Love International 2016

Posted by - - Festivals, Review

June 29th saw a serene Croatian village come to life, as a 2500-strong crowd descended on Tisno for the inauguration of Love International. The Garden Festival’s successor had a tough act to follow with The Garden’s 10 year legacy at stake but Team Love were adamant that the essence would not be lost in amongst the rebranding. Did they deliver on their promise? Let’s find out…

I’ll start by saying that Love International managed to nail the sexy chilled / chaotic party vibe ratio. The days could be spent at the festival site either beaching, tent hopping or boating with between 2-3 boat parties setting sail each day, all with killer line-ups. Other day events such as the Lilo Party hosted by Eats Everything saw the site’s private beach awash with a sea of inflatables. Let me set the scene – Lounging at sea, Mai Tai in hand, world class DJ’s bringing the soundtrack, if Carlsberg did festivals…

© Photography by Michael Njunge for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandow)

© Photography by Michael Njunge for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandow)

On Thursday evening, The Argonaughty hosted the Sunset Sound seekers boat party headlined by Gerd Janson. It set sail at 7pm and took over the Adriatic oozing a sexy, mellow vibe until the sun disappeared. As darkness crept over the boat, the techno cranked it up a notch and a fairly civilised bunch became rather more animated (to say the least). The boat parties are a must if you’re thinking about heading to Love International next year, I’d recommend doing a minimum of 2 – 1 on each of the vessels and definitely an evening sunset event. The last boat of the day docks in time for Barbarella’s opening at midnight, *cue a mad dash to the shuttle (party) bus*.

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (www.fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (www.fb.com/wearehereandnow)

I had high expectations for Barbarellas, hailed as one of the best clubs in the world by music veterans far and wide – high praise indeed, but after a third trip in as many nights, it’s safe to say my expectations were met. Night on night it seemed to adopt a different personality, always drawing in a dynamic crowd and always with a ridiculous line-up. Those that arrived early would lounge on the beds dotted about the place, by 2pm it was full and the dancefloor a sea of edgy shirt wearing, glitter adorning partyers. I couldn’t put my finger on what made it so special, was it the music? the crowd? the open-top dancing under the stars vibe? Probably all 3 – either way, it’s the perfect accompaniment to Love International by day.

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (www.fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (www.fb.com/wearehereandnow)

The festival site was well sized for 2.5k people, a great atmosphere but never too packed – a consideration that is often overlooked at festivals. It boasted its own on-site accommodation for those keen to be at the thick of it throughout, however a large number of festival goers still chose to stay in Tisno with only a 15 minute walk to the site.

While I’m on the subject of people, it’s worth mentioning that the crowd were a huge asset to the festival; it attracted a musically educated, reverent and above all just plain LOVELY group, ‘how apt’ I hear you cry, but true nonetheless!

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (www.fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (www.fb.com/wearehereandnow)

So all in all, hats off to Team Love – probably the best overseas festival I have had the pleasure of attending. Keep updated with next Love International 2017 here.

Photo credit: Khris Cowley