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Collegium Spring Break Island, Day One

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Data Transmission starts the Croatia Adventure with a relative unknown to the Brit market. Collegium Spring Break Island is run by Slovenian outfit Collegium. Promoters, logistics, tour-operators extraordinaire, they’ve been going for about 18 years, running massive student parties in Croatia, Slovenia and Greece, providing support to the likes of Sonus, Barrakud and Ultra. Collegium Spring Break Island is one of their newer, self-branded ventures. It happens over two weekends – 5-9th – where we are now, and 19th-22nd as well – the aim being to attract two different groups of student crowd: the first wave mostly German, the second mostly French. It all kicks off down Zrce Beach – ‘East Europe’s Ibiza’ – home of the infamous Hideout, Sonus and Barrakud festivals.  

Night one saw us hitting up bottles of Jack and witnessing probably the first instance ever of podium-dancers at a press party (You need to check out Cocomo. Shots aren’t too pricey either) before heading down the beach with Irish student favourite Rory Lynam and Irish/Nigerian MC Fabu-D. DT met the pair shortly before their set for a couple of drinks, where it was learned that the duo are a touring act in Ireland year round. The pair are legitimately hilarious – quick to swap stories on trashed laptops, fear of flying (MC Fabu D hasn’t been on a plane in years) whilst Fabu D tries to sell Nigeria as a holiday destination – unable to keep his face straight in the process. 

Down on Zrce beach we hit Kalypso. Which looks completely different to the last two years we’ve been here. Long considered the older, less glamorous of the beaches 5 superclubs (technically 4, Noa is next door to Papaya but according to town legislation and a local authority fall out, is legally in a different county. Hold tight, we’re gonna get an interview on that!) Kalypso’s gone under the knife in a big way – Gone is the inexplicably deep stage, the huge podiums and the weirdly multi-level dancefloor. Now a wide, single platform dancefloor (which, allegedly transforms into a pool) sits in the middle of a much more open space. The soundsystem and lights have been considerably beefed up. Meanwhile, where before there was a kind of non-descript upstairs area, this now has a kind of premium-lounge feel, in the offchance you meet someone you’d like to impress. Finally, the whole venue has been wrapped in a wooden basket structure, keeping it open air, but making it feel like a serious, contained venue, not a thematic collection of buildings on the end of the beach as it was before.

The Irish/Nigerian duo Rory & Fabu D were quick to wind the crowd up, combining student-club-night style mixing with an incredibly animated MC, jumping up onto the stage deck, pointing out faces in the crowd, and hula-hooping his chain (it’s surprising how hilarious this looks). It may not be sharp-edge festival-clubbing, but as a student party – it certainly delivers. 

Day One Photos By Ally Byers

Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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