Following last month’s interview feature with Sonus Festivals After Movie Director, we got inspired to hear more about Croatia where the festival is held. This brought us to reaching out to Felver, one of the Sonus resident DJ’s who’s been Zagreb based for 26 years. Croatia has fast become Europe’s number one festival clubbing destination and every year the country which has a population of just 4.1 million his visited by over 16 million tourists, many who visiting for their unique festivals that are set in absolutely stunning locations such as Pag Island, where you’ll find Sonus.
From boat parties to club takeovers, beach raves to all day kicks ons, there’s a party for everyone and Sonus has been representing and leading the way for the global tech house scene for 6 years. Enough from us, here’s what local legend Felver has to say…
What’s your name and what do you do?
My name is Felver. Marijan Felver. Nice of you to have called in, much appreciated. I’ve been a Zagreb-based DJ for the past 26 years, trying to spearhead music throughout Croatia to the best of my ability. True, being a DJ is my primary calling, but I’ve tried to have my career evolved by working as a radio musical editor and a program manager for many clubs. Another thing I take very seriously is promotion, as it puts me in touch with people in whose work I’m interested. I think of it as an audience-to-audience connection, by putting their-to-mine audience together.
Where are you originally from?
Natural breed of Zagreb!
Croatian tourism has exploded in the past few years. Do you feel this has been a good thing for the local music scene?
Over the past twenty years, the Croatian electronic scene has changed at so many levels. New blossoms and critical points, the whole nine yards. I would think that the most important change has to do with the size of the scene. Nowadays, it’s a way bigger, more dynamic and much more developed. This may be thanked to the hard work of local DJs and a multitude of summer festivals across the Croatian coast in the last ten years or so.
Croatia has a huge festival scene from Soundwave in Tisno, Ultra in Split, Sonus in Zrce to Outlook in Pula. Which is your favourite?
Well I either performed at or visited each of these places. A performer or a visitor, I always had a wonderful time. Sonus linked in with me from its very beginning, and while Istria is one of my all-time favourites, I must say that my heart goes with Zrće and Pag on this one.
After a big night out do you go for some Čevape or a Burek?
Always secretly on my menu, but I save it for not so big occasions. I keep it for the more ordinary times. You know, when you’re not so much impressed with other things that would otherwise distract you from Ćevapi and Burek.
What would you say is a must-see destination in Croatia?
Croatia is a very diverse country, a true beauty. Not a big country, but with scores of things to see, even if you just talk about Zagreb and its vicinity. The coast and the island, more than a thousand of them for that matter, would the be point to start your journey. The indented coast would just take much more to sail around, but it’s not such a bad thing, right? The continental part, it’s a wonder. So, it is very difficult, clumsy on my part for that matter, to name a few interesting places. But, let’s do it… the wines of Ilok, plains of Slavonia, hills of Zagorje, my Zagreb, Istria’s magic, Kornati with its sail, the wonderful Split, the landlocked lakes, the mountains if you feel like it…, just take a pick.
How do you compare it to Ibiza?
Never been to Ibiza, only heard it was fun. Will make my way to it as soon as I get a chance. It must be quite the same sentiment as over here, but there should be difference, otherwise I would not want to go.
There are a few underground destinations the Beats Travellers love to party at, such as Kocka in Split. What is your favourite underground rave spot?
The Stereotip Sundays’, the Masters and the Funk in Zagreb.
There are other locations in the Balkans that also throw great parties and festival such as Serbia but it’s quite clear Croatia is the place that has risen on the map. Why do you think this is?
The Croatian coast makes one of the biggest stages to organise clubbing and festival-type events. A thousand islands to choose from, and it’s been quite a spur for the hoist of interest. The Belgrade scene, the traditional zing to Sarajevo dynamics, Slovenia’s Ljubljana, all the great places. Croatia follows an upward trend because of a persistently had work by all of us. And it pays off.
What is the best party you have played at over the years? And is there a favourite club of yours that people should not miss on their time in Croatia?
There are so many people and clubs, so much groove brought about by each and every one of them. Almost impossible to single out one of them, it depends on the day of the week. And every day brings its own surprise. The best thing for me is to be on the lookout and get surprised. If not, well tomorrow’s another day
If you have one day off at a festival. What would you be doing? Heading to the beaches, trekking up mountains or something else? What’s would you recommend we get up to?
Quite honestly, I don’t really care what and where, people of my choice would be my pick. If I had the people I loved around me, I can sit at a treetop or in a five-star hotel. It’s all about who makes your juices running. It’s about the atmosphere and the energy. So, I can climb the mountains or be at beaches, or at home, as long as I’m happy with what turned to be the best party I threw yesterday.
If you had 24 hours to travel to around Croatia what’s your top 3? i.e. must eat, must see, must do, must meet…
All four criteria met with these one:
At Draško’s in Zagreb, but you need me for this one as you can’t get in without a referee.
Come and say at Sonus Festival 2018.