Love International 2017

Following its seminal year in 2016, Love International Festival blessed the picturesque shores of Tisno, carrying the flag for the preceding Garden festival whose absence left many of the Garden fam wanting more. Upon announcement as the sequel to the garden festival, many regulars seemed skeptical of its ability to replace their special festival. Needless to say, Love International met and exceeded expectations and has proven to be a well suited substitute on all fronts.

The fiendishly extended weekend started on the Tuesday with day-time beach chills accompanied by equally chilled live music and live acts easing us into the madness for the following the days. The likes of Ben UFO, The Black Madonna and Craig Richards represented an impressive variety of genres and the sun-sizzling Adriatic Gardetn town of Tisno was well equipped to set a warming, laid back all round good vibe.

As soon as the sun start so set, and the tide began to come in, the waves brought with them a changing atmosphere as the excitement for the headliners began to fill the skies, seas and stars alike. The array of talent on the first few days did not fail to disappoint with their opening sets, and I would struggle to pick a better set from the whole roster. There was a special excitement for the first heavy-hitting sets of the weekend and the crowd responded. Amazing is a disjustice to the euphoria, enough said. When the arena began to close, the die-hards (which seemed to be around 90% of the fezzie -goers) hit up the Barberellas to dance the night away and see the morning through with some absolute belters. This is the European equivalent of the after-party, and the free-to-use shuttle buses allowed the seamless transition of the party from on to off site. Many familiar faces popped up at the Barberellas – notable mention to Leon Vynehall who’s version of FCL’s ‘Let go’ left us with jaws dropped and hands clapping.

The only regret, using the term to its greatest stretches, would be that we didn’t manage to make all it around all six stages and all of the boat parties. This meant that the inevitable clash between must-see acts arose on a couple of occasions, although careful organisation (and that one mate who’s got the program memorised off by heart) meant that we could see both Midland and Optimo on the Sunday. The Magic Door boat party was second chosen path to partying in the high seas and we were not disappointed. The especially flamboyant party was particularly popular amongst the LGBTQ community and that brought with it the glitz and glamour of a broadway musical. Aside from the most energetic collection of people, the quality of sound system was not limited by the waves of water rattling the waters. Sets by Maxxi Soundsystem and Jukes of Hazard suited the particularly chilled boat atmosphere with the dynamic beauty of the setting and the energy of the crowd leaving no-one unsatisfied.

Providing support to the strong Leeds-contingent, we decided to go on the Flux boat party on the final Tuesday; the combination of Horse Meat Disco and familiar Flux DJs were too much to resist. We were transported from the Beaverworks basement and found ourselves amongst utter madness as the Flux DJs funky-house bangers led to an apt final day of a ridiculous festival.

The organisers (the Love and Garden family teams), clearly thought about each intricacy in organisation, and it showed in every single minor detail. Aside from the excellence in set-up, Love International also seemed to attract one of the friendliest crowds I have ever been apart of, down in no small part to the legacy of its predecessor. Ravers came from all corners of Europe and despite the somewhat questionable dynamics in the political sphere amongst some nations (Fuck Brexit), there was no division when it came to the get down. Big up and the rest of the team for yet another successful venture. They’ve got the recipe for the optimal festival experience on point; get your ticket for next year now from the team over at Skiddle. If, like many (guilty), you can’t wait that long, Love International have also teamed up with the guys over at WHP to throw a night in Manchester on 2nd December 2017. Get your tickets here.

Zeb Hussain