Hard Island 2016 – The best summer holiday experience?
While looking back at this year’s festivals, we are quite sure, that Hard Island Festival definitely belongs to one of the highlights so far. While drinking the best cocktails, enjoying the sun and view on the most beautiful girls in bikinis at the beach, you danced your ass off to just the best hard dance music – no matter if hardstyle, freestyle, hardcore or happy hardcore! Hard Island took place from 5th till 8th of July in Croatia, Zrce Beach, near Novalja. Known for the ultimate party location, Zcre Beach would be the perfect location to bring hard dance music to Croatia! Gather your friends and experience the ultimate summer holiday. So far these were the promises! We visited Hard Island Festival 2016 and will tell you if the way and money was worth it.
We arrived on Saturday in Zadar, Airport. Via the official bus transfer by the Hard Island crew we were brought to the party location number one: Zcre Beach, to be exact Novalja, which is just 5 minutes further. By arriving at the local bus station you had to go to one of three check-in points, it was printed onto the voucher. Thankfully we saved the info booklet offline, so we could check where to go. It wasn’t even that far, 10 minutes walking!
When you arrived at your specific check-in, you had to show your voucher and the stuff guided you through the check-in process. You received your wristbands for all necessary and booked entrances, as well as you received further info’s for your apartment. Finally, we were driven to our apartment and got some rest, since we arrived very late.
At the next morning, we woke up, sweating in our beds – it was just 10am but hot as fuck outside. As fast as possible we took a shower, put on our swimming shorts and walked towards out friend’s apartment. On the map Novalja looks big, but while walking you realized you can walk from one side to the other in just 25 minutes. Even if you walk to your friend’s apartment, don’t forget to put sun cream on!
Time to relax in the sun, have a few drinks, check out the beach, relax a little more, have nice dinner and finally get ready for the very first party.
We arrived around 5pm at Club Kalypso via the local bus. The club is divided into two areas – the mainstage, which is located in the back of the club, as you walked further into it. The Beach stage is directly to the right after you entered the beach club. In front of the Beach stage is a small pool, people were already dancing their ass of as we arrived.
The club is divided through a bridge, or higher second level, with seats and a nice view on the mainstage at the other side. Furthermore, the club offers two podiums, located next to the Super VIP and VIP area, protruding into the mainfloor, above the crowd. Only Super VIP and DJ’s had access to this area. I really liked the club! It offered a lot of space, was clean, offered different types of areas and enough bars.
The vibe was outstanding when we arrived! Seriously, everyone was ready for their ultimate summer holidays – beaches, sun, babes, hardstyle, drinks, everything’s said I think! In front of stage some stuff members were splashing water on the people – just like you would imagine in a beach club.
Artists like MKN, Fictive, Doctor Zot, Cally or Peacekeeper played the perfect first sets, with a mix of older, euphoric classics, well known recent tracks, some freestyle and good old reverse bass in between, as well as some harder tracks, by reaching the end of the first welcome party. After a two hours break, the stage changed and the artist now played at the mainstage, starting from 10pm.
Da Tweekaz b2b Code Black
Art of Fighters
The line up for the first evening and night looked promising, as you could have discovered the sounds of euphoric masterminds Da Tweekaz and Code Black, stunning and blasting raw hardstyle by the beast Radical Redemption and crazy hardcore beats by Angerfist and Art of Fighters.
The sets didn’t disappoint as the first sounds were Gaan met die Banan (Ruthless Remix), Broken, The Game or Ravish by T’N’T! The club got filled more and more. People from all over the country arrived at Hard Islands party location! People from Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, England, Sweden, Norway, Finland and so many more travelled to Croatia just to be part of Hard Island. The atmosphere was really, really friendly and peaceful. Everyone was having the fun of their life.
Da Tweekaz and Code Black played a really nice set, Radical Redemption was absolutely brutal, as usual, Angerfist mixed himself through nearly all of his tracks and ended straight with Caveman, his collab with Dr. Peacock. A little boring in our opinion, at least for those who know a few of his sets. He really needs to release some new tracks.
