Fresh Island returned to Zrce Beach on the Island of Pag to shut down Croatia for the sixth time.
I don’t think a single person who attended Fresh Island or watched like a voyeur on Snapchat will say anything other than “It was lit”. We should have expected it to be honest. The 3 day festival line up consisted of AJ Tracey, Giggs, Young Thug, French Montana, Krept and Konan, Rae Sremmurd, Sean Paul, Kojo Funds and Tion Wayne just to name a few. Throw in boat parties, pool parties and 6+ hours of DJ sets every night for a week and it was bound to be exceptional.
For so long London fans were deprived of seeing Giggs live due to various issues with the police. This meant that for some people Fresh Island was the first time they had seen The Landlord perform. He brought unmatched energy levels and a commanding stage presence. Suspect’s quick PA of FBG provided all the hype needed to continue the set. One of the most iconic songs of the noughties, Talkin’ Da Hardest (or Track 9 those who know, know) was the craziest 5 minutes of my life. “My Charlie, M-M-My Charlie” will ring in my ears for the foreseeable future.
Credit: Marko Delbello Ocepek
Tim Westwood’s Pool Party
One of the best song selectors in the scene. Tim can read the crowd exceptionally well, knowing when to drop an old school banger. He is also extremely funny on the microphone.
Although Sean played a lot of his commercial dance music, he gets an honourable mention just for performing Get Busy.
Credit: Laurence Howe
Fresh Island is set in the three main clubs on the strip, Aquarius, Papaya and Kalypso. These open-air clubs have pools, stages and obviously a maximum capacity. We understand that to ease issues of overcrowding the lineup was split between the venues. But we feel that it is still almost unforgivable to put French Montana and Young Thug on at the same time. Or Rae Sremmurd and Sean Paul. Or Kojo Funds/Tion Wayne and Krept and Konan. We hope that we aren’t faced with this kind of choices again next year.
Considering Zrce Beach hosts festivals all through the summer and is a top destination for tourists, I was surprised how poorly the police/security behaved. They are meant to be in place for our safety but it definitely didn’t feel like that. Anywhere with copious amounts of alcohol, male (and female) bravado and 30-degree temperatures will definitely have some trouble. Security hate troublemakers, I appreciate that. However, the security were moving like Incredible Hulk, bare anger and no common sense. There’s footage circulating of security kicking and pepper spraying festival goers in a disproportionate show of “strength”. It’s really not on. All I can say is when your eyes start welling up and it gets hard to breathe when you’re innocently sipping your magnum of Grey Goose with a handsome/pretty person by your side because security are dispensing tear gas and pepper spray like Lynx Africa in a year 9 boy’s changing room, it sort of kills the vibe.
Fresh Island is one of the best festivals in Croatia, we highly recommend going. Don’t delay and don’t wait for the lineup to come out before booking, trust me the line up will be very wavy.