SONUS FESTIVAL REVIEW

And so it has finished. The festival with the best line up in Croatia had its ups and downs but the overall experience was truly amazing. It would have been easier without the thunderstorms, but I still managed to hear a lot of great sets and to dance my butt off. The location is definitely not my favorite for an underground electronic festival – but the great music totally overcame all the other imperfections.

Regarding the clubs at Sonus festival: Kalypso was my favorite, as it’s the only one that doesn’t give you the sensation of a massive festival which I really dislike. It’s more intimate, it feels more comfortable and you feel closer to the DJ. Aquarius is the one where most of the gigs I wanted to see took place, however, this club gives you that mass fest sensation I prefer to avoid. I have never been a fan of Papaya either – for the exact same reason, but I was lucky enough it was pouring rain the day Seth Troxler was preforming there. So rather than playing on that massive stage he played by the bar, under a parasol with only a couple of dozen of people surrounding him which created the perfect Boiler Room type atmosphere!

 

Regarding the sets I heard at Sonus festival:

Felver – in the past few months, since I got back to Croatia – I have seen him preform so many times that I feel as if I’ve been following his career for ages. At Sonus Felver played a very nice set where he stayed true to his own sound and made me discover some great new tracks. I liked the progressiveness of the set and it’s always a pleasure to support his work.

Âme (Frank Wiedemann) (live) – from the first second to the last Frank’s set was simply incredible. Intense but not violent, emotional but not sleazy, just perfect! Not only was the track selection great, not only was the story the set was telling us lovely – but his German way of DJing was the best I have ever witnessed. Frankly my Frank your set was the best one I have heard on Sonus festival, maybe even the best one I have ever heard.

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Dixon – the intro he played was really too long for me, but what I liked about his set is that he stayed true to himself and his style was completely recognizable. What I personally appreciate the most in a DJ is that he has his own style and that he tells you a story with his set. A story with a beginning, a plot and an ending. A story with which you feel different emotions. A story which takes you on a musical journey. Dixon’s track selection was also quite good. In addition to his overall good set – what I like about him is how he gives a lot of attention to his appearance (oxford shoes, a lovely shirt and a nice hair style are always a must).

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&ME b2b Adam Port – five hours of pure amazingness. Dancing in the pool, under the sun… can it get any better? Not only do I really like and respect the work of both DJs – but seeing them synchronized as one was pretty damn cool. The music was awesome – both the track selection and their DJ skills + the way they moved on stage as if they were one. Completely lovable – great job guys!

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Guy Gerber – I was super excited about hearing Guy Gerber’s set. He is one of the very few DJs with a progressive sound that I really like. However, I was very disappointed with his performance. The track selection wasn’t bad at all, but his DJ skills were. Maybe it was a bad night for him or something… but being a DJ is really not about choosing some tracks and pressing play and stop. His set had no story, he didn’t mix the tracks well… but I’m still willing to give him another shot.

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Seth Troxler – even though I was skeptic about his performance, cause different people told me they were not happy with what they heard – he completely blew my mind. Taking the second place on my chart, right after Frank Wiedemann – Seth played an amazing set! It was raining that afternoon and the party was moved from the main stage to the bar, where not more than 50 people danced around Seth as if it was a Boiler Room. So the atmosphere was great, he was fine with people filming him and taking pictures, and the music he played was awesome. What I loved is the fact that his style was so recognizable – the entire set had Seth Troxler written all over it, which is what I highly respect. As mentioned earlier telling a story with music is also what I appreciate most – and Seth took us on a journey across the world! Using a lot of tribal sounds he crossed each continent which is not only smart, but really difficult. Maybe I wouldn’t choose the exact same tracks – but each track was there for a reason and each track was crucial for this journey around the world. Bravo Seth!

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Tale of Us – definitely one of the performances I was most interested in. I really like and respect their work, however, I was not satisfied. The tempo of the set was fast and fierce – which was good, but I found the set non imaginative enough, not creative enough and a bit raw. As if it had a very good frame but the content inside the frame was not fully developed. I couldn’t comprehend the story behind the music – it seemed as if they just selected certain similarly sharp tracks – which I liked, but I did not understand what these poets wanted to say. Since I usually love their sets, I’m willing to give them another shot as well tough.

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Regarding the crowd at Sonus festival: tens of thousands of people from all over the world flew to Croatia for the festival. I think there was only about 5 Croatians 😉 – and the rest were foreigners. Since it’s such a mass fest and as I mentioned in the beginning Zrce beach is really not my preferred location for a festival of that kind – there was some annoying people who came to get wasted rather than to enjoy the music. However, I did meet lovely people from all over the world that came to Sonus because of the music and they were not making a mess, they were respecting everyone and spreading the good vibes.

The crowd’s reaction to the sets: regarding the sets I did see and hear I can say that everyone adored Wiedemann’s set! Dixon and Tale of Us were a huge hit as well – even though in my humble opinion Tale of Us wasn’t that amazing. The few dozens of people that listened to Seth Troxler in Papaya were the luckiest people ever – because you rarely find that kind of a Boiler Room intimate atmosphere on such a huge festival. &ME and Adam Port did not have such a huge audience but it was definitely the best one – the one that was already familiar with their work and the one that showed up to support them and to enjoy their music. Guy Gerber had a huge audience but I’m pretty sure that people were not too satisfied with his performance.

In conclusion, even though I don’t think the location of the festival is great, musically – Sonus is the best festival in Croatia. The line up is simply amazing each year and I’ll make sure to attend it the following year as well. Come and join me 😉 !

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