I love live music and I’ve always been a regular gig-goer. In the UK I’m used to paying at least £50 for one 2 hour performance. I couldn’t quite get my head around the fact that I could pay less than £50 for 3 days worth of music! INMusic Festival in Zagreb, Croatia is now in its 14th year. The lineup this year went down the rock band route with headliners Queens of the Stone Age, Nick Cave and Interpol.
The Festival takes place in the middle of Zagreb’s Lake Jarun. One thing to be mentally and physically prepared for is the dreaded walk. Technically, our Air B&B was only a 30 minute walk to the ‘festival area’ but it then takes a further 30 minutes to get to the festival entrance. You essentially have to walk around the entire lake to get there, unless you fancy swimming it!
I’m used to mandatory bag searches at big events but the policy at INMusic Festival was slightly odd. As expected, all liquids were banned but strangely enough this also included sun cream. Thankfully the weather was pretty overcast this year so my pale Scottish skin need not have fretted. We also had lip balm confiscated at the gate, that one was completely lost on me. By Day 2 I had sussed out the thoroughness of the bag check and was able to hide contraband (i.e. lip balm and eye drops) in my hoodie pocket.
Cashless and Contactless
I’m a bit like the Queen, I never carry cash and I feel like I shouldn’t have to in this day and age. I was pleased to discover that INMusic was a cashless festival. A top-up card can be picked up at the designated top up points for a 10 kunas deposit (which is just over a pound) and then you can top up as much as you like. At the end of the Festival, when you return your card you will receive your deposit back and any remaining balance on the card. The other alternative is to use contactless.
For me the highlight of the festival was David Byrne from the Talking Heads. In true David Byrne style he started the show sat behind a table holding a brain (a prop of course). He played a good mix of Talking Heads classics such as Once in a Lifetime and Burning Down the House and songs from his new album ‘American Utopia.’ For a man in late 60s, he still dominates the stage. It might not quite have been ‘Stop Making Sense,’ (one of the best concert films of all time) but for me it was up there!
I have a terrible habit of making no effort to find new music. I know what I like and I tend to stick rigidly to my ready made playlists. We met a couple from London who encouraged us to check out Superorganism on the Hidden Stage. The 8 person Indie pop band are quirky to say the least. Their songs are creative and most certainly catchy. They are now on my Spotify most played list!!
Food and Drink
This year the Festival’s new beer partner was Crafter’s Brewery. A beer cost just over £3, which is expensive for Croatia but definitely cheap for a festival. The food was better than average with a range of food choices including plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.
Would I go again?
I would 100% go to INMusic Festival again. Even though I wasn’t particularly keen on this year’s headliners, I still had a great time. The festival is well organised, with very little time having to be spent in queues. The atmosphere is very relaxed and I saw no sign of any drink fuelled fights (something which seems to be inevitable in the UK). It was by far one of the best open air festivals I’ve been to!