The Garden Festival Croatia 2014 – One Step Beyond


The Garden Festival Croatia 2014 – One Step Beyond

As The Garden continues to bloom in Croatia, the team are incredibly happy to announce a very special union as long-term friend and true Ibiza icon, Mark Broadbent, is now working together with Nick, Eddie, Gail and Charlotte to help shape Barbarella’s continued development. This will see the stunning open air club running with a series of new events this summer, as well as all parties during The Garden Festival itself, and throughout Electric Elephant, Soundwave, Suncebeat and Stop Making Sense too.

After many years spent behind one of the world’s most revered club nights, We Love… Space, Mark is now working closely with the Croatia guys as they evolve further. It was several years ago when they first met in Ibiza, and realised they shared a vision of music, clubs and festivals, and soon became good friends. Here Mark and Eddie talk about how they came together, the history of Barbarella’s, and what they have got planned this summer.

Mark Broadbent: “I have wanted more involvement with the guys since first meeting them what now seems a lifetime ago although I’m sure it’s not actually that long. You know the chemistry is right when it feels like this, seems we have been friends forever. A shared vision about how dance music should be formatted for consumption – i.e. putting on raves for the faithful – brought us together and now that I have more time on my hands since leaving We Love… I have the chance to fully get to know the wonderful team in Croatia. 

“The guys asked me to bring a little of my own colour to the table and to be honest this is the one thing I wanted to hear. I have just left what for some would have been the dream job of programing one of the best parties in the world due to a lack of enthusiasm in the way things are heading in Ibiza and how that party will now need to be programed to achieve the kind of numbers we had grown to expect. I wasn’t about to jump on board some other soulless ship of EDM pirates in a hurry. For Nick, Eddie and the team “the party” is first and foremost, to them, this simply means great music programed for a music loving crowd. Strangely, and I’m afraid sadly, these are qualities that are now getting harder to find within our scene.

“I am very happy with the guys we have involved who are very representative of my personal “dance” music taste. It’s roots music, Detroit techno and acid house. Our roots anyway. The fact that they are all friends of the family also means that we can expect some incredible shows this summer. Roll on August.”

Eddie O’Callaghan & Nick Colgan: “Back in 2005 when we stumbled across the first Garden Festival site in Petrcane, we were astonished to find that it came with its own circular seventies nightclub. The fact that it had long fallen into disrepair provided us with the magnificent opportunity to give her a full seventies disco restoration and give the sun kissed festival revellers a place to party all night. Named in tribute to a legendary Birmingham nightclub from the punk and reggae heyday where we cut our musical teeth, we were lucky enough to have the privilege to continue that tradition and showcase so many of underground dance music’s most revered performers. Night after night for six years the likes of Kenny Dope, Larry Heard, Kerri Chandler and Andy Weatherall came to rock our club in this this tiny fishing village in Croatia. Yes it was a bit of a sweatbox, but it was OUR sweatbox and we all loved it, and when the basslines kicked, everybody jumped up on every available surface to dance. Then just when we could hardly believe it could get much better – we got kicked out!”

“So on to November 2011, and after a two month frantic search up and down the coast  lady luck smiled on us once again and we not only found a perfect new site for the festivals in The Garden Tisno, but we also found a replacement for Barbarella’s Discotheque. It was just a few miles away from the main site, fully outdoors and far enough from any villages that we gradually realised that we could party in the open air until dawn. Hallelujah! To finally see 1500 people dancing under the trees and the stars until well past sunrise was a dream come true for all of us. Many of the older crew were comparing it to the glory days of Amnesia in the 80s. We knew that the old club was going to be a hard act to follow, but so far in the last two seasons the feedback has been brilliant.

“At the moment we only open the club during the six week festival season, but with an ever growing Croatian dance music scene and the country’s  burgeoning reputation as an international magnet for music lovers, we know it’s time to take the next step and programme Barbarella’s throughout the summer months. We have teamed up with some of the finest DJs and promoters from Croatia to bring together the vibrant local underground scene and combine them with worldwide artists for whom we all share a massive mutual admiration.”

“Some years back we were invited over to Ibiza by a mutual friend to meet Mark and Sarah Broadbent who were at the time running the legendary We Love… nights at Space. It’s a rare treat when people that we have long respected and admired turn out to be fellow soul mates and we knew instantly that we would like to take any opportunity to work together in the future. They then came over to visit us in Croatia and were struck by the freshness and potential of the fast growing scene here. Since then Mark has brought over his brilliant residents and crew to host We Love… boat parties at The Garden Festival and we all had a blast. Now that Mark has left We Love, we thought it would be a perfect time to approach him to help put together a programme for Barbarella’s which would reflect all our musical loves and influences, and include some of Croatia’s most influential artists into the bargain. It’s been a real joy to bounce around ideas together and we feel we have come up with line ups that pays homage to our collective musical roots while still looking to push towards the future.”