Music

Croatia's INMusic Festival to Celebrate 12th Year

Ana Yorke
Photo: Filip Bušić (INMusic Festival)

Arcade Fire, Alt-J, Kings Of Leon tapped to perform in front of an expected 70,000-strong crowd.

Full disclosure straight away: the INMusic Festival is in Croatia, but that makes the entire summer vacation prospect (or city break) all the better for it. In the southwestern part of Zagreb, Croatia’s lively and compellingly affordable capital, the event sits near lake Jarun, a scenic area featuring loads of loud birds, ravishing sunsets, plenty of cafés, and a sports and leisure center. Located merely a couple of miles away from the historic city center, it is a splendid getaway for many a young frolicker seeking refuge from their daily ordeals -- and its heart is called the Youth Island, a comfortable grassland which found itself home to what is today known as one of Europe’s best festivals, hands down.

Founded in 2006, and celebrating its 12th year on June 19, INMusic is not just another cunningly seized opportunity for opening Central Europe to music festivals. In fact, it is that truly rare event run by music enthusiasts who wanted nothing more than to help bring the best of contemporary rock and pop to their fellow men and women. While these romanticized stories of event management ventures seldom come to fruition, the people behind INMusic persevered, and managed somehow to keep most of their investors even through a fiscally turbulent climate, all while coming out on top. What had started as a small fest featuring Franz Ferdinand, Morrissey, and a slew of local performers, the event has now turned into a sensational gathering for music aficionados from around the globe.

By taking the festival road less traveled -- namely that of avoiding booking popular DJ/Auto-Tuned acts as headliners in order to sell more tickets -- INMusic organizers have skillfully succeeded, year after year, in bringing the most commercially viable names in rock to the Central-European masses. Over the past 11 years, headliners have been almost exclusively the biggest names on the contemporary rock/electro scene, among them LCD Soundsystem, Sonic Youth, Arctic Monkeys, the Black Keys, the Stooges, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the Prodigy, Massive Attack, Moby, Kraftwerk, and more. This year, over the course of three days and across four stages and several adjunct performance venues, more than 70,000 people will get to marvel at Arcade Fire, Kings of Leon, Alt-J, Kasabian, Flogging Molly, Danko Jones, and more.

The greatest perk, though, is the amount of new material we expect to get from multiple headliners. After a hugely successful headlining set several weeks ago at the Primavera Sound festival, where they announced their new album, Everything Now, Arcade Fire will surely treat their Croatian audience to a set sure to be rich in new tunes, some of which may even be premieres. Another headlining band, now a trio, Alt-J, will also present work from their new, third album, Relaxer. Kasabian, on the other hand, have debuted their freshest release, For Crying Out Loud, in May, but haven’t had the chance to dry run the song batch yet. The only headliners without completely new material are Kings of Leon, but if their WALLS tour thus far is any indication, we will be treated to a sound mix of decade-old hits and more recent chart-toppers.

While, admittedly, flying to Croatia from the U.S. is anything but cheap/convenient, the price of the festival ticket -- along with general affordability of Zagreb (think about $2.50 for a pint of beer) and the exquisite landscapes of a vibrant European metropolis -- will make your trip more than worthwhile. If you’re aiming for a summer vacation, bear in mind that Croatia has one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe. On the other hand, if you’re already in Europe, Croatia is easily reachable by a one-hour low-cost flight from basically anywhere. Wherever you are, INMusic truly combines the best of what music today has to offer with the kind of childish enthusiasm and natural charm its attendees find irresistible, year after year.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Film

The Dance of Male Forms in Denis' 'Beau travail'

Claire Denis' masterwork of cinematic poetry, Beau travail, is a cinematic ballet that tracks through tone and style the sublimation of violent masculine complexes into the silent convulsions of male angst.

Music

The Cradle's 'Laughing in My Sleep' Is an Off-kilter Reflection of Musical Curiosity

The Cradle's Paco Cathcart has curated a thoughtfully multifarious album. Laughing in My Sleep is an impressive collection of 21 tracks, each unapologetic in their rejection of expectations.

