Novalja, Croatia

As we arrived in Novalja – the coastal town on the Croatian island of Pag that hosts Hideout festival – we were greeted by enthusiastic revelers in vibrant beachwear and the hazy sound of distant house music. Within minutes the political lunacy we’d left back in the UK somehow seemed to melt away as the sweltering Croatian sun gave way to an array of world-class Djs, boat parties and long Summer nights.

An early highlight for us was the Bollywood themed Kalypso club. With Spanish party promoters Elrow on curation duty it was a feast for all the senses. Bright, colourful flags adorned the stage as Artwork’s booming Monday night house set the pace in these particularly picturesque surroundings. Hideout’s small scale meant that we only needed to stumble a few yards down the beach to find Zinc’s jungle set thumping along before another short stroll down the strip gave us Gardens of God and Alan Fitzpatrick rolling out a tech-focused vibe.

The following night, the mighty Skepta caused bedlam. His non stop supply of hits attracted perhaps the largest crowd of the week. The festival’s Papaya stage was quite simply bursting at the seams. As chaos ensued, a mere 50 metres away Dusky, Midland and Bicep were busting out sets that managed to draw a few discerning shufflers many away from the grime kingpin. In particular, Bicep demonstrated why their upcoming album is so eagerly anticipated. Playing euphoric yet pounding house mixed with a splash of trance. The two hour masterclass peaked when they dropped Push’s showstopper Strange World.

Wednesday evening saw a 7 hour set from all star house crew J.E.S.u.S. Jackmaster, Eats Everything, Seth Troxler and Skream chopped and changed between house bangers and disco grooves, and proved why they continue to dominate dancefloors.

As the end of our five day whirlwind adventure approached, the inevitable dread of home time was eclipsed by a two hour Heidi spectacle. Her energetic and stylish set paid tribute to the best of British dance music (including a six minute outing of Underworld’s Cowgirl.) As the sun rose and the final acts of Hideout 2016 started to play people started to make an exit. For the few who strived to party until the music died, us included, Joy Orbison’s always eclectic sounds proved to be the perfect farewell.