For the majority of the past decade, Croatia has been the go-to spot for those seeking a music festival with guaranteed sun and beaches, and is now home to brand upon brand of music festivals such as Ultra, Hideout, Outlook, Barrakud and Sonus to name just a few. But has the market become overweight?
As festivals taking themselves down to the likes of Novalja struggle to set themselves apart from the current residents, the Croatian festival scene is at risk of oversaturation. With that in mind, potential promoters are beginning to turn their attention elsewhere, with one spot standing out more than most: Greece.
Indeed, Greece is no complete stranger to music festivals, with electronic Reworks now a decade old, while rock festival Rockwave, established in 1996, pulls in huge names such as The Black Keys, Metallica and The Prodigy. That said, there is an inherent feeling that its market is completely undervalued on a global scale, with a conspicuous lack of what one may call "an international name" that those such as the aforementioned Ultra and co. would lay claim to. That though, looks set to change.
So why Greece then? Barrakud, whom have recently settled down in Corfù after promoting their Croatian event since 2012, cite seeking out somewhere with both beauty and variety: 'What we love most about Corfù is the variety of the locations, passing from beach bars to inside caves, on the rocks, on red-sandy beaches or up on hills with breathtaking views.'
This is confirmed by a quick look on Google images, where you'll be presented with endless, multi-faceted coastlines and hundreds of islands, all characterised by stretches of blue sea and white sands. Sound familiar? Moreover, its climate also harks similarity to Croatia, with both country's average temperature tending around the mid-twenties. Greece, it would seem, is a natural fit for those after the guarantees provided by Croatia, but what does it have that Croatia hasn't?
For one, Greece has an incredibly rich history, synonymous with the Greek Gods and is abound with historical ruins, sculptures and art, which shines throughout the country. Such an asset gives festivals an extra dimension by tempting festival-goers with the opportunity to tie in a visit with a unique touch of culture and history.
Another major draw to the country is its currently unrealised festival capacity, giving promoters a blank canvas to creatively express their ideas, opening up the market to a wider audience: 'The Croatian market is providing crazy line-ups, new festivals every summer and the offering is more and more complete every day, while Greece has an incredibly unexpressed potential that we would like to show to the whole clubbing world', Barrakud explain.
As with any market, being the first in and ahead of trends, maximises returns, and the same applies to music festivals. Currently, the scope hanging over Greece is huge, whereas in Croatia, the ability to inject some originality is limited due to the sheer number of its festivals. And this benefits festival-goers, who will not only have the chance to be one of the first to experience a location, but a "setting", with the emphasis on festivals to try and draw a crowd by taking things to the limits. Barrakud, for one, will be moving their day-parties throughout the festival, across beaches and down into intimate caves to create a unique experience for their guests. This is only good news for festival-lovers.
Furthermore, the continuing uncertainty surrounding Greece's position in the Eurozone, and the threat of Grexit, continues to drive prices down, which could plummet even further if the country does eventually leave the European club. Greece is already in deflation and if it did relinquish the euro and return to the drachma, its worth will nose dive against the former. This could tempt some promoters to set up residency as running costs are likely to be low.
Low costs, stark similarities with Croatia and huge potential, Greece and its beautiful coastlines will surely soon be inhabited by music festivals. It's just a matter of time.