Hideout Festival 2012 Reviewed

Words by: Marcus Barnes
Posted: 6/7/12 19:27

Hideout Festival 2012 ReviewedOne of the world's fastest growing tourist destinations is Croatia, over the past few years the Balkan nation has gone from relative obscurity to becoming a holiday hotspot. I've lost count of the amount of friends of mone who've spent time there, from Split to Dubrovnik, and untapped delights such as Hvar, it's all happening in Croatia.  Which is why Hideout was an essential destination this year – of all the European festivals, this one stood out mainly due to its UK-centric line-ups and its stunning location on Zrce Beach on the island of Pag.

From drum 'n' bass through to deep house, it was all catered for which meant that the clientele would be largely British... and that Pag had to prepare itself for an invasion of Biblical proportions.

One of the main clubs that played host to Hideout was Aquarius, a huge, swish venue with two separate sections – Aquarius 1 and Aquarius 2. The latter has only recently been constructed and is comprised a large outdoor stage, a big two-tier dancefloor, a couple of bars and two raised areas where ravers can get a better view of the stage. It's basically made for partying, and does its job very well. Meanwhile Aquarius 1 is the older of the two, with a pool area (for Hideout's legendary pool parties), a few more bars and an inside area where the DJs work their magic.

Over the course of Hideout's four days, Aquarius 1 and 2 played host to an eclectic selection of DJs working across the board from the deep house end of things through to the mighty dubstep producer Skrillex. Thanks to their booking policy, neither venue was never anything less than busy, which made for a great atmosphere. Here's my experience of Aquarius, and the rest of my time at Hideout...

Hideout Festival 2012Day 1:
Though it was actually just hosting a Hideout pre-party, Aquarius was already rocking by the time I arrived at the club on my very first night at Zrce Beach. Plenty of eager Brits were already knocking the drinks back and hitting the dancefloor enjoying some deep house and nu-disco.

There were also a fair few Germans and Croatians in the venue, including a table full of hostess girls who were getting plenty of attention from drunken Brits – this included one hilarious guy who kept doing silly dances to try and get their attention (he actually succeeded in making them laugh on several occasions, so fair play to him).

After a quick look at the rest of the beachside clubs, including Papaya, Euphoria and Kalypso, I headed back to Aquarius just before sunrise, where the party was still in full swing.

Some garage classics, as well as more recent 'bass music' tracks kept the crowd buoyant, some of whom even jumped into the pool for a bit. A great first night and a sign of things to come...

Day 2:
The highlight of the first night at Hideout was, for me, bound to be Heidi – a woman who makes no bones about the fact that she likes to please crowds. Not one of those DJs who takes their craft too serious, never forgetting the fact that she is behind the decks primarily to make people dance and have a good time – Heidi is never disappointing. So, I don't really need to explain that she smashed it again at Papaya, as per usual. Great night made even greater by the fact that one of my friends and I decided to take advantage of the beachside attractions and do a bungee jump – fantastic.

Hideout Festival 2012Day 3:
With Kerri Chandler and Maceo Plex at Kalypso, plus Four Tet back-to-back with Caribou at Aquarius there were some tough decisions to be made – in the end I opted to catch some of Chandler before heading over to Aquarius for Four Tet and Caribou. Without being disrespectful to Kalypso, it really only kicks off there when it starts to get light – at Aquarius 2, I walked in as Four Tet and Caribou dropped garage classed Ripgroove, from that point onwards they put on a DJing masterclass working their way through glitchy cuts, to garage classics, to the more ethereal, bass-driven sounds they've become synonymous with. A great set, and one of the best of the festival – all helped along by the superb sound system at Aquarius 2

After they'd wrapped up, the only destination was Kalypso to catch Soul Clap in action. This was another highlight from the festival, the duo (Eli and Charlie) were in full swing when I arrived, playing a selection of deeper, techy cuts – in contrast to what most people would expect from them, but they're an incredibly versatile pair and progressed into house, disco, garage and more with panache. As the sun rose they played their own version of I Need Your Lovin' (featuring Mel Blatt), which was an inspired selection. As if it couldn't get any better, the crowd went into a frenzy when it was announced that they'd been allowed a further hour to play. Afterwards Eli told me it was one of his top ten best shows ever. I totally understood why, amazing.