Music

Tobin Sprout Goes Americana on 'Empty Horses'

During the heyday of Guided By Voices, Tobin Sprout wasn't afraid to be absurd amongst all that fuzz. Sprout's new album, Empty Horses, is not the Tobin Sprout we know.

Film

'All In: The Fight for Democracy' Spotlights America's Current Voting Restrictions as Jim Crow 2.0

Featuring an ebullient and combative Stacey Abrams, All In: The Fight for Democracy shows just how determined anti-democratic forces are to ensure that certain groups don't get access to the voting booth.

Music

'Transgender Street Legend Vol. 2' Finds Left at London "At My Peak and Still Rising"

"[Pandemic lockdown] has been a detriment to many people's mental health," notes Nat Puff (aka Left at London) around her incendiary, politically-charged new album, "but goddamn it if I haven't been making some bops here and there!"

Music

Daniel Romano's 'How Ill Thy World Is Ordered' Is His Ninth LP of 2020 and It's Glorious

No, this is isn't a typo. Daniel Romano's How Ill Thy World Is Ordered is his ninth full-length release of 2020, and it's a genre-busting thrill ride.

Music

The Masonic Travelers Offer Stirring Rendition of "Rock My Soul" (premiere)

The Last Shall Be First: the JCR Records Story, Volume 1 captures the sacred soul of Memphis in the 1970s and features a wide range of largely forgotten artists waiting to be rediscovered. Hear the Masonic Travelers "Rock My Soul".

Music

GLVES Creates Mesmerizing Dark Folktronica on "Heal Me"

Australian First Nations singer-songwriter GLVES creates dense, deep, and darkish electropop that mesmerizes with its blend of electronics and native sounds on "Heal Me".

Music

Otis Junior and Dr. Dundiff Tells Us "When It's Sweet" It's So Sweet

Neo-soul singer Otis Junior teams with fellow Kentuckian Dr. Dundiff and his hip-hop beats for the silky, groovy "When It's Sweet".

Music

Lars and the Magic Mountain's "Invincible" Is a Shoegazey, Dreamy Delight (premiere)

Dutch space pop/psychedelic band Lars and the Magic Mountain share the dreamy and gorgeous "Invincible".

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" Wryly Looks at Lost Love (premiere + interview)

Singer-songwriter Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" is a less a flat-earther's anthem and more a wry examination of heartache.

Music

Big Little Lions' "Distant Air" Is a Powerful Folk-Anthem (premiere)

Folk-pop's Big Little Lions create a powerful anthem with "Distant Air", a song full of sophisticated pop hooks, smart dynamics, and killer choruses.

Music

The Flat Five Invite You to "Look at the Birdy" (premiere)

Chicago's the Flat Five deliver an exciting new single that exemplifies what some have called "twisted sunshine vocal pop".

Music

Brian Bromberg Pays Tribute to Hendrix With "Jimi" (premiere + interview)

Bass giant Brian Bromberg revisits his 2012 tribute to Jimi Hendrix 50 years after his passing, and reflects on the impact Hendrix's music has had on generations.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

Shirley Collins' ​'Heart's Ease'​ Affirms Her Musical Prowess

Shirley Collins' Heart's Ease makes it apparent these songs do not belong to her as they are ownerless. Collins is the conveyor of their power while ensuring the music maintains cultural importance.

Books

Ignorance, Fear, and Democracy in America

Anti-intellectualism in America is, sadly, older than the nation itself. A new collection of Richard Hofstadter's work from Library of America traces the history of ideas and cultural currents in American society and politics.

By the Book

Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto (excerpt)

Just as big tech leads world in data for profit, the US government can produce data for the public good, sans the bureaucracy. This excerpt of Julia Lane's Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto will whet your appetite for disruptive change in data management, which is critical for democracy's survival.

Julia Lane

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.