5 Days in Paradise: Sonus 2019

Written by Zack Kostaras
Photos by Ruben Schmitz (cover photo), Felix Hohagen, Antonio Hant Corallo

The creators of Time Warp sure know how to throw a good party, which typically take place across massive warehouse complexes around the world and bringing only the best artists in house and techno. Enter Sonus, having just concluded it’s seventh edition, which takes Time Warp’s star-studded lineup for a 5-day fiesta along the beautiful Zrce beach in Novalja, Croatia.

While the journey can be lengthy for international travelers like myself coming from North America, it is quite rewarding. Sonus takes place at Zrce beach, which is a secluded beach front area located in Novalja, Croatia, along the Adriatic sea tucked in the north west corner of the country. At Zrce beach, the festival takes place at four expansive outdoor nightclubs – Aquarius, Calypso, Papaya and Noa. In addition, the boardwalk is hopping with beach bars, clubs, and festival grade stages for those attending and not attending the festival. In case that wasn’t enough, Sonus hosted boat parties every day and had pre-parties in Novalja ahead of the festival. 

Sonus went from sunset to sunrise each day, giving music buffs plenty of time to enjoy the tunes. The beauty of the festival was the extended set times given to each DJ, as everyone had a minimum two hour set time. Some acts, including Apollonia, Chris Liebing, and Pan Pot, even had 5-hour “all day long” sets in addition to the normal three hour sets they played at night. Italian superstar Joseph Capriati even had a beautiful five hour sunrise set Tuesday morning at Kalyspso after he performed his 3 hour set at Aquarius.

And those were not the only highlights of the festival. Night one started with a massive Afterlife take over, in running order with Adriatique, Stephan Bodzin, and the label bosses themselves Tale of Us closing out a three-hour set at Aquarius. At the same time, house music heavy weights Jamie Jones & The Martinez Brothers played a five hour back-to-back set at Papaya right next door. Tuesday night saw a take over from the London-based festival Junction 2 with impeccable sets from Rodhad & Maceo Plex, while Wednesday night the Detroit-based Movement festival hosted the techno legend and Belleville Three-member, Derrick May. The festival rounded out with a banging finale from none other than the home turf’s beloved Solomun, who played a groovy five hour set until the early morning. It was the proper ending to wrap up an exhilarating, yet long week of partying and dancing along the beach. 

When people think of the beach, their minds go to ease. When people listen to music, their minds go to ease. When you put the two together, you get a euphoric feeling that sounds like “can life get any better than this right now?” After attending five days at Sonus, there is simply no better substitute for that phrase. 

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