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This Hideout Festival Review + Guide should encompass all you could possibly want to know about this festival full of sun, sea, and super clubs. After my third summer working in Croatia, it was about damn time I made it up to this brilliant music festival. This was a fantastic introduction to Pag Island’s infamous Zrce Beach, which is up on the northern coast of Croatia. It was honestly unlike any festival I have been to before. FOR PHOTOS, CLICK HERE for my massive photo journal full of tons of pics of this year’s attendees!
But First, need to Know Anything Else About Croatia? I Worked There for 3 years. Here are Some More Posts (they open in a new tab):
- 15 Top Festivals in Croatia
- Guide to Croatia Sailing Tours
- Tour Guide’s Super-Guide to all of Croatia
- Dubrovnik Complete Guide
- Split Complete Guide
- Vis Complete Guide
- Hvar Complete Guide
- Korcula Complete Guide
- Day Trips from Split
Keep reading for my 17-category Hideout Festival review, including info on Hideout stages, accommodation, camping, tickets, travel and Hideout accommodation packages, outfits, and all kinds of tips for Hideout Croatia! Packages are now on sale for this year here!
Hideout Festival Venue + Stages
Hideout Croatia is held on Zrce Beach, which is basically the Ibiza of Croatia (and, honestly, rivals it!). Zrce (pronounced zur-chay) is kind of like Vegas mets Ibiza and had little beach babies that grew into super clubs on the water in Croatia. Zrce is situated along a large curving bay with warm Adriatic Sea lapping up onto its pebbly beach, and is dotted with these incredible clubs.
It’s not too much more than a kilometer from one end of Zrce to the other, and along this stretch there are 5 main clubs, all of which are open-air. At Hideout Festival these clubs function just like stages at a normal festival, but with their own security, bars, pools, tables, lighting setups, etc. For the festival you are able to move freely between these 5 main clubs and all sorts of smaller little arenas as well. And this, you guys, is AWESOME. Imagine if you were in Vegas with free movement between all the clubs whenever you wanted, and they were all within walking distance with equally awesome parties going on at each one?! That’s basically what Hideout festival is and what the Hideout stages are.
The clubs have pool/day parties during the day and become nightclubs at night. I can only describe them to be the most massive, decked-out, and incredible clubs EVER with huge sound and lighting systems and unbelievable production value. This festival is unique because it isn’t ‘put on’ just for the weekend; all the clubs exist there anyways and are simply opened up to everyone during the festival week. So, it’s pretty special.
Another amazing thing was that there were little shops between the clubs selling water, snacks, and drinks for a fraction of the club prices. So, it wasn’t like a general club where the drink prices are out of this world – you could simply walk out, buy a cheap beer, and drink it before coming back in. It was a nice little money-saving hack!
Here are the Zrce clubs/Hideout Stages:
At Hideout festival, Kalypso club was lucky enough to be hosted by one of the UK’s most famous and absolutely ridiculous event companies, Elrow. I wasn’t familiar with Elrow before, but you best believe I’m now their number one fan! Elrow is basically synonymous with ridiculousness. Think – someone in a chicken costume crowd-surfing through in an inflatable raft, or people dressed in neon colors walking through the crowd in stilts and playing volleyball. You’d see silly inflatable toys being thrown out into the crowd at regular intervals (I kept my inflatable hammer all week and had so much fun booping people with it 😛 ), and enough silly outfits on stilts to make you question how they even thought of these things in the first place. All the while listening to top-notch DJ sets. Sweet!
Another amazing setup, Aquarius had a separate stage for pool parties and night parties at Hideout Festival.
Papaya was where a lot of headliners played and had an unreal production value inside it’s open dome stage.
Noa is actually built on stilts out INTO the water. It sticks out like a little pier and has places for party-goers to jump into the water and swim while listening to their favorite artist! Trust me, nothing is cooler than jumping into the cool Adriatic while listening to Diplo play live.
This was an open club along the boardwalk without any security but just a nice spot to stop and have a boogie to some great dj’s on the way between the other Hideout stages!
Secret Beach Party
On the Monday of the festival week, Hideout festival had a new event this year – a ‘secret beach party.’ Busses for this picked up at the main station and took guests to an unknown beach venue about 15 minutes away. The views were incredible, and it was nice to have one day in a different and more intimate venue away from the craziness of Zrce, but still with amazing headliners.
Certain headliners hosted boat parties as well, about three times per day. These cruises had a DJ booth set up above an big open deck with bars. These all lasted three hours and went on a lovely scenic sail around Pag island with good tunes.
Hideout Festival Crowd
It’s pretty important to note that all of Britain basically takes itself and relocates to Croatia for the week of Hideout. Yes, the VAST majority of this festival is Brit… VAST. I talked to one of the marketing girls and she said the figure could be as high as 90%. It’s pretty crazy really.
So the question here was not “Where are you from?” it was “What part of the UK are you from?” When people heard my American accent they got super confused and enthralled, and being non-British was practically a bonding point between anyone at the festival. I made friends with a group of Aussies and even some more Americans simply because we bonded over the fact that we were a minority!
