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Croatia's new Unknown festival 'unique' says co-founder

By Ed Ram
Newsbeat reporter in Croatia


A brand new festival will be opening its gates to thousands of partygoers on the northwest coast of Croatia on Monday.

Unknown is the latest in a wave of British organised music festivals to spring up on the country's Mediterranean coast.

Over the past decade the likes of Hideout, Outlook and Garden Festival have taken place in the country.

Tom Baker, co-founder of Unknown, says "variation" will make it standout.

"The line-up mixes live acts like Django Django, The Horrors and East India Youth that might not go to another Croatian festival to play", Tom explained.

"The other festivals do have live elements but they are more about the dance.

"You might see a Disclosure or Jessie Ware play live but you probably wouldn't see bands like Theme Park, Factory Floor or more Indy type artists."

image captionTom Baker is also the co-founder of the London festival Field Day

Tom told Newsbeat that a trio of founders has helped Unknown festival come together.

"It's about collaboration," he said.

"Three like-minded festivals, Hideout, Warehouse Project, and Field Day, have each brought their expertise.

"Manchester's dance orientated Warehouse Project helped with securing world class DJs; and London's Field Day influenced its "eclectic line-up".

image captionJessie Ware is due to perform on Wednesday

The organisers of Hideout, the Croatian festival that sold out in just ten weeks this year, were also a key in getting this festival launched.

Tom added: "Hideout has run successfully in Croatia already so they know the audience, tap into the local market and involve the local people.

"There's discounted day tickets for residents of Rovinj, the coastal town where Unknown takes place.

"It's important for Unknown to welcome locals so they feel included," he added.

image copyrightunknown
image captionThe festival will be held at Rovinj on the Mediterranean coast

When challenged on the appetite for more British organised festivals outside the UK, Tom insisted that while the market may be getting "close to saturation", there is still room for innovation.

"Festivals succeed if they stay true to their original ethos," he replied.

"Unknown will always be about variation and this year we've treaded softly but over time we will bring the variety and eclecticism that Field Day offers.

"The future is exciting: the strength of the partners at Unknown will grow… I can see unknown developing into a week-long event."

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