This year, the Adriatic coast of Croatia is flooded with quality festivals from world known brands. Hyte is one of them. The creator of parties in New York, Ibiza, Amsterdam and others, has decided to move to Croatia’s coastal city Zadar, for the first time this year.

The festival started on 22th Friday and ended with Sundays early hours. The lineup was really good, a perfect combination of home-based artist and internationally approved big names. Our team was invited to check it out, so that’s exactly what we did. As a result we present this feature of Friday’s review. Early on a Friday morning, our team was packed and ready to go. For a coffee, of course. And when we got our caffeine dose, then we were ready for sure. So the road trip began. Due to the fact that the tourist exchange is going down on Saturdays, our highway was clear and we made it on time. For those who don’t know or have never been to Croatian medieval city of Zadar, it really is special.

Its architecture can’t hide the fact that it was once a strong fortress and its closeness to the sea makes it very appealing to one’s eye. From its port sail many ferries to nearby islands, so it’s occupied with tourists from all sights. The Kolovare beach, where the Hyte festival took place, is located near the center, therefore it’s easy to find it and even to park a car there. We left our little tinplate ride with the shitty working air conditioning to rest, put on a swimsuit, grabbed some towels, took the camera and went to the beach.

When one is in a little bit of a rush in a city of unknown, there is always a thought in your mind that says “you won’t find this place”. In our era the google maps do the coordinate stuff for you, so when with no LTE or 3G, you feel kind of lost. But the parking lot was a minute away from the venue, meaning that our worries were a disclaimer null. Got our press tickets within minutes and the party had began.

Sunset vibes at Hyte festival

The Zara beach club venue is a nice little club with a big terrace on the sea, full of sun and ideal for the after party moods. The main stage was construct outside, with a prompt access to the sea and a dance floor under the shadowy Pinuses. Darko Kostura was playing deep ambient tech house when we arrived, and so the place gave away this calm and intimate energy. “Hipster-ish” minimal lanterns were hanging between the trees, there were big flowers on the walls and the stage was dressed in splinter with colorful bouquets.

We’ve bought some beer and went for a swim in the clear waters of Adriatic sea. With day revealing itself, the music evolved with it. Our perfect lineup would be to put Homeboy and maybe Francisco Allendes before Marina Karamarko, to give the first his deserved time with pure, playful and danceable house music, forwarded to Francisco’s groovy tech house, that’s nicely taking you to a dance journey, and then give Marina an ambitious chance of a B2B with mister Loco Dice, as were her wishes in the 101 interview we did last month.

But Marina played after Darko Kostura, and we were also very impressed. We’ve listened to her a couple of times already, but this set at Hyte festival was one of our favorite. Even though she is made for late hours and knows her way around this “dark techno”, as we like to call it, the ambient that she made with her music, put us out of words and just ears.

Marina Karamarko playing at Hyte festival

What we liked about the organization was the hospitality and the fact, that you could leave the festival area and went for a walk, swim or whatever you set your mind to do. So when we returned form the car, Homeboy was already taking over the place with his true house selection. Groovy dance music took over the feelings and people started moving more and more.

The time was around 7PM and the crowd was getting bigger. We waited for the sun to sunk into the blue horizon and went to put ourselves into the nightgowns, that included our Solvd shirts, a pair of jeans and “techno” sneakers. Equipped and polished (thanks to the beach showers and first aid make-up supplies stashed in our little machine ride), we were ready for battle. We went back inside, where Francisco Allendes was already playing. His tech house with this dirty beats drove everyone in the mood, so we popped right in the middle of the dance floor.

Homeboy playing at Hyte festival

His steps were followed by Loco Dice, who brought some mean ass techno to life that evening. Dark and heavy danceable beats took over the floor and people were enjoying the night. As we did our job perfectly that day, the hunger started to kick in and was calling for a boost of energy, so we went for a walk to the city to find some food. While not sure going into the right direction, we fell in love with Zadar.

After a 10 minute walk, we entered the center through the main gates from the medieval era. The city inside was alive. People everywhere, full cafe's and restaurants, music coming from every corner. We’ve found our pizza place, took our food and went for a walk at the port. While parents occupied the bars, the young ones sat in circles along the rocky beach. We were astonished by Zadar’s nightlife and architecture, but it was time to go back to work.

When we came back, the party already moved inside the Zara beach club, where DeWalta and Mariano Mateljan were playing, while Shaun Reeves and Steve Bug were smashing Podroom club. The Zara beach club was transformed into a Café Mambo kind of place, with the open terrace and the DJ booth at a clear sight. After hours were great, the music was solid and proper to dance. We had a great time.

The Zara beach club from outside

Our bed for the night was the beach. Fresh sea air was payed with annoying mosquitos, snoring and happy drunk people that don’t know what means to talk with a normal voice. But it was all worth it, when a friendly hedgehog came to hang with us in the morning. And that early morning swim? Nothing more refreshing. Unfortunately due to the personal reasons we had to shorten our trip so after the sun gave us some energy, and the caffeine brought our brains back to life, it was time to go home.

We left Zadar with good music in our ears and a memory of a great, intimate venue, that is exactly what we hope to experience at a festival. We wish that Hyte will come back next year bigger, better and with a booth of their own merchandise.

By Severin, edited on 29 May 2018