One week of serious partying, amazing beaches, great Djs and some disappointment. Get to know everything about Sonus Festival 2014 and why we are not coming back!
Croatia has some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe and some of the best Croatian Islands party destinations. People from all around the world flock to Pag Island in August to attend Sonus Festival, a massive five days electronic festival. Of course, we were there! By the end of one week of partying, we have our positive and negative thoughts, and definitely, we are not going back next summer!
No doubt Croatia, and specially Pag island, is a stunning place to visit, and several of its beaches are still considered hidden gems in Croatia. Cristal clear water, white rock beaches and huge mountains that play around with giant heavy clouds. Novalja, a small fishing village, is cute and packed with tourists. A must-visit summer place. The only downside is the price tag, which can compete with any other European destination. So be prepared, you are going to cash out lots of money to enjoy this beauty.
On 18th of August Sonus Festival kicked off. All day and all night parties, on the shore and on the sea. For those who love electronic music (techno, minimal, and deep house), welcome to paradise, Pag is one of the best islands for partying in Croatia!
The line up for Sonus Festival 2014 was insane, me and Rob were more than excited to be there.
From monday to friday all the gigs were held at Zrce Beach, on three main clubs: Papaya, Kalypso and Aquarius. With the wristband you could jump from one club to other till you find the perfect music and spot.
Thousands of people were on the beach enjoying the five days there. French, Italians, British, Portugueses, Aussies and some Brazilians. Different nationalities seeking the same thing: great Music and Fun!
The Djs were freaking awesome, our favorites were: Dixon, Gaiser, Henrik Schwarz, Richie Hawtin, Jamie Jones, Len Faki, Loco Dice and Monika Kruse (Keep an eye on this name, she is amazing!)!
They smashed the dance floor. Great music, epic performances and so much fun! Congrats guys ,you nailed it! In the whole festival we didn’t hear any commercial music, it were about 500 hours of the best of electronic music!
But Sonus Festival wasn’t just fun, especially for people who stayed in the camping site. People like us!
When we bought the tickets we choose to buy together the accommodation at the camping site. Accordingly to Sonus Festival, the place should be just a few kilometers from Zrce beach (and clubs), to have all the infrastructure for the tends, shared bathrooms and showers, sinks, restaurant and shops (all this informed by the Sonus and Festicket website).
But as soon as we arrived there we got an unpleasant and uncomfortable surprise:
- Open air cold mixed showers (the inside showers were worse…)
- Around 15 chemical toilets (male and female)
- 3 sinks for the whole people (by the second day two of them stopped working)
- NO SHADE, trees or anything that could protect the tents from the sun and the heat
- Only one restaurant to sell food for the whole camping (with an overpriced menu, and kitchen that opened after 11am)
- By Google Maps the distance between camping site and the festival was a bit more than 6 km. That is definitely really far.
Bottom line, we were screwed!! During the night when we had fresh air everybody was on the party. During the day when we tried to sleep it was 30ºC, so we had two option to rest: lay on the sun or do some sauna inside the tends. Nothing comfortable or healthy.
You are probably asking yourself how we managed to go from the camping to the clubs! That was another pain in the ass task: we had to walk up to a steep hill to get to the festival shuttle bus (40€ each person for 5 days).
Yes, the bus didn’t come close to the camping site, it stopped about 500 meters from us in the top of a damn hill. Ahhh, I forgot to mention that the bus was hourly, no air conditioner, and no shade to protected us while waiting. All this happening in a hot Croatian summer!
Nevertheless, to get a nice meal, to go to the supermarket or even to cash some money, we had to go up hill, take the bus and go to the nearest town. Summing it up, we were in the middle of nowhere!
Of course the nature was amazing, the beach fantastic (but not private, as the Sonus Festival website said) and the view was to die for. But none of these fed us, gave us money or took us to the festival.
The only thing I suggest to Sonus organization is to respect a little bit more the people who attend the festival. If you don’t have the guts to pull off a great camping site just don’t do it!!!
I truly regret booking festival + camping. Not just me, several people that we talked with were really frustrated, and probably won’t come back. A french guy we met made a joke on Facebook, he posted a picture and wrote: “The poor girl is wrapping herself in a towel to avoid sunburns. Festival Shawarma”.
Apart from the camping, other thing that really bothered us was the behaviour of the people. We were in the middle of a natural paradise, people from all around the world looking for good music, dance and fun. So what the hell do you need to be aggressive, disrespectful, impolite and filth????
Garbage everywhere, bottles, glass, cigarettes… By the end of the night the sea looked like a big litter full of garbage. Smell of pee everywhere! Now I understand why the bathrooms were so empty without queues, people were doing their business like dogs, outside in every corner.
Disgusting!! You couldn’t eat a sandwich on the beach because there were guys (and girls) peeing beside the food stall! Shame on you!!!
Fights! Why people have to fight?? A couple of stupid men that just ruined the dance floor. Aggressive dancers that don`t know how to behave themselves in a crowded place. Running and moving like it was the end of the world. Not even respecting some disabled people who were attending the festival.
One morning we were inside the shuttle bus going back to the camping site and a girl as fainting, almost falling in the ground. I asked a guy to give her his seat and he shout on me, almost hit me and my husband. What was going on dude??? Are you crazy??? Thank God some other people in the bus helped the poor girl.
We met some awesome people from France, Belgium, Portugal, Australia, England and most of them were shocked by the lack of respect from the festival attendees. Words like “excuse me”, “sorry”, “thanks” or even a smile were completely forgotten. We were all the time afraid that something bad could happen in the middle of such a big and packed dance floor. No atmosphere whatsoever!
The slogan of Sonus Festival was: In Music we trust – In Nature we trust – In People we trust, so the organization has to start thinking in ways to improve the atmosphere of the festival. Make sure people who go to Sonus understand and respect the meaning of the event. Please boost good behavior, good values and Love. Punish aggressive and disrespectful people. There are so many nice examples to follow.
To say just a few:
– Kazantip (Ukraine) – if you are caught peeing on the beach or any inappropriate place, you are banned from the festival. The same happens with fighters!
– Boom Festival (Portugal) – recycling and composting wastes and many other eco-friendly policies.
– Psicodália (Brazil) – on the website and on the festival guide they teach the audience how to look after their garbage around the party and at the camping site.
– Gatecrasher (UK) – the metal pegs for the tents were exchanged by wood made, so if you forgot them in the camping site it won’t damage nature. At the camping site for safety reasons no glasses were allowed, in the entrance you exchange glasses for plastic bottles. Also outside of every dance floor there was a drinkable water tap for free.
– Brazilians clubs and festivals have returnable plastic glasses, so you get discount in your next refill. This police reduces a lot the amount of plastic wasted. In some big events when you collect 10 empty water bottles you can exchange for a new fresh one.
Another important issues:
Special accesses for disable people, with good places reserved for them to watch the show. I saw several wheelchair struggling to pass through the crowd.
Fighters should be caught and banned from the festival! Most of the clubs around the world have this police. Why not in Sonus? People smashing heads, blood on the dance floor in an afternoon party?? That`s not a festival I can Trust! It definitely needs more security!
I am sure there are lots of people who attended Sonus and had an amazing time. Others like us didn’t enjoy that much, of course it all depends on what you are looking for and in what you believe. We (Love & Road) wished to have a happy, “camping comfortable” and great e-music experience. Turned out that even with amazing Djs the festival wasn’t able to full fill our souls. So that´s why we are not coming back to Sonus!!
I hope they will do a better work next summer, otherwise Sonus will become a one time attended festival for lots of people. Like those memories that were good, but not worthy to repeat!