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Reggae Comes to Croatia

This is the second of an eight-part series looking at reggae summer festivals around the world. Today, we feature Croatia's Seasplash Festival.

WITH its 10th anniversary a matter of days away, promoters of Croatia's Seasplash Reggae Music Festival believe the event has grown from strength to strength.

This year's show takes place July 18-22 at Fort Punta Christo, in Stinjan, near the seaside city of Pula. A diverse roster of acts including British artistes Adrian Sherwood, Zion Train and Newham Generals, German singer Jahcoustix and Twilight Circus from The Netherlands will perform.

Promoter Vedran Meniga, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer, said the festival started slowly, with less than 1,000 persons attending the first show.

"Nowadays, we have no less than 5,000 people daily on site," he said.

Several popular names in classic and contemporary roots-reggae have performed at Seasplash including Earl 16, Prince Alla, the Twinkle Brothers, Daddy Freddy, Perfect Giddimani and Lutan Fyah.

Meniga says fans can expect something different this year with the festival's first sound clash. There will also be a seminar on the history of reggae and a deejay workshop.

According to Meniga, Seasplash is endorsed by authorities in Pula. He says it brings strong business to the area and is a precursor to the Outlook Festival, which takes place in August.

Outlook is a popular drum and bass event that also attracts thousands of fans.

Croatia was once part of the former Yugoslavia, a bastion of the communist Iron Curtain. After years of sectarian conflict, Croatia became a sovereign state in 1992.

Meniga says the musical tastes of Croatians reflect global trends.

"Most of the young people listen to low-quality, mass-consumed music. What we bring with Seasplash Festival is considered underground," he explained. "Our scene and the country in general is pretty small, and we promote different styles that have roots in sound system culture."

 

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