Most surprising act was Art of Dance for me. They played a diverse, but fitting set, as the tempo was really nice, as well as the drive in their set. Dominated by Italian classic and recent hardcore tracks their set made stay until the very end!
Paul Elstak b2b The Stunned Guys
Art of Fighters
The second day began at 3pm, with the Keeping The Rave Alive Hard Island tour. While some 360 degree hard dance music was pounding through the speakers of the beach stage and my friends were going insane, we checked the first boat party: Raw The Boat!
Mad Dog & AniMe
After arriving back at our apartment, after a really nice first boat party, there was no much time – a quick shower, some food and time to hit the club again. This evening and night Brennan Heart took over Club Kalypso with his WE R label! Again Hard Island made sure there is music for everyone: Euphoric, classics, raw hardstyle and a hardcore ending!
Code Black played a really, really good set, with some good old classics like Her Voice in the Headhunterz remix, Gold by Max Enforcer or Red Planet. I also really like his new track! After him Brennan Heart didn’t disappoint with a classic build up Brennan heart set, with a few variations. Surprisingly Dailucia made the evening very special! Her set was fucking awesome – loved every second! This lady knows how the spin a good set, as she went from some quality hardstyle by Endymion, to Illusion by E-Force or Willow Wally by Alpha²!
Additionally, Outbreak kept the tempo of Dailucias ending, while suddenly Sub Zero project, Atmozfears and Hard Driver jumped on stage – Outbreak b2b Sub Zero Project b2b Atmozfears b2b Hard Driver, what a crazy set! All the sounds and tracks were fitting perfectly.
With an Extermination Showcase Anime and Mad Dog ended the second day of Hard island in style. The fast rhythms of her album, Mad Dogs unforgettable classics and recent tracks made everyone jump and dance one last time!
While we were dancing our ass off at the Keeping The rave Alive boat party, which was super fun, but a little chaotic, the Dirty Workz took over the Beach stage in Club Kalypso. With just the best hardstyle, all people I talked to afterwards had lots of fun!
Crisis Era & Wasted Penguinz
Dr. Rude b2b Hard Driver
Da Tweekaz b2b Art of Fighters
Outbreak b2b Jack of Sound
Hardcore Italia Allstars
Yes, you guys read right! What the hell did happen with these combinations? I’ve never seen something like this before, but let me tell you one thing, these combinations rocked more than I ever expected! The Hard Island Team kept the line up secret until the very last moment.
Surprisingly the teams worked out so well. Crisis Era and Wasted Penguinz were a little too soft in my opinion. But others seemed to enjoy the set, with Wasted Penguinz’s euphoric-right-in-the-feels tracks, such as Melancholia and Crisis Era’s “bouncing” tunes.
The biggest surprise was indeed Da Tweekaz b2b Art of Fighters. I mean, a euphoric duo and straight Italien hardcore, can this work out well? Yes, it can, it was better than everything I have heard so far that week. Holy shit, the fast pitched Da Tweekaz tracks, in combination with pure Italian hardcore made this set to the best of the week. The drive was amazing, the vibe was amazing, the crowd, the atmosphere – this one hour felt like 5 minutes!
After a rough ending by Outbreak & Jack of Sound, followed by a Hardcore Italia Allstar showcase, the last party night came to an end! Satisfied and totally exhausted we left the Club and went home to our apartment.
What is left to say? To sum up Hard Island, there are just a few words needed – summer, fun, hard dance music, drinks, holidays, friends and party! A really nice event, which should be on your schedule next year. You really miss a great party, a fucking awesome location, some nice days with your best friends and your well-deserved holiday trip, with just the best music in the world! We highly recommend to take a look at next years line up and if you just like a few Djs, book your trip, because you will not regret it.
Thanks Hard Island crew for having us, thanks for the opportunity to be part of Hard Island 2016, thanks for being such a great host and partner and we hope to see you all next year in your bikini or swimming shorts !