Ultra Europe, or Ultra Croatia as it is often called, is one of many famous Ultra festivals around the world. It is also one of Croatia’s, Europe’s up and coming festival capital, top festivals. Held near the center of Croatia’s largest coastal city, Split, Ultra provides for the best combination of beach time and dancing. Here’s an Ultra Europe Review / Ultra Croatia Music Festival Guide encompassing all you need to know before you go.
(I want to stress that I first went to this festival before I started blogging, so apologies for the sub-par photos… at least they get the point across, right?! I have since been there multiple times during my work seasons in Croatia and can vouch that the info all still holds true!)
Note: See my Tour Guide’s Super Guide to Croatia for all possible info I have gathered on this country from three years as a tour guide!
Ultra Europe Review
Ultra Europe Venue
Ultra Europe (UE) is held in Split’s football/soccer stadium. There are three stages – one inside the actual stadium, and two smaller ones outside the stadium walls. The main stage is the most extravagant, with a massive light structure projecting lasers across the entire stadium. This is where the biggest/most commercial artists play. The second stage is more like a tent that’s enclosed at the top, and this is where the artists with deeper musical vibes will play. The third stage is more of a little hangout stage for people to go and chill out.
These days, they are making the whole Ultra Croatia festival into more of a whole music week, with different Ultra-sponsored parties happening on different Croatian islands each night leading up to the festival. There’s a party in a hilltop fortress on Vis island, which is an insanely cool outdoor venue with panoramic views of the sea. There’s a yacht regatta on Bol beach, one of Croatia’s most famous beaches, more opening/closing parties in Split, and of course the famous and much more intimate Ultra Beach. Ultra beach only sells a few thousand tickets, and is held on the dreamy island of Hvar at a beachfront hotel with a pool. This venue is pretty incredible as well and brings a day pool party into the night with big artists.
The crowd at Ultra Europe is VERY international! This festival is very much a destination for festival-goers across the globe, who all come clad in their country’s flags and ready to party. Be prepared to hear tons of different languages and meet people from all over the world who are there to have a good time.
Ultra Europe Vibe
This is definitely more of a party-focused festival than a vibe-focused festival, and people on holiday from their regular lives will be letting loose here for the weekend. So don’t expect any workshops or activities – Ultra is all about the music and the party. People are friendly and happy of course, but won’t be particularly going out of their way to meet others at this festival.
Ultra as a festival company is much more musical experience-focused rather than atmosphere or decoration focused. There will always be amazing stages and structures and top-of-the-line light shows at Ultra festivals, but decorations that aren’t part of the musical show aren’t exactly put at the top of their to-do list. This isn’t a bad or a good thing, its just different! Some people come for the atmosphere, but some don’t want to be distracted when they came for the music. Ultra will be branded to the nines but don’t go above and beyond with decorations.
Ultra Europe Lineup/Music/Artists
Ultra Europe always boasts an insane lineup of top DJ’s, ranging from progressive house to electro to moombahton to garage. Most of the headliners are what many would consider to be mainstream – David Guetta, Nicky Romero, Afrojack, Alesso, etc. These names are of course massive and rake in crowds from all over the world to come and see them , so most artists here aren’t exactly niche. You can definitely catch some deep house and techno artists at the smaller stage, though! One thing you can always be sure of is that the lineup at Ultra Europe will be impressive.
Ultra Europe Tickets
Tickets to UE don’t usually sell out, and are fairly cheap compared to other three day festivals! The best thing about Ultra Europe is that it’s an entire weeklong party that you can attend different parts of all over Croatia. There are opening parties, boat parties, closing parties, and much more – the actual festival is just one part of it! Check out the multitude of this year’s prices, options, and travel/accommodation packages here on Festicket:
Ultra Europe Camping
Camping is an option at Ultra Europe, a bit of a way away from the festival venue. However, this is the one festival in the world that I would actually recommend not to camp. Seriously, I don’t think you’ll ever hear me say that again! I am a massive advocate of camping at music festivals, but here it just makes no sense in my opinion.
The only reason I wouldn’t recommend camping at Ultra Europe in this Ultra Europe Review is because it is a dusk-until-dawn festival, in Croatia, in the middle of summer. This means that you party at the festival until the sun comes up, and head back to your tent to go to sleep… right when the days start to get pretty unbearably hot! Trying to sleep in a tent right as the day is starting to get hot is always a bad idea. If you don’t plan on sleeping this should be fine, but just keep in mind it will be a bit more difficult than any other fest.
The camping area is also about 30-45+ minutes bus ride away from the venue. This means that the festival is in Split but you are not staying in Split at all; campers stay in Omiš. So if you want to actually see Split, it’s the best move to get an Airbnb in Split or a hostel.
Camping Amenities – I have not personally camped here so I can’t comment extensively on the camping amenities like I usually do. From what I’ve heard, it is decently close to a nice beach but just way too hot!
The festival venue is pretty much within walking distance to anywhere in Split. So, if you get a hostel, hotel, Airbnb, apartment, etc in Split, you will be fine to walk! Just follow the massive crowd of people walking through town towards the huge stadium. Pretty self-explanatory 😛 As I said above, I would recommend this option as opposed to camping so that you are more conveniently located close to the venue and the city.
There are tons of options when it comes to finding accommodation in Split. There are lots of great hostels and plenty of apartments as well. Just make sure you plan well in advance because this is pretty much the busiest weekend of the year in Split. If you want to get everything over with and get an accomodation + festival package, check up on Festicket or use the embedded store above under ‘Tickets.”
The beginning of sunrise at UE
Food/Drink at Ultra Europe
There are pretty extensive food and drink options at Ultra Europe, coming from your pretty standard variety of vendor tents. You’ll get your burgers, kebabs, hot dogs, and some croatian cevap cici if you’re lucky 🙂
Ultra Europe Price
The festival is pretty insanely cheap! I think I bought my three day pass second hand for only about 150 Euro the year I went when it was sold out, just 50 Euro more than a VIP 1-day ticket. Now the three day passes started at 119 euro for first release.
Compared to other three day festivals, and especially for the lineup, this is a steal!! But if you are looking for anything mroe to do than party and dance then you won’t be getting any extra activities.
Ultra Europe Security
The security was pretty medium for this festival. We lined up for a little while, had our bags checked, and went in. People were lining the sidewalks outside the venue entrance with their finished alcohol bottles, because the security were checking that you don’t bring anything in. Better to finish your drink than waste it in a security bin!
Ultra Europe Weather
Like I said above, weather in Croatia in July is HOT. Prepare for pretty warm temperatures and make sure to bring plenty of water! It is probably a good thing that the fest is held dusk until dawn, so it drops down to an actual bearable temperature outside. Croatia has a mediterranean climate, however, so is still pretty prone to a rogue rain shower or two once in a while.
This fest is held a few hours before dusk until dawn. This means you can see a beautiful sunrise and sunset each night – if you make it all the way until sunrise, that is! Remember, we are in Europe here, where going home before sunrise means you’re going home early.
Money at Ultra Europe
There is no specific form of payment at this festival, but in Croatia the currency is kuna. They sell the festival tickets in euro to make things easier for everyone, but the majority of places in Croatia will just accept kuna. Split may accept more Euro than other cities, but remember that when traveling its polite to at least try and adapt to the customs of the countries you visit – which means currency too! You’ll get about 9 kuna to the UK pound, 5 to the Aussie Dollar, and 7.something to the USD. You get used to it after a while!