Croatia Wave hosted the first-ever Croatia Music Event in London last week (9 June) to discuss the future the country’s festivals.

Speakers on the panel included Mark Newton (Hideout Festival), Tom Paine and Dave Harvey (Love International), Mike Gill (Croatia Wave), Ally Byers (Mixmag), Irma Mchardy (Croatia Airlines) and Ivona Grgan (Croatian National Tourist Office). Marcus Barnes, European editor for Fest 300, moderated the panel.

Discussions focused around the cost of traveling to Croatia, the amount of accommodation available and the growth of the events that UK promoters would like to see in the country.

Newton said that in order for Croatia to grow further, “it needs to look outside of just music festivals and also begin to look at developing areas and resorts which can have music and youth based entertainment running on a season long programme in order to increase tourism throughout the summer and not just for occasional peak weeks. A joined-up approach working from the government downwards in accepting music and youth tourism and allowing it to flourish would be the next step”.

The first festival in Croatia run by UK promoters took place 11 years ago. Tourism in Croatia accounts for up to 20 per cent of Croatian gross domestic product.