Hideout Festival 2012Day 4:
A great turn up for the books occurred on Saturday when I managed to get hold of a place on the Phantasy boat party (thanks Emma!), where Jackmaster, Erol Alkan and Stop Making Me were live and in full effect. Needless to say this was an epic boat party, with Jackmaster the highlight (despite some technical issues)... The Formula One theme tune even got a play, seriously.

By the time night fell I have to admit to flagging a bit, however I had a job to do and I made sure I did it properly. Aquarius was once again one of the key destinations for me, this time Eats Everything, Claude VonStroke and Jack Beats all making sure that my feet didn't leave the club. When I did leave it was to head over to Papaya for Loco Dice, who actually failed to make an impression.

Eats Everything's set was infallible, he's a man who is really at the top of his game right now smashing through a high energy set with aplomb, dropping big beat after big beat – VonStroke followed in much the same vein, taking everyone by surprise by playing Dr Dre's The Next Episode early in the set. Later he played jungle classic Super Sharp Shooter, which has become a staple of his sets and it certainly did the trick. Jack Beats ripped up Aquarius, working the sound system with his selection of hard-edged dubsteppy, breaks type stuff. Finally, I headed down to Kalypso where Scuba was throwing down a decent house set, pleasing the crowd with Jamie Jones' anthemic Azari & III remix among others.

Hideout Festival 2012Day 5:
The final day was one of the hottest so far, temperatures of around 37 degrees meant a lot of people got burnt or were burnt out. But somehow we all managed to muster up one last burst of energy. At Papaya mulletover hosted their pool party with Nina Kraviz, Geddes, Matt Long (who stood in for a late Seth Troxler) and Seth himself. The whole place was packed until close, with Lauren Lane's Lazer Eyes (featuring dOP's Jaw) one of my own personal highlights. At Aquarius' pool, my old pal Artwork was on the decks alongside MC DRS, playing a selection of all-time garage classics – creating an amazing vibe. There's something about garage music and sunshine that makes such a perfect combination. Great times.

That night it was all about Aquarius 2 as Skrillex did his thing, with a bit of hip-hop in amongst the noisy dubstep. Simian Mobile Disco and Chase & Status also drew in the crowds – but the highlight for many was Ben Klock who did his usual job of thrashing out plenty of thumping, high-energy techno. He was joing on stage by his girlfriend Nina Kraviz, but there was no back-to-back as some people had anticipated.

Finally it was over to Papaya to catch Ricardo Villalobos behind the decks – a man whose reputation precedes him, Villalobos is renowned for his superior mixing ability and often nonchalant approach (when he hasn't had one too many shandies that is). For many this was a highly anticipated set and, being the last one at Hideout, we had all hoped for a sprint finish. Sadly, apart from a mind-boggling mash up between Donna Summer's I Feel Love and House Nation by the Housemasters, Ricardo's set was not the fireworks and hands in the air set we were all hoping for.

All in all probably one of the best festivals I've been to in quite a while, organisation was spot on, I hardly saw any trouble, every venue was great, the DJs all played well and the location plus weather was exceptional. Looking forward to next year...

Hideout Festival 2012 - Some YouTube Snapshots
Adam Shelton & Subb-an

user: RomaInTheClub
Ben Klock

user: Czimtomy
Eats Everything

user: jm64042
Four Tet b2b Caribou

user: RomaInTheClub
Jack Beats

user: Paul Dwerryhouse
Jamie Jones

user: Czimtomy
Loco Dice

user: RomaInTheClub
Nina Kraviz

user: RomaInTheClub
Ricardo Villalobos

user: MedleyMo

user: KalypsoClubSince1987
Seth Troxler

user: MrFrankieVilla
Soul Clap

user: RomaInTheClub
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