The seventh edition of Defected Croatia saw some mega headliners, exciting festival debuts, and over 5000 attendees.

As August peaked its sunny head, 5000 music lovers all over the globe began to make their way to one of the most exciting festivals of the year – Defected Croatia. Over seven nights and six days, the organisers programmed over 20 scenic stages, hosted by Defected, Glitterbox, Classic, Nu Groove, and more, as well as over 25 boat parties. Partying aside, there were activities to see guests through day-night – from more wellness-focussed and boutique festival happenings in the day, to tunes late into the night. 


With a focus on introducing acts, new and old, that celebrate the diversity of house music, some electronic big hitters took to the stages, alongside emerging newcomers. ‘The Wizard’ Jeff Mills, one of the biggest names in techno, made his Defected Croatia debut alongside South Africa’s Desiree. World class acts including Derrick Carter, Jayda G, and Mousse T gave stellar performances, as well as trailblazer Honey Dijon, who lit up the stage in addition to DJ Fat Tony and dance-floor technicians Floorplan. Percussive and tribal house innovator Melé shared of Defected, “One of, if not the best festival[s] in the world right now IMO.” Meanwhile, London-based DJ, producer and label head Aroop Roy, described the week-long party as “Musical magic and pure mayhem on the dancefloor”.

As Kitty Amor shared on an IG post, the festival’s most loved for platforming the ‘underdogs’ alongside the headliners, so “Basically everyone was a headliner”. Chaos in the CBD, Hannah Wants, Conducta, and more made their festival debuts, with further Defected first-timer SG Lewis sharing, “This weekend gave me some of my favourite moments i’ve ever had playing for people.”


Well recognised for its close-knit community and inclusive feel, Wez Saunders – the CEO and co-owner of Defected Records – gave the final say on the fest: “House music is culture. It’s art. It’s expression. It’s community. It’s acceptance. It’s the gathering of likeminded people. It’s tribalism. It’s love. It is so much more than a genre of music. It’s a lifestyle. Defected Croatia 2023 was another incredible edition of our festival, and a celebration of everything house music signifies.” He continued, “We introduced new acts and continued relationships with others. There was house of every sub-genre present, with disco and garage thrown in the mix. We hosted a waacking battle, a live stage and even premiered a documentary. 


Next year we celebrate 25 years of Defected and while the festival may be slightly condensed in terms of days, I can assure you the event will return as always even better.”

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