festival into one.
Tisno is also not short of things to do either. Aside from the astounding location, there are plenty of fabulous restaurants, boat hire, scuba diving and a beautiful reservoir near by too. The numerous shops and permitting location also meant that me and my crew were cooking healthy meals by the day, and every morning I went on a run (to shake off the hangovers of-course) over round the cove that finished up with my gazing out over the serene Mediterranean backdrop.
The Festival Site
Since I am more used to festivals like Boomtown, Outlook & Let It Roll, nothing could really prepare me for the size of HOTB. It is a very small festival, but this is by no means a bad thing and in fact, really works. First and foremost you never miss a set, but with only four stages, there comes a real feeling of intimacy too. A smaller festival means a smaller crowd so make friends on the first night and you’ll be braiding your hair together and crying about your exes by day five! The sound-systems are crisp and weighty too, giving your ribs a nice rattle, but despite this and the distance between arenas, there is little to no sound clash whatsoever.
The site also offers up some great hidden bonuses, like a propper air conditioned sit-down restaurant (believe me after a sweaty romp on the beach, you need that), a massage stand, a beach volleyball court and a stand where you can get a free haircut! I didn’t get one though…my barber would flip if he caught me cheating on him on holiday. The beach itself was gorgeous, soft sand and small pebbles set next to the clearest body of water I have ever seen for the perfect cool off dip. Some people were worried about sea urchins but frankly, they only populate the area where the larger rocks are and quite frankly in water that clear, if you are fool enough to still step on one, then you have yourself to blame mate!
The most important part! Some of the sets at HOTB were the best I have seen all year. You got a real feeling that every DJ brought their absolute A-game for this one too. With this being a Drum & Bass festival, every sub-genre of D&B was catered for. You name it, they had it, they put it on the table and they opened it in your face! There were so many amazing sets to recall it is hard to name any individual faves. Andy C predictably played a blinder (the man is a safer bookies favourite than Floyd Maywether), GLXY on Thursday night at the main stage were incredible, always love watching those chaps play. Halogenix B2B Kasra B2B Enei followed by Mefjus followed by Noisia followed by Kyrist & Whiney had to be one of the greatest 4 consecutive hours of D&B I had ever witnessed; but, Zinc's 5 hour history set had to take the cake for me.
I was born in 1995 so most of the songs are before me, but despite this, the set had me wishing I was older. A pretty nuanced thought since it is usually the other way round….I haven’t wished for age since I was kicked out of a corner shop at 15 having been served all of the necessary ingredients for a roll-up except for the tobacco itself. The festival was also fantastic for rising talent too, with a DJ competition taking place at Magnolia and the winner landing themselves a 5pm set on the last day. Faris, my Creative Director and the creator of Windows 98 himself stepped up to shell it in the heats with a heavy Neuro/ Jump Up set that got a reload and also a special guest appearance from a novice, yet hilarious host who we dubbed simply, MC Custard Cream! It was an absolute laugh and we carried on the good times when we went on to watch the overall winner DJ SomethingSomething play her crowing liquid set on the Monday.
Overall we thought that Hospitality On The Beach provided the perfect blend of holiday and festival and we can certainly see ourselves' going back for another year. Follow us on social media as we will also be writing a further article detailing our favourite moments and our top tips for people wanting to go in the future.