FAULT MAGAZINE at Fresh Island Festival



Croatia is beautiful. This is the first thing that hits you when you arrive on the Island of Pag- it hits you straight in the face and stays with you, amplifying every pool party, every frozen cocktail, every world class hip-hop artist, every boat party, every nae-nae, dougie and whip you think you’re executing with perfection amongst the other attendees of Fresh Island Festival.!

Traveling the beaten road from Split airport to Zcre Beach, one can’t help but think why on earth would the locals would let so many young people come to the Island of Pag every year to party endlessly for 3 months on their stunning island. Fresh Island Festival falls nicely in mid-July among the relentless lineup of festivals set in Zcre Beach, and the answer is actually quite simple. The festival-tourism business is their biggest industry and they are delighted to accommodate it. So before you get bored with the economics of the Island of Pag and skip to the juicy parts, let me just relay the locals are extremely accommodating, going off their way to share their beautiful Island with their visitors, and this adds to the festival experience ten-fold. !


The Fresh Island lineup boasted so many big acts, and because of the simplicity of the layout (along a beach strip of several purpose-built clubs), we got to see pretty much all of them. !

The first evening we saw the amazing Joey Badass in club Papaya (definitely the better of venues). Backed by the awesome Statik Selektah, he spat out tune after tune from his 2015 album B4.DA$$. This was such an exciting start to the festival. We quickly ran over to Aquarius (another of the venues hosting the festival) to catch Danny Brown. What can we say! Hearing the intro of “Grown Up” blast over the crowd was truly amazing. Despite being quite late, and crazy as ever, Danny absolutely nailed every song and lived up to his ever- e!entertaining persona. He made an abrupt exit in search of Molly.!

What became apparent was how shocked all the performers were at the crowd appreciation. It seemed a lot of them thought they were flying out to a small festival where they may or may not be known very well, and would perform and get on with it. Performer after performer revelled in the high energy levels of the crowd, and the musical knowledge of hip- hop and r!ap they had stored for months and years to release in these magical few days.!


When we arrived to board the Faded Boat party the next day, little did we know this would be a highlight of Fresh Island we would never forget. Setting sail at 5pm and travelling out far enough, not to disturb the locals of Novaljia, this is definitely a must for anyone attending. Sweating it up in the queue to board is certainly worth the wait. Sipping on Gin’n’Juice as the sun sets, while dancing to Faded DJs was just too fun. Jam Masters, Shorty Bless and Melody Kane were the captains of this boat and provided a mix of old school garage, classic hip-hop, afrobeat and bashment. It was our pleasure to hang with Melody after and we luckily got to catch another of her sets at a pool party the next day. We couldn’t help but wish the line-up offered more in the way of female performers and DJs, not for equality’s sake, but because of the omitted talent. Little Simz, Princess Nokia, Siobhan Bell and Tink amongst others, could have sat nicely with the other big names, and provided a less singularly gendered lineup, which couldn’t help but go unnoticed.!


Action Bronson was another highlight for us, making it out to almost every corner of the crowd, disregarding security and playing everything we wanted to hear. Pusha T provided an A class performance and had a strong following within the attendees, especially amongst the older crew, and the American audience.!

Skepta’s cancellation was a bit of a travesty for the many Londoners attending the festival, but with a quick mix around, and a few apology notices, the organisers did well to secure his younger brother JME who was repping Boy Better Know and London. When he burst out onto the stage wearing a Nasir Mazhar coat, the sleep-deprived crowd instantly got their energy

levels up and he was everything what everyone wanted to hear on the final night of the festival in Kalypso. What a way to end three days of sun, fun and musical goodness!
What made this festival even more enjoyable for us was the crowd. Everyone was there to have a good time and to showcase their own unique style in sunshine. !

Words & Photography LXN