Hideout Festival Interview – The Shape of Festivals to Come

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Hideout Festival

Hideout stage

There are parties, there are festivals and then there’s Hideout. If you’re a lover of all things booming, breaking and bass-ing then you’ll go absolutely bananas for this Croatian tour de force that summons together heroes from the four corners of the Dance world.

2015 saw the event celebrate its fifth birthday, firmly establishing it as a solid brand amongst the burgeoning number of Adriatic parties. Set off the mainland on the beautiful island of Pag, you’ll find all kinds of boat trips, secret hideaways and beach parties on the agenda. We decided we wanted to know more about the future of this much feted festival, so we took some time out to catch up with festival director William Gregory ahead of their big line up announcement coming next week.

Firstly we’d like to congratulate you on your fifth birthday last year. Tell us what stops you pulled out and what clever tricks you laid on for your audience to help celebrate this anniversary occasion?

Thank you – to be honest we didn’t do any tricks, we did what we do best which is book a versatile line up that we believe in and host it at one of the most beautiful locations in Croatia, if not Europe. 

Over the years your party has obviously grown in strength and stature, becoming one of the success stories of the Croatian festival movement. What have been the real stand-out moments of the last five years that have made you proud of the event?

Believing in the talent and the location, watching the venues grow and prosper as well as the island itself. In terms of acts, booking Rudimental and them being Number One that weekend they played, similarly seeing acts grow like Route 94 and the likes of Jamie Jones through the course of their careers has been really satisfying to us as a brand, and as promoters.

The Croatian festival scene is becoming increasingly crowded with new names jumping on the bandwagon every year. How has Hideout evolved since its inception to stay ahead of the curve, keeping your offering fresh?

The venues have evolved and developed with us and we have always looked to book the freshest music we can, along with the staple diet of House, Techno and Bass music. We have also made a key point of making it an experience and something memorable for people, as they may have many festivals or events in their calendar. 

And with increasing competition within the entire global festival industry with new events popping up all over Europe, how do you plan to keep your audience coming back for more over the next five years? 

Arghhh now that would be telling! – We are not reinventing the wheel, well not that we can tell you… Shhhh! We can only keep doing what we do, we can’t affect what others do and nor would we jump ship or concept because others do. We can only do what we do and keep delivering a product that we trust and believe in.

When the Croatian festival movement first found its feet back in the middle of the last decade, people hailed it as “the new Ibiza”. Do you think that this label is still appropriate and how long can the Croatian scene continue before becoming another slick, corporately labelled product? 

Croatia has its own ways and customs, so labelling it “the new Ibiza” is small-minded and not true. It is still rustic and it’s a vast country with lots of islands. Ibiza is only one small and compact island, yes they have sun, music, sea and sand, but other than that, they are very different and that is why Croatia has a foot hold because it isn’t Ibiza, and isn’t trying to be for that matter. That’s my opinion of course.

Have you ever considered becoming a ground-breaker in a new territory? If Hideout decided to move off the Isle of Pag, where do you think you would relocate to and why do you consider this place as a viable stage for your party?

Yeah, I mean we already have with Lost & Found Festival in Malta. To be honest who knows? We would go to the moon if it were possible. We haven’t been there before and floating around listening to great music certainly would capture people’s minds and opinions! As for anything on planet earth, all I can say is watch this space.

Everyone in the festival scene talks about the Old Skool vibe; that feeling of togetherness and freedom that sits on top of the music, production and location. As a seasoned hand in the game, what’s your secret to capturing this elusive feeling? 

All we can do is give the crowd the environment to capture and create the vibe but it’s them and the DJ that have to do that. We can only put them in that place and maybe help induce this with the production and scenery, the rest is down to them.

The Dance scene always follows fashions and the current vogue seems to be for the Deep and Tech House sound. How do you ensure that you manage to educate your crowd with a wider spectrum of sound? 

We believe in new music, we always have and we book it along with the staple diet as I mentioned before. We are forward thinking and the scene provides us with these sounds, the customer can embrace it or stick with what they have come to know. That’s the thing I personally love, you can come to Hideout and see someone like Villalobos one night, then Joy Orbison and DJ Hype the next. There is a freedom to pick and choose, or to stick to one sound.

Give us some inside information on the 2016 party. What stunts are you going to pull to impress your guests and what additions to the line-up do you have up your sleeve? 

We have loads of new stuff, honestly I can’t give too much away but there might be one or two new places to party and a few surprises. And as for the line-up… you will just have to wait until Tuesday 3rd November, but I think it is up there with the most forward thinking and diverse line ups we’ve had since we started.

Finally do you have any words to the dedicated fans of the Hideout Festival who have made the parties into some of the best events seen on the Adriatic coast? 

Truly, thank you! All we can do is be the dreamers- it’s you, the people that come and join us that make those dreams a reality. This is what drives us and makes Hideout something really special. Seeing you all let go and embrace the journey behind the experience takes you over the week is why we all do this. Many thanks.

Line-up and pre-sale tickets for the Hideout Festival are coming on Tuesday 3rd November with general tickets on sale on Wednesday 4th November. Don’t miss out… Get your festival tickets here.

Watch the 2015 highlights video below: