Unknown 2014 – A Reflection

Art & Culture

Set in the North-West corner of Croatia, Unknown Festival had a lot on offer for its second outing. With an exciting and varied line-up expectations were running high for a five day long party on the Istria coast. It was the music that was the main draw but the setting helped to make it feel pretty special. The stunning coast line and Italianate town of Rovinj provided the perfect backdrop and a much needed respite from the bright lights and revelry of the festival.

Arriving after a delayed flight we were bundled onto a transfer bus taking us from the capital, Zagreb, to our apartment located near the festival site. Whilst the journey felt slightly like a weird package holiday for school leavers with the raucous boys on the back of the bus playing Joy Orbison on their portable speakers and downing Croatian lager, we couldn't fault the enthusiasm of those on board, and it was clear everyone was there to make the most of it. Bleary eyed after twelve hours of traveling we stumbled through the darkness to find our beds for the week. Tomorrow was kick off.

Tuesday saw the party off to a big start with soul and disco connoisseurs Chic & Nile Rogers on the main stage. As expected they delivered a brilliant performance. Madonna's 'Like a Virgin', Diana Ross' 'I'm coming out' and Duran Duran's 'Notorious' made for an all-round popular slot. The Forest stage was graced with the likes of Erol Alkan, Daniel Avery, DJ Harvey and Optimo. For us, the Forest stage, despite the torrential down pour half way through DJ Harvey, was at its best on Tuesday. The atmosphere was palpitating and the music was exactly what people were down for. Deep house and electro from Erol Alkan followed by Daniel Avery’s intelligent techno driven set. DJ Harvey was certainly one of the highlights for us, his disco inspired set with moments of hard edged, powerful techno didn’t fail to impress. While the rain belted down during DJ Harvey and Optimo the crowd made no sign of leaving, if anything the mud spattered limbs of those in the crowd seemed to become more energetic the harder it rained. 

Wednesday offered up some more great acts with London Grammar, Jamie xx, Joy Orbison and George Fitzgerald. The Forest stage was where everyone seemed to gravitate to but we managed to tear ourselves away and finally located the other stages at this point. Mad Ferret and Atlantis had some top acts playing, Hunee being one on Thursday. Having seen Hunee play before we knew not to miss him and we were glad we didn’t; his soulful vibes and playful beats were just what we wanted to bring us into the final day of the festival. As well as this, Moderat, Dixon, Mano Le Tough and many more fired up the crowd on the penultimate day.

Freya & Matilda Miles