- Words Ben Broyd
- Photography by Marko Lopac, Filip Kovačević, Valerio Baranovic
From informative panel talks to performances from the likes of Bad Daughter and freekind., SHIP fulfilled its promise to deliver the best undiscovered new European and Croatian music.
Located in the photogenic coastal town of Sibenik, SHIP festival hosted its first round of its annual celebration of mainland Europe’s finest sounds and selections it has to offer. The festival is a three-day celebration of Croatian and European music by night; a conference that sprawls across the city by day.
SHIP is a celebration of rising talent, established professionals, and a multitude of informative panels for attendees to gain a better understanding of certain levels of the industry. Festival sounds stemmed from the Baltics all the way to Scandinavia, with its sole purpose being to elevate artists in a wonderfully progressive manner.
Opening the festival were Porto Morto on the Deck stage which sits at the top of St Michael’s castle in what is an open-air theatre overlooking the picturesque Šibenik, with Nemanja playing Hull, a stage that sits underneath the castle, impressing with their empathic energy. Meanwhile, the Neapolitan band Nu Genea and their infectious take on Italian Funk/Jazz closed the castle’s proceedings for the evening, leaving attendees ready for what was to come for the rest of the festival. What’s more, the descent down, overlooking the harbour, wandering through the romantic streets is a stunning sight and a brilliant addition to the festival.
Other highlights included the modern superstar popstar in Bad Daughter, and freekind. – the female duo, Hip-Hop infused act who proved their worth and are sure to break into further mainstream systems shortly. Meanwhile, evening festivities are hosted on the Green stage and inside Azimut club, with both providing a combination of networking and partying opportunities, all whilst soundtracked by the rising European DJs in Mikroslav, Baptiste Lagrave, and many others.
Moreover, the likes of James Minor, the Head of SXSW chaired an insightful talk, and in many ways it seemed very apt to have him there with both respective festivals sharing the same ethos – to platform rising superstars. Other speakers included the likes of Chris Cooke from CMU, David Arias from Primavera, and Fabian Stilke of Universal Music, all sharing their experiences and knowledge of the industry. In addition to the music and networking, the town is also a must-visit. The glorious beaches, hospitable people, and the most delicious seafood on offer – it really is an incredibly special place.
SHIP festival acts as an excellent spotlight to the ever developing music scene in Eastern Europe, and a brilliant insight into the work that goes into some of the worlds biggest music and festival organisations. The ship may have sailed on this years voyage, but will indefinitely be back next year to further highlight some amazing rising talent.