The crowd here is also fairly young, typically in their 20’s and 30’s I would say. The festival did attract a lot of fairly young people/Brits as well in their late teens and early twenties as well.
Hideout festival was unique in that it had more of a clubbing vibe than typical festival vibes. People were not as open and social as a usual festival, rather seemed a bit more to themselves and to their specific groups of friends. I think this can be attributed to a few different things:
First, there was bottle service at all the clubs that cost a LOT of money. Getting bottle service in and of itself gives people a more stuck-up attitude. Each club had dozens of tables, which were usually bought out for high prices.
Second, the fact that nearly everyone was British could have contributed to the more closed-off vibe of this festival! If you have ever been to London you will know that it is considered strange to look anyone else in the eye on public transport, and I feel that maybe some of the people brought these ideals with them! Most people warmed up eventually (like after obnoxious waving or booping on the head with my inflatable hammer 😛 ) but weren’t generally as outgoing.
Honestly Hideout festival’s location was atmosphere enough. Set on the bright, clear, blue Adriatic waters with northern Croatia’s interesting white hilly islands in the background, you didn’t need much more! Some people even say that this area looks like the moon. The pebble beach was set with thatched umbrellas and views of yachts out on the water, and inside all the clubs were lighting setups fit for the craziest club.
Each club had a different setup – Noa was covered in palm trees and tropical vibes, Aquarius was all white everything, Kalypso was decked out in ridiculous decorations for Elrow (think – rubber chickens and silly string) and some of the smaller clubs had pools, jacuzzis, and other decorations. It was very varied – like having a bunch of mini-festivals in one!
In that it was mainly British and put on by a British company, hideout had LOTS of Techno and tech house. Brits LOVE their techno! Think – lots of bass and minimal house. There was a bit of variety (Diplo and Major Lazer headlined) but it was mainly tech and deep house. Some of the big names apart from Diplo were Hot Since 82, Jamie Jones, Marco Carola, Dusky, and the Martinez Brothers, Disciples and Alan Fitzpatrick. You can be confident this festival will pull in the big names within its genre.
Hideout Festival Tickets
The best way to get tickets is to check Hideout Packages on Festicket. They’re an official partner and offer packages with accommodation and even transport, which makes it a lot easier.
Hideout festival is held at Zrce beach, which doesn’t have much accommodation in itself but is connected well by busses with a few surrounding towns. The biggest and closest in Novalja, a lovely little beach town. All the busses stop at the Novalja bus station and go to their respective destinations from there. Novalja would definitely be the most convenient place to stay! Other towns connected by busses are Stari Novalja (about 15 mins away), Gajac Beach (tiny beach closer to Zrce) and Barabati (25 minute bus).
There is a campsite near the festival site, but I don’t think it was affiliated with Hideout at all. Festicket can set its attendees up with Hideout accommodation in apartments or dorms, which will come as a 7-day package and is booked in groups (like the Festicket packages link above). The accom is sorted for you at a nightly price if you book through the website, and you can choose where you would like to stay.
If you don’t book through hideout/Festicket there are many hostels in Novalja and lots of B&B’s. I booked mine on Airbnb and loved it! If I could recommend one of my best Hideout tips, though, it would definitely be to stay in Novalja because the busses to farther places often took ages and Novalja was the center of all the action and had many more busses.
Hideout Festival Amenities – Other Stuff to Do
There was lots to do in Zrce! Here are a few things they had:
Bungee Jump: They had a massive crane take people up to bungee jump over the water from a little cage!
Wifi: Wifi was provided by vodaphone for the festival site. The vodaphone tent also had lots of little events happening at it.
Face Painting: there were people going around and painting people’s faces sporadically. There were also girls painting faces in blacklight neon paint one of the nights.
Water Sports: They had jet skis, banana boats/donuts, and other water sports going on from the beach for anyone who wanted a bit of adventure in their festival day. They also had lots of inflatable water toys like trampolines and icebergs to play on; and one of those massive inflatible bags to launch people into the air.
Massages: They had massage tents right on the beach too!
Getting to Hideout Festival
To get to Hideout festival, there’s a company called Octopus Transfers (or check out their insta here – that’s how I found them!) who can do private transfers for you in lovely air conditioned cars/vans with wifi. Trust me, this is an absolute dream after coming off a slow sweaty bus with awful ventilation in the middle of the Croatian summer! We got a transfer from Zadar and it was honestly like a breath of fresh air after our bus journey – we plugged our phones in the aux cord, connected to the wifi, and relaxed in the nice cool car with our helpful driver. He even stopped at a viewpoint for us to stop and take photos on Pag! Check them out 🙂
Other Hideout Transfer Options:
Book through Hideout: Hideout has a schedule of airport transfers that you can book through the website from about 10 airports in surrounding cities and countries. The closest big city is Zadar (about an hour away).
