It was revealed recently that Croatia is the leading music festival destination in the world, after Europe’s largest festival travel platform Festicket conducted an International Music Festival trends survey with over 2,500 festival-goers. Croatia Week spoke with Zack Sabban from Festicket about what is making Croatia so popular, what can be improved, and what is in store for the future…
Croatia was recently named the top festival destination in Europe, what in your opinion has been the main factor in making it number one now?
Croatia is just booming for tourism in general so it’s no surprise to see that festivals there are prospering. And there’s no doubt that tourism has benefitted dramatically from the festivals themselves. Croatia has a beautiful coastline, friendly people, nice cuisine and offers both culture and relaxation, so it has huge appeal for tourists. Combined with Croatians themselves being so open to promoting their country as a destination for music festivals, it makes sense that organisers have flocked there and we see more festivals taking place each year
As Europe’s number one festival platform, what trends do you see currently appearing in the festival market?
The desire to travel abroad for music festivals is growing every year and from countries where traditionally this hasn’t been common. For example, UK festival-goers have perhaps been a little slower than other countries to look overseas for music festivals but they’re catching up. Another trend is the desire for more comfortable options both on the festival site and in the local area. Demand for more luxurious accommodation sometimes outstrips supply by a long margin. Luckily Festicket was born from the beginnings of both of these trends so we’re specialists in both of these areas
What could Croatia do better do you think to attract more acts, more festival fans?
This is more for festival organisers to answer perhaps, but from our side we see that there’s an abundance of great electronic music events in Croatia, however it seems that there is a huge gap in the market for good rock and pop music festivals. This would give Croatia the opportunity to attract a music loving audience who haven’t yet experienced the Croatian festival scene. However in terms of what Croatia can do, anything that helps organisers make their events happen with minimal bureaucracy will help. And from our perspective, the main issue seems to be the lack of flights from some key European locations. Many find it very difficult to get to Croatia!
What are the most popular packages for festival tourists?
Luxury camping packages always prove popular but apartments and villas are also in high demand. People love staying as a group of friends but have their own space so this type of self-service accommodation is popular
One challenge Croatia faces is trying to extend its tourist season, so events in May at the start of summer, and October at the end are crucial, do you think there is an opportunity here for Croatia with music festivals? or is peak summer the main attraction?
We work with festivals all year round so there is definitely an opportunity here for Croatia, if the right type of venues exist. Once winter arrives then it’s important to provide indoor spaces. Many of these events are one-night affairs so it isn’t strictly necessary to follow the pattern of summer festivals running over a number of days. Summer will always be the most important period though, as that’s of course when most holidays take place
How do you see the music festival market developing in the next few years?
Festival-goers are already demanding more choice when it comes to how they experience the festival so technology will play a big part over the coming years. Festivals are already starting to provide free Wifi and charging points for smartphones, which is important when attendees expect to be able to remain connected, as well as gain access to realtime information on the festival itself. Aside from that, we have obviously seen a change in attitudes to what is expected in terms of accommodation so festivals and companies like Festicket are working hard to provide for these higher expectations