After a week of recovery, which we really needed after Defqon 2017, we had to pack our bags to travel to the sunoverloaded Hard Island, in Croatia, Novalja. It’s a gathering of dedicated friends from all over the world. This year we did visit Hard Island for the second time, with a different Hardstylemag formation, let’see what we’ve explored during this 2017 edition.
First of all I would like to say big thanks to Event Travel. For all of the Dutch and Belgium travellers they arranged, maybe not the most luxery option, but money wise a very cheap solution to drive your ass over to Hard Island. For €180,- you have busseats towards Hard Island, and back home. The voyage towards Hard Island took about 27 hours, because of many traffic jams.Still you meet new people during the busride. Do you want to travel to Hard Island, and the plane is to expensive? Well, Event Travel is your solution!
We did book a villa with a large group of friends, including Super VIP. This is a perfect package, you can dance at Super VIP spots, which are not that crowded, have free taxi shuttles during the evening (so not during the mid day events), free Hard Island towels, and champagne every day! Although the Villa did look more like an luxery appartment to our standards, we recommend all of you to buy at least the upgraded appartments.
Hard Island is taking place during 5 days, 3 of them are lined up with the best Hardstyle and Hardcore DJ’s we know. The first day is a warm-up, and the final day a cool-down party with local DJ’s and residents.
During the warm-up we did visit a club inside Novalja. It was totally packed because everybody was in the mood to party. Nobody actually did care who was playing, everything was just perfect. One thing we do regret though is the price of drinks in the clubs. In Croatia you pay with Kuna, and 1 beer was 50 Kuna. 7 Kuna is 1€, so jeah. 50 Kuna for a ‘cheap’ country like Croatia, is pretty expensive.
The same goes for all the other clubs used for Hard Island. Long drinks and beers where pretty expensive, but for a 1 liter jumbo cocktail you only had to pay about €20,-. Compared to 7/8€ for a beer, buying these jumbo cocktails seems to be the best option. Strange things can happen in Croatia. Don’t get yourself fooled! On midnights we had to pay 30 Kuna for the same beer of 50 Kuna during the middays! They dont seem to use the same price every time. That is pretty annoying. Sometimes we did even cancel ordering the drinks because they simply asked way to much for a drink.
That being said. Let’s have a look at official Day 1. Every day you can party at different locations. During midday you can party at Kalypso (the largest club near the Zrce Beach) and you can visit a Boat party, which bring additional costs of 20-30€ p/party.
During the evening you can party in Kalypso or Euphoria, both located near the same beach. Between these two clubs you can simply hop, it’s just a 1-3 minute walk. Depending how drunk you are, haha.
During day 1 we did start with partying at the Kalypso stage during mid day. It was a great diversity of DJ’s that were playing over there. Keep it Hard, DHD & ECHD, Hard Dance UK, Musical Madness Hosting and Masif. Not the biggest names, but since it was fully packed it was fun! The party did start at 15:00 and did come to an end at 20:00. From 22:00-06:00 it was time for the next party already so we did decide to eat some food in a nearby restaurant and go straight to partying once again. The night parties are really insane. You party from sundawn till sunrise and the envoriment is amazing. There are so many cultures at Hard Island it feels like a small Defqon 1 gathering. Of course the ones that hate Hee-Hooing have to close there ears for a few times, or don’t visit a UK Hardstyle set with many reversed bass. But what we want to say is that for everyone there is something, right ;). During the night party we did visit sets from BMBSQD (one of the contest winners), Code Black b2b Da Tweekaz, Noisecontrollers, Radical Redemption, Sub Sonik Live, The Melodyst, Angerfist and Art of Fighters. Seems like a nice list!
The second day the pool party during mid day was hosted by Intents Festival. The whole Kalypso club was transformed into Intents Festival. Flags and banners all around and upon arrival you received a Intents 2017 wristband and some small merchandise like armbands and a small flag.The Intents hosting did bring a great atmosphere and people went nuts inside the small pool of Kalypso club. During the night the Kalypso club was hosted by Dirty Workz and the Euphoria club by Brutale. A diverse line-up. For the Hardcore lovers it was not that hard to choose this time! The party at Euphoria stops at 4:00 so you can even walk back to Kalypso and enjoy the final 1:30 hours with Dj Mad Dog, and that’s what we did. Today you could also visit two boats, one RAW boat, and one Hardcore boat called The Ark of Angerfist.
On day three you were able to visit again two boat parties, and a pool party. We did decide to take some rest during the mid day and chill at the villa. Otherwise you could have enjoyed the beats of Atmozfears, Sickdellz and Wicked Minds for instance. During the night parties there was a Secret Line-up at Kalypso, which was revealed just before the party. It would have been a better surprise if they didn’t say anything at all! But we don’t regret, cause in the end it was a nice line-up with Public Enemies, Bioweapon LIVE and DD vs TT, which was Da Tweekaz vs Destructive Tendencies. DD vs TT brought a UK hardcore set which makes sense when you have Tweeka Core and Joey Riot (which is the UK Hardcore act of one of the DT members).
At the closing party Imperatorz had the honor to open the Euphoria closing. As one of the few extremely RAW based DJ’s this was a nice way to open the Hardcore stage. They played from 160 to 200 BPM. Keep in mind that after them DJ’s like Radio Killah, Partyraiser and F.Noize dropped there heavy Up tempo sets. The atmosphere at the Euphoria stage this night was simply amazing! During Partyraiser and F.Noize the crowd did go insane. These sets where DJ wise one of the best at Hard Island. Scretching like maniacs, entertaining the crowd to the max.
On day four there was a small closing party at Solis Beach Bar and you were also able to visit two boat parties. We again did decide to chill at the beach, since we also want to see something from the island around Novalja. Which we can recommend everybody cause it’s simply beautifull!
Stages & Clubs & Location
The stages at Hard Island have a very simple design because they are the usual club stages. Club Kalypso however, is a crazy club! With 2 stages, one for the pool party during middagys and 1 mainstage for the night parties this is a really nice location. Club Euphoria is a smaller club with one typical croatian/greek style building and a large dance floor. The location of both clubs, at Zrce Beach is magnificent. The view is stunning, with the salt watter lake, the huge mountains in the distance and a large beach (that consists out of small stones, not sand).
Novalja is a nice town, besides festival visitors also many families were celebrating their holidays. The price at restaurants have a huge variation, also for the prices between dishes. So always check the prices! Novalja includes a small harbor, many nice chilling spots, restaurants, cafes and clubs. But if you really want to party, you have to visit Zrce beach.
Line Up Downside
Hard Island is definately a week full of partying. The only downside we can think off is the fact that you see some DJ’s perform 3 or 4 times a week. We saw Da Tweekaz, Code Black and Jack of Sound many times during this week, that’s a bit of a downside, cause all the artists are on the island for the whole week as well.
Hard Island is a must go for every party animal. We recommend you to party with a large group of friends! Then you will definately not regret going. We also recommend you to buy one of the luxury packages, since the appartments are not that high in quality conform. Super VIP is also a nice option, free traveling, SUPERVIP dance spots, free champagne at the appartment and Hard Island towels. Now you know everything about Hard Island, there is only one thing left to do. Book your Hard Island holiday and bussride for next year at www.hardisland.com and www.eventtravel.nl