Bus: You can get busses to Novalja from Zadar and other places in Croatia; just keep in mind you may have to change busses. I had to go from Dubrovnik and change in both Split and Zadar… it was a long day!
Transportation/Parking at Hideout Festival
Most people at the fest purchased a shuttle pass as an extra option, which enables you to take the city busses between the festival, Novalja bus station, and the various accommodation places. The idea was great – there were different busses that went on different colored routes, and used Novalja bus station as a main hub to go from.
However, while I was there, there were some problems with the busses taking AGES. Sometimes either waiting for a bus or waiting for the bus to leave took a pretty unreasonable amount of time. We thought it would be so convenient to go home for a nap staying in Stari Novalja (a ’15 minute ride’ away), but in reality we would have to wait a half hour for the correct bus to come/leave, often change at Novalja bus station and wait for another bus for a while, and finally get back. I think it took us over an hour to get back one morning! So, just keep this in mind when planning Hideout accommodation/trips back to the apartment!
Hideout festival had pretty much EVERYTHING you could ever want inside the venue. Along the kilometer of beach were DOZENS of restaurants, bars, lounges, takeaway food stalls, and little convenience stores.
As far as food goes, there were lots of options. Whether you wanted a sit-down meal or just a slice of pizza, there were tons of places for you. Plan for lots of classic Croatian foods like pastas, seafood, meats/cevapi, seafood, chips, and lots of takeaway pizza.
As for drinks, Croatia is known for being the haven of cocktails!! 1L cocktails ran rampant throughout the whole venue, with certain places selling them cheaply for 100kn (but would definitely be 200 inside the clubs). There were bars selling all kinds of beers, ciders, and coolers, and even bars selling craft beer and fancy cocktails. Honestly, if you want it, you can find it somewhere on Zrce.
For a FIVE DAY festival, Hideout Aroatia was a steal for only £139. Like, that price is unreal. However, you will easily double this with flights, accom, and transfers… and double it again with all the cocktails!! At least the base price starts low, right?
There was minimal security to get into Zrce – there were some guards checking wristbands and that’s about it. The real security checks were going into each of the clubs. When entering the main clubs you will have your bag checked, all liquids disposed of, and wristbands checked again. Think just like any normal club, but you get re-checked upon each entrance due to the nature of this festival. This can get pretty annoying, just don’t forget about it when changing stages.
Hideout Festival is at the perfect time really – at the end of June. This is just before the insane heat of the Croatian summer, but still generally nice and warm. BUT, as I always tell my passengers as a tour guide, Croatia does have weather, and it can get bad. The worst part about Croatian weather are the strong winds. Each wind has a name based on the direction it blows, and this summer we have had strong north (bura) and west (jugo) winds. Hideout was no exception- the Jugo started blowing on the third day and caused all the boat parties for both days to be cancelled. Yeah, not cool. The wind here is a serious thing, especially if you are out at sea.
The temperature will generally hover around 30, but some days can also get overcast. On the last day at hideout this year there was a rain storm, which isn’t the best when most clubs are open-air! Just know to be prepared for anything.
Hideout Outfits/Fashion: What to Wear
I was honestly BLOWN AWAY with how stunning girls looked at Hideout Croatia. There were more ‘SLAY GIRL SLAAAAAY’ moments here than basically any other festival I have been to – everyone had the CUTEST bathing suits on (lots of one-pieces that looked like they were straight out of a catalogue), everyones hair and makeup were on-point, and people were generally covered in an intricate pattern of glitter or color. The Hideout uniform for girls is basically a swim suit, maybe a small bag/bum bag, and cute sandals/even wedges for some, trendy sunnies, amazing hair/makeup, and occasional coverups. It was like Vegas pool party meets music festival, and everyone slayed.
For boys… just take your shirt off, and thats about it. 😛 I remember driving into Novalja for the first time on arrival and it was just completely overrun with shirtless men. My friend and I weren’t complaining, though!
Hideout Festival has a pretty interesting schedule with day parties running from 3pm-8pm and night parties 11pm-6am. See, they strategically schedule in a nap time – how great is that?! Just remember that it might take a while to take shuttle busses back to certain locations.
Daytime headliners would generally come on at 6 or 7 and night time headliners were usually from 4-6am. Pretty full-on!
There was no special money system at Hideout festival – just the local currency (kuna) mostly in cash at the venue and anywhere else. Many places took card also but not everywhere – get cash out to be sure.
My Top Hideout Tips
- Stay in Novalja – it’s the most well-connected and easiest to get to and from (and is the most central!). That way you might also be able to actually make it home for a nap (we couldn’t make it home and ended up napping on benches… sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do)
- Prepare for all weather, and check it in the mornings. Croatian weather can change quickly!
- Also prepare for pretty intense heat. Stay hydrated!
- Remember that each individual club has their own security checks each time you enter a new one.
- Try a boat party and the beach party if you are staying all week!
PIN THIS Hideout Festival Review + Guide if you found it helpful!!