All photos by Naomi Mukai
A few months ago, I wrote a guide to partying in Croatia even though I had never been there before. It turns out the article was only partially accurate, but mainly I was pointing out the exponential growning of the music festival industry on the Adriatic Coast. I felt the need to fact-check everything I reported about the region's party industry, so I actually went to Croatia. See! Journalism is saved! To be honest, I also wasn't against spending some days on a sunny beach while some of my favorite DJs were playing music I like. You might think at this point, "What a nice job this bastard has," but if I pitched you the story as something like "I spent 10 days in a tent avoiding the rain with a group of drunk, sunburnt British adolescents," would you still envy me? Me neither. Luckily that's an exaggeration. It wasn't that bad. Actually, it was pretty awesome. Last week I took THUMP to Dimensions festival in Pula, so I suppose this is episode two of my adventures in Croatia, where I attended the first edition of the Unknown Festival in Rovinj.
UNKNOWN WAS A SHELTER OF GIRLS. VERY CUTE GIRLS.
I don't remember a lot of things from the Latin classes I took in high school. Maybe some god's name, a few vocab words, and the classic declension—rosa, rosa, rosam, rosaem, for those who know! But maybe some of you can tell me if there was a mythological story about an abandoned island of cute, nice girls staying up all night for good fun? Because if not, a new one should definitively be written about Unknown. Of the approximately 6,000 people in attendance, a majority were of the female persuasion. This is not me typing under the influence of the hot, beating sun, so much as it is a true fact. Even my French female company had to admit it: the competition was at a high-standard.
At the same time, everything seemed to be made for the ladies. The lineup included plenty of the hottest "house-with-vocal-hooks" hitmakers (Disclosure, Cyril Hahn, Julio Bashmore), there were some fancy make-up stands, and the decoration of the festival site looked like it came directly from a Pinterest board, if not an Urban Outffiters shop.
There was so much girlie pressure in the festival that even the guys were forced to put awaytheir manhood, like this guy with flowers in his hair or this dude with a glittery mustache who is about to give some lucky girl head all night long. Cute, non?
If you still barely believe me, here is a fact that doesn't lie: the security had so little to do that they were taking pictures of the crowd when they weren't posing squarely. How could they resist after all? It was that chill.
At this point in the story, I know that my male readership's imagination is starting to overheat. You guys are probably thinking Unknown was heaven on Earth following this equation: gorgeous sunny seaside + hot girls partying > porn tubes. Well, life isn't that easy. Look at this girl for instance.
I don't know if it's her red lipstick, her white teeth, or her cute squirrel outfit but this girl definitely taps into all your dark furry fantasies. One of my new friends I made there couldn't resist anymore and went to talk to her while she was dancing hard to Four Tet's live set. Bad idea. You don't disturb a Four Tet fan while Four Tet is playing. I told him that, but he didn't listen to me. When he tried his luck, all he got in a return a cold cheek and a quick "Sorry, I'm a lesbian." His questionable joke ("So am I") didn't change his fate and the only option was to go grab a beer and try to forget this pretty burning fail. But all the guys at Unknown weren't so unlucky! You could even find true love over a plate of french fries and ketchup.
HE was from Germany, SHE was from Italy. They met in Spain during their exchange year. They met again in Croatia at Unknown. If this was a Woody Allen movie, it would be called something like A Kebab of True Romance.
OH YEAH, THERE WAS ALSO SOME MUSIC
Besides all this love and lust going around, there was also some music. In case you forgot, this piece was about a music festival. SBTKRT got everybody's hands in the air when he dropped The Weeknd feat. Drake's "Crew Love."
John Talabot was joined on his boat party by Jamie XX for an impromptu B2B.
Jessie Ware made people stay, even if a torrential rain started during her show, forcing her to stop and everybody to run and find somewhere to hide. That was clearly epic, trust me.
This is what the worst slot to play at Unknown looks like. Not too early, not too late—just how a stage looks like when Disclosure is playing the main stage of a festival organized by British promoters for British kids. Sorry guys.
Also good news for all the unemployed youth in the UK: a new career is booming! The djembe player. If you thought this business only generated a few Euros to buy beers for white kids with dreads that spend Saturday afternoons bumming around the city center of their shitty little towns... you're wrong! These kids found a way to avoid spending their summer in the rainy UK and under the pines in Croatia instead: they got a performer pass. Now you broke kids know what you have to do before next summer if you don't want to get stuck at home while Boiler Room goes camping!
Antoine loves a big butt and a smile. Find him on Twitter and buy him a djemba. - @AdePointZero