Ever wondered which are the most popular festivals in Croatia? Or which festival in Croatia is the best? Croatia is one of the most popular festival destinations in Europe. The warm climate of the country enables the festival season to last for almost 5 months. The majority of festivals take place in the summer, which is ideal for everyone planning to spend their holidays in Croatia. As for the festivals, their number increased dramatically over the past several years.
Besides the aforementioned climate, one of the main reasons for the festival explosion is the increase in the number of flights to Croatia. The tourists from all over Europe managed to reach Croatia more easily, which then resulted in the need for extra activities on the Croatian shore. And that’s where festivals kicked in. It’s no surprise that a lot of festivals in Croatia are organized by foreign citizens, most notable British. They recognized the potential of the country for event tourism, which is why the majority of non-Croatian festival attendees are from the UK.
Ticket prices factor into the popularity of Croatian festivals
Other huge reasons why Croatian festivals are becoming more and more popular are the ticket prices and the overall price of going to the festival. When compared to similar European festivals in the same category, the value for money is much better. Ticket prices tend to be cheaper, while other amenities such as accommodation and drink prices are much affordable than in e.g. Spain or Italy. Combine this with low-cost flights, and you see why Croatia is at the top of the list of festival destinations.
But which Croatian festival is the most popular? Which festival has the largest attendance? Most organizers don’t have the exact numbers. Nevertheless, we’ve decided to do our own research and find out which festival deserves the number one spot. For this list, we’ve decided to sum the total number of visitors over X amount of days. Of course, festivals which last for more days will have more visitors. However, if you’re looking for smaller, boutique festivals in Croatia, this list can also serve its purpose, as you can eliminate larger festivals from your bucket list. For this list, we have gathered the numbers from 2019. As you know, COVID-19 pandemic postponed or canceled all of the main Croatian festivals. That is why festival numbers have to be used from the last possible year. So without further ado, we give you the list of 10 most popular Croatian festivals.
Most popular festivals in Croatia
The list below includes festivals for which an entrance ticket has to be paid. This is why you won’t see the domestic Špancirfest or Zagreb Beer Fest on the list, as there is no entrance fee for them. Moreover, we did not include Pannonian Challenge in Osijek, which gathered 40.000 people, but is primarily an extreme sports festival with music performances in the evening.
A few festivals which did not crack the top 10 were pretty close. This is why we will give them an honorable mention for the most popular festivals in Croatia to Dimensions and Fresh Island. They gathered about 10.000 people over the course of four days, while 7.000 people attended the smaller MoDem festival in Primišlje.
10. Sonus Festival, Zrće Beach
Number of visitors: 12.000
The first entry in our list based on the super popular Zrće Beach. Sonus festival was recently announced as the best festival for 2019, which is no surprise. The Festival stage is located right on the beach, perfect for a four-day partying and enjoying the best of the house and techno music.
9. Outlook Festival, Pula
Number of visitors: 12.000
Outlook is one of the oldest Croatian festivals, and in 2019 it took place in the idyllic Fort Punta Christo Pula. However, in 2021 the festival returns to its roots in the Garden Tisno, under the name Outlook Origins. Festival tickets tend to be sold out months ahead of the event dates, so make sure to keep that in mind when planning.
8. Hideout Festival, Zrće Beach
Number of visitors: 15.000
Five days of beach parties, pool parties, and after-parties sound like a no-brainer. In 2019, Hideout gathered a record 15 thousand people from all over Europe. Similar to other Zrće beach festivals, tickets sell out fast!
7. Forestland, Brezje
Number of visitors: 18.000
Forestland is kind of a cult Croatian festival and the first on our list which doesn’t take place on the shore. Located in Northern Croatia, this electronic music festival is extremely affordable, all while hosting some of the best regional and international artists. If you like a house, techno, D’n’B, and trap music, look no further than Forestland.
6. The Garden Tisno Festivals, Tisno
Number of visitors: 20.000
Since we could not gather the exact numbers for each festival, we’ve decided to sum them all together. The Garden Tisno is a host to several festivals. Love international, Hospitality on the Beach, SunceBeat, Defected Croatia, and Decmantel Selectors saw a total of 20.000 people in 2019. Hugely popular among tourists from the UK, these festivals will surely remain one of the most visited in Croatia. The organizers have announced they plan to stay in Tisno for at least until 2022.
5. Ferragosto Jam, Orahovica
Number of visitors: 20.000
Ferragosto Jam is kind of an unusual entry on our list because it’s a domestic festival hosting mostly regional music acts. However, this is a testament to the organizers who keep announcing great artists. The festival location and camping site at the ideal Orahovica lake is just a bonus.
4. Barrakud Festival, Zrće Beach
Number of visitors: 35.000
Barrakud is the most visited out of all festivals taking place at Zrće Beach. Over the course of five days, thousands of rave, techno, and house lovers visit Pag island. The festival is extremely popular, which is why there is pre-registration for tickets each year.
3. Sea Star Festival, Umag
Number of visitors: 40.000
One of the newest music festivals in Croatia, but also one of the most popular. Taking place in Stella Maris resort in Umag is the sisterly festival of more famous EXIT in Serbia. In its 4 years of existence, Sea Star managed to attract some of the most popular world-class acts, from Wu-Tang Clan to Fatboy Slim. Festival attendance will surely increase in the upcoming years.
2. InMusic Festival, Zagreb
Number of visitors: 100.000
InMusic has seen a steady number of visitors for the last few years. Over the course of three days, the festival will see about a hundred thousand people enjoy the variety of rock, pop, and alternative music genres on four stages. The major advantage of the festival is its location in the country’s capital. The airport is close, and the public transportation system is solid. Camping at the festival is also very popular, and you can refresh at the nearby Jarun lake.
1. Ultra Europe, Split
Number of visitors: 120.000
No surprise here, the most popular Croatian festival is Ultra Europe. In 2019, the festival gathered about 120.000 people over 3 days. Ultra has been the most visited festival in the country for the last several years. It sounds crazy, but people from New Zealand and the USA traditionally come to Split to attend the festival. That just shows you the level of popularity Ultra endures. It will take a major leap from any of the other festivals on the list to overtake UMF in foreseeable future.