Creating ‘The Buzz’ Boat with Paul Lojszczyk
Croatia has become an electronic music Mecca to rival even Ibiza in the eyes of many clubbers. From the festival giants like Ultra Europe, through to underground clubs with killer house and techno line ups, Croatia offers the best in electronic music in some incredible locations.
However, even the most committed clubber might be surprised to find that out at sea, off the stunning Croatian coastline, some of the world’s best DJs are lining up to play on the world’s first floating DJ stage; a bespoke wasp boat, custom-built with a 360 degree VOID Acoustic Soundsystem and fully kitted out DJ booth, known as ’The Buzz’.
‘The Buzz’ is an exclusive part of the electronic music programming of The Yacht Week, unique travel experience with credible electronic music at its core, that takes place weekly over the summer.
We’ve never seen a DJ stage like The Buzz before (check out Claptone’s set from last summer) so thought we should catch up with the man who was tasked with bringing it to life, The Yacht Week’s Head of Entertainment, Paul Lojszczyk.
For those that don’t know, what is The Yacht Week and how does The Buzz fit into this?
The Yacht Week is a series of week-long floating festivals, staged in some of the worlds most stunning locations. We organise flotillas of 15-60 yachts to sail and explore each day and then throw parties in some of the most unique and incredible locations each night. Our music program hosts a variety of artists from emerging up and coming and local talents to international headliner DJs such as Gorgon City and Mark Knight.
Where does The Buzz fit into all this?
Each and every week in Croatia we host two incredibly unique parties, that we call The Circle Raft and The Tunnel Raft. These involve every yacht in the fleet rafting next to each other in the middle of the Adriatic Sea, in a circle or tunnel formation. Now imagine grabbing your favourite floatie, a Karlovacko (the local Croatian beer) and floating into the middle of this raft formation with three or four hundred of your new best pals. This experience is incredible enough in itself, however, it kicks up a level when a floating burning man style wasp stage floats into the middle of this party and then Melé starts to play an epic tribal set from it. That floating wasp stage is The Buzz, and that’s how he gloriously fits into The Yacht Week.
What inspired The Buzz and what challenges did you face taking it from an idea to a functioning floating DJ stage?
The Circle Raft parties have always been a trademark event of ours. Something unique that no one else out there does. We knew that to take the party to the next level and make it truly unforgettable, we needed a central music source, rather than each yacht playing their own music. For a few years, we had DJs set up from the top of a catamaran, which worked to a degree, but it still didn’t have the X-factor we were after. We soon realised that for the maximum impact, it had to be a boat in the middle of the raft. It was a few years in the making, but eventually, The Buzz is what we came up with!
Being the first time that something like this had been done, The Buzz had no shortage of challenges. We had strict weight limitations for the wasp structure and on the weight of the sound system. We had a company called Wrekon create the wasp-like structure completely out of recycled materials, and as light as possible. We then needed a sound system that would pack some punch, but wouldn’t sink our beloved Buzz. We also needed a system that didn’t draw a huge amount of power, as unfortunately, we couldn’t find any power points in the middle of the Adriatic Sea. Therefore we needed a light, onboard generator to power the system and the smaller the power consumption, the smaller and lighter the generator could be. Everything had to be able to handle life at sea, being waterproof, able to withstand the heat of the Croatian summer and it couldn’t be susceptible to rust. Finally, we also needed crispy 360 degrees of sound so that every yacht in the circle raft could enjoy DJs like Claptone from the comfort of their catamaran, wherever in the raft it may be.
Can you tell us about The Buzz specs? Was there a specific reason you went for Void over other sound systems?
As you can see from the above, we were asking a lot from the sound system, but eventually, we found the Goldie Locks setup that was just right. The Void Cyclone range ticked all the boxes – a compact system that doesn’t compromise on sound. It’s weatherproof, made of fibreglass with marine grade stainless steel fittings and has UV resilient paint. A total of 6 x 10″ Cyclone loudspeakers and 4 x 12″ Cyclone Bass subs were installed onto The Buzz, with a 15kW generator to power it all.
