How it all began...
By 2005 The Garden Zadar had already established itself as one of the best loved and most musically adventurous additions to Croatians nightlife and culture. So much so that the owners of the Pinija Hotel in the nearby village of Petrcane approached us about taking on an event space which had been dormant for some years.
When we were shown around this fabulous 70s designed complex, set on a pine tree covered peninsula with a circular nightclub, large outdoor terrace and a circular beachfront cocktail bar we knew it would be the perfect location for an intimate boutique festival. So, we set about renovating the site, called on our contacts from years working in the dance music underground, and started to put together the first Garden Festival in 2006.
Although some unseasonable weather kept the numbers down in the first year, the music and atmosphere were amazing, with the emphasis on quality and not big name attractions. It was promoted almost totally word of mouth and those that came spread the word so effectively that the attendance figures jumped up from a few hundred in 2006, to 1500 in 2007 and then to 3000 people in 2008. We have decided to limit the capacity to a maximum of 2000 people in the future as we feel this is the optimum number for the site at present, but The Garden Festival is now going to be held over two weekends (The Double Whammy) to allow it still grow without ruining the seeds that were sown. Some people are choosing to come to one of the weekends and others to both.
Live bands and DJs from all aspects of dance music culture have been to play and party, and there are not many festivals where revelers can swim in the glistening Adriatic, relax beneath the pines and dance under a canopy of stars. The 3 main areas are > The terrace hosting the main live stage, Tiki Bar, also with its own dance floor terrace overlooking the sea and then there is Barbarella’s Discotheque for the after-parties.
As a special treat the instantly legendary Argonaughty Boat Parties set sail twice daily for more fun and frolics on the open sea. Everyone gets a chance to enjoy the breathtaking surroundings and, without the usual hordes, it’s easy to find old friends and to make new ones.
Many people who made the trip decided to stay for a full week so they could settle in before the festival and relax afterwards and maybe take a trip to nearby waterfalls or visit the many beautiful islands just off the coast of Zadar.
The 900 year old village of Petrcane is almost as much a part of the festival as the site itself. Most of the festival goers from the UK and Ireland/Europe stayed in the village and fell in love with this enchanting place, with lovely seafood restaurants and friendly cafes it adds to the festival experience enormously and is just a couple of minutes walk around the bay.
others about us
"I enjoyed the tranquil beach setting, the great musical backdrops and the people a lot. I also got to hang out with Robert Owens for a little while, so it was a great time for me."