Written by Klemen Kopina and Rebecca Hollman
Photos by Rebecca Hollman
Ultra has been throwing some of the biggest events in dance music for more than a decade now – starting with the iconic location in Miami and now spreading to around the globe. Besides locations in Japan, Brazil, Mexico, and more, Ultra hosts an epic event in Croatia for Ultra Europe. Ultra Europe draws EDM fans from around the world, from over 80 different countries, to party and enjoy their favorite artists for an incredible summer weekend. This year’s Ultra Europe was held in Split, Croatia from July 12th to 17th, and it was the can’t-miss festival of the summer. Here’s why Ultra Europe was amazing and why you should go next year.
Ultra 2019 In Review
Escape to Paradise
Ultra has always been one of Europe’s buzziest, most talked about music festivals, and this year was no exception. Ultra fans have been eagerly waiting in anticipation for the weekend, with its list of star headliners as well as a much bigger location than in years past. The huge new venue is a step up for Ultra and has brought more people into the Ultra party family. Now held in Mladezi Park, the festival is less than a kilometre from its previous location, but is able to support many more people for an incredible party atmosphere. Not only were there thousands of fans in the audience, but there were also thousands more in the Ultra community livestreaming the show around the world.
A Lineup to Remember
Fans have been buzzing about this year’s lineup for months, with a huge variety of amazing music on both the main stages and side stages. Swedish House Mafia was a big headliner this year, returning to Ultra after some time away, and did not disappoint. Unfortunately, Steve Aoki had to pull out of the show due to personal reasons, which was a disappointment for many fans. However, there were still so many excellent acts to remember. Afrojack played an incredible freestyle set, and Armin Van Buuren stood out as a crowd favorite. Some other notable headliners included DJ Snake, Alesso, David Guetta, Above & Beyond and the Chainsmokers. The Resistance tent had a techno lineup the likes of which we have never seen – with artists like Dubfire, Joseph Capriati, Richie Hawtin, Jamie Jones, Marco Carola, Maceo Plex, Adam Beyer, and of course Carl Cox. Carl Cox, who inspired the idea of Resistance, closed out the Resistance stage on Sunday with the heaviest 3 hour techno set I have ever heard. Swedish House Mafia closed out the main stage on Sunday with an elaborate fireworks display.
The atmosphere at Ultra is always amazing, and with the expanded venue this year, they were able to do more with production to keep the crowd engaged. Both the main stage and Resistance had excellent lighting and special effects, which added to the atmosphere and kept the crowd dancing. A huge range of food options kept people fueled all day long including a whole vegetarian menu featuring Beyond Meat burgers and hot dogs, and there were plenty of on-site bars for grabbing a refreshing drink as well. Ultra is really an amazing place where you can totally let loose, make friends, and most importantly enjoy the music.
One of the things that makes Ultra Europe so special is the location. It is held in Split, Croatia, an incredible beach town known for scenery and warm weather. The comfortable temps meant people were partying outside all day and night, and it’s hard to beat dancing with an island sunset behind you. During the day, festival-goers enjoyed time on the beach and checking out the area’s many seaside restaurants and bars. Game of Thrones fans also had plenty to nerd out about when they weren’t at the parties – much of the show was shot in Croatia, and there are many tours that will take you to key shooting locations. There were also plenty of exclusive Ultra events that took advantage of the area’s natural beauty. Ultra Beach and the Regatta Party are both dance parties held on nearby islands, and festival-goers enjoyed glamorous yacht parties as well.
In the past, Ultra Europe has sometimes been overshadowed by its larger cousin, Ultra Miami. However, this year Europe really stepped it up to provide a bigger and better party for visitors. Ultra 2020 tickets are already on sale, and we can expect to see even more amazing sets and wild parties there next year.
Why You Should Go To ULTRA Europe Next Year
The lineup for Ultra is always next level, no matter the event. You can expect a solid lineup packed with house, trance and techno. The Resistance stage will be back in full force in 2020 so don’t sleep on Ultra if you are an avid techno fan. The owner of Ultra happens to just love techno and the idea of Resistance, and so has created one of the best techno curated stages on the planet. Resistance is truly the mecca for techno.
Ultra is known for their incredible parties, and next year is going to be no exception. In addition to the Ultra Mainstage, you should also check out the Resistance Croatia shows. Resistance Split will be the opening party, and it will be held at the Hemingway, a club with beautiful ocean views. Resistance Hvar will be held in the nearby town of Hvar, which is located on one of Croatia’s many islands and is accessible by ferry. The closing party, Resistance Vis, will be held another small island in a converted historic fort.
There are a few other key parties you should be sure to check out during the Ultra Europe festivities. The first is Ultra Beach, an outdoor dance party that will also be held on the island of Hvar. The Regatta Party is another incredible beach experience held on the island of Brac. With such incredible scenery and a high energy party vibe, you’ll make plenty of memories that you won’t soon forget. If you want even more party options, be sure to book one of the boat party packages so you can dance out on the water.
Ultra Europe is going to be held in Split, Croatia. This location is worthy of a visit all on its own, but having the festival here makes it even more exciting. Split is located right on the water, so during the day, you can relax and party with your friends in the sun. With such a large influx of people in town for Ultra, there are always plenty of informal beach and boat parties where you can soak up the sun and make new friends. There’s also plenty of excellent restaurants and bars in town to check out before the main event at night. This destination also holds a lot of allure for Game of Thrones fans – many episodes of the show were shot in nearby Dubrovnik. If you’re a GoT enthusiast, be sure to check out one of the local tours where you can see the filming locations.
Split, Croatia and the surrounding islands are worth the trip all on their own. Make sure to factor in some time to just enjoy the beauty of this country and visit at least a couple of the islands. Some noteable activities to do in Split are walking through Marjan Forest Park, visiting Klis Fortress, exploring Pjarca and Persistil Squares, visiting Diocletian’s Palace, climbing the Saint Dominus Bell Tower and just lounging on the beach – be it Bene, Kasjuni, Bačvice, or Žnjan. Some day trips from Split could include visiting the town of Trogir, going to the waterfalls of Krka National Park, visiting Brač Island to lay on Zlatni Rat Beach, explore Bol and climb Vidova Gora, visiting Vis Island to explore the green and blue caves, visiting Šolta Island to walk around the quaint towns of Nečujam, Maslinica, Rogač and Stomorska, and visiting Hvar Island to stay in Hvar Town, visit Stari Grad, Jesla, Zavala, and Vrboska, and sail to the Pakleni Islands.