Not only could the Void Cyclone system handle the elements, but any electronic music lover knows that quality sound is at the core of every Void product so we knew that it would last the test of time and sound amazing doing so.
What artists do you have lined up for The Buzz this summer and what is different about a ‘floating DJ’ set?
So far this summer we’re teaming up with Mixmag to bring Gorgon City to The Buzz. We also have Mark Knight, Illyus & Barrientos, Weiss and OFFAIAH scheduled to play from the stage and we’re teaming up with Ministry of Sound to bring Monki and Melé. We have our resident funk, soul and hip hop collective Applebum bringing the grooves each week, as well as our hand, picked selection of outstanding residents. It’s going to be a big summer for our little Buzz! A floating DJ set from the middle of the Adriatic Sea is so different from a normal club set. It’s a truly unique setting which creates a vibe that’s quite hard to explain. There’s sun, sea and a few hundred friends floating around, with a class DJ delivering an exceptional set. There’s no queues, no bar lines, no sweaty, cramped dance floors. Just good friends, good music and good vibes.
What is the craziest thing you’ve had to deal with on The Buzz so far?
I think the fact that it didn’t sink after we turned it into a big wasp and filled it to the brim with speakers and equipment is the craziest thing! But quite luckily, we haven’t had anything too crazy happen with it so far. As you can imagine, people can get pretty excited when a floating DJ stage wasp floats into their party and one of our DJs starts to throw down a set. We’ve had a few people attempt to commandeer it, but generally people are pretty well behaved and respect the party which is great.
What has been your favourite set on The Buzz so far and why?
There’s been so many good ones but my favourite has to be when the masked man of mystery Claptone flew in to deliver a huge set at one of our Tunnel Rafts last year. Not only was it an amazing bumping house set that our guests absolutely loved, but it was so good to see how much he enjoyed the event too. When a guy that plays the coolest parties in the world, gets such a buzz out of our little event, you know you’re doing something right. Mixmag also came along and streamed the whole thing, so if anyone wants to see it, they can easily find the set on Youtube or Facebook.
What is the future of The Buzz? Will you be using it even more as part of The Yacht Week? Any more cool ideas you can talk about?
The Buzz is the centrepiece of our music programming for the upcoming summer. Looking forward we want to continue building upon the concept and extend it to some of our other destinations as well. Whilst we will continue to develop and improve The Buzz, now that we have this phenomenal stage to host world class and emerging talents, our focus is on delivering a quality lineup of artists for our guests.
We do have some other cool plans in the works, but unfortunately, I can’t spill the beans on them just yet!
Music is obviously central to The Yacht Week experience. What else can electronic music fans look forward to once The Buzz speeds off into the distance?
The Buzz is just one aspect of our diverse week-long lineup. We include an extensive on land program including some world-class venues that play host to some world class acts.
Club 585 Bol, an epic open-air venue on the famous Zlatni Rat delivers an outstanding lineup of world-class DJs which last year included David Morales, The Shapeshifters, Mark Knight, Weiss and Black Coffee. We’re announcing their lineup very soon!
Carpe Diem is set amongst a forest on its own island, where we host emerging talents playing the best of house, disco and tech house. Last year we had acts like Bladtkramer, Milo S, Menendez Brothers, Kalyde, Weaver Bros and Adry and OMR throwing down huge sets.
We have a 200-year-old fort which sits perched upon a headland overlooking the Adriatic Sea that is now an amazing venue called Fort George, which plays host to funk, soul and hip hop collective Applebum each Sunday.
We’re currently working on some exciting plans for our closing party at Vanilla Club in Split as well. The summer is shaping up really nicely and we’ve got our second lineup announcement dropping soon, with some really exciting names and collaborations.
To check The Buzz out for yourself, head over to www.theyachtweek.com where you can hire a yacht with skipper for a week from just £495 per person.