Seasplash Festival: Sun, Sea, and Bass in Pula

Total Croatia News

Seasplash Festival, Pula

TCN’s Dave Gasson gives us an insight into Pula’s Seasplash Festival.

Last year saw Seasplash dedicate their festival to sound system culture and this year’s 15th edition of the festival showed how far the founders and volunteers have come since the beginning. 

Since the early 2000s, a group of enthusiasts from the Punto Christo and Seasplash Association have worked tirelessly to clear this once disused site and to realise their vision of creating a cultural site offering many programmes and events.

It is obvious that everyone gives their all to make Seasplash what it is; now one of the longest running Croatian festivals and the feeling of community and a deep respect for music and each other was present throughout the four days. The festival manages to retain this relaxed and warm atmosphere, creating a unique vibe that sets Seasplash apart from most other festivals.

“The easiest way to describe the atmosphere among the guests is to say that this festival doesn’t need security guards. Their only purpose here is to protect us from the hazards that occur in every day life” states co-founder Vedran Meniga.

Croatian band One Dread were the first band up on the main stage and they served a great reggae set that included some of their own music as well as many of the reggae hits.


The UK were well represented during the festival. Having had the pleasure to see Citizen Fish perform on the MainSplash stage, it was evident that these pioneers of their genre were as beautifully untamed as perhaps they were during their debut in 1990 but with the sound and performance only experience can bring. The band, with their edgy blend of punk rock and Ska belted out their tunes to include Marker Pen, Social Insecurity and the brilliant, Wake Up.

Housed in Punto Christos magnificent 19th Century Austro Hungarian fortress, this building, once symbolic of oppression, is now the seemingly perfect backdrop and home to this ever evolving event and the final act on the main stage was the Manchester Punk/ska band Autonomads. Coming together during the squat scene during 2007 in Manchester, the Autonomads were inspired by free party culture and Dub-anarcho-punk. During their show they expressed their love of Soundsystem culture and voiced their political and social concerns creating music with an undeniable radical political message.

Black Star dub collective opened the main stage on Friday night. The band are a UK collaborative and the musicians are an amalgamation of Autonomads and Conscious Youth. The music was new and fresh.

Croatian electronic dub band Bamwise then played tracks from their latest album ”Soundproof”. After their huge success last year, Bamwise will again be appearing and playing their own unique brand of dub at this year’s Outlook festival. They combined live mixing, guitars and vocals and gave an excellent digital Dub set.

They were followed by Vibronics meet Conscious Sounds who played tracks from their latest album ”Half Century Dub”, an album that celebrates and covers 5 decades of Dub music. Concluding the bands on the main stage for Friday was the Polish band Paprika Korps.

In between and during the action on the main stage there are several other smaller stages and chill out zones to explore. British DJs FLECK, Mungos HiFi, and Steve Vibronics played a mixture of slots and venues throughout the festival including the SoundSplash Stage, the DubSplash and the BeachSplash stage with Noah Ball, one of the founders of Outlook and Dimensions festival playing the ElectroSplash stage. A new zone, AkiSplash, had been created this year, dedicated to Aleksandar Mujcinovic designed for chilling and chatting.

The Croatian Reggae band Brain Holidays from Zagreb formed in 2000, offered up a great opening performance for Saturday night with their own unique reggae tracks from their 3 albums ”Stereo Roots”, ”Save Peace Babylon delete” and ”System error”.

The legendary Vin Gordon played the MainSplash Stage next with The Real Rock Band. Hailed as a master trombonist, ”Trommie” has worked with some of the most iconic reggae artists in the world. His sounds can be heard on the recordings of many Studio One legends such as Dennis Brown, the Heptones and, of course, the Wailers. Vin Gordon is a man in demand and it was a privilege for us all to witness one of reggaes legends in action along with his outstanding band.

Continuing the theme of outstanding musicians there was an impressive performance from Culture Shock, a UK band containing members from Citizen Fish. Formed in 1986, the band released their first recording 25 years ago.  are described as a truly revolutionary band within the ska-punk genre. They are credited with playing a massive role in the ska-punk-dub-reggae community. Just like their music, their live show was direct with maximum drive.

Each stage was impressively hosted by various SoundSystems. Boca, Munchies, Digitron and Warrior Charge Soundsystems were in attendance together with the organisers SeaSplash Sound System and Syrup Visuals providing the perfect multi sensory experience.

With dawn fast approaching it was Killo Killo Banda from Sebia who brought the mainsplash stage to an end for Saturday.

As well as offering an amazing and unique mixture of musical genres this year, the festival also excelled in its choices of free workshops. DJ Venom was back to offer tricks, techniques and talent on the decks and audio and visual workshops were a feature with the chance to create a DIY Dub siren.

An aerial silk workshop was running for those who were brave enough to try and Dub yoga sessions were welcoming all. Free camping was again available, and the bars were well stocked at affordable normal prices, Thank you Seasplash, such a pleasure to visit!

There were various food stands and stalls that were open for business around the clock and a pop up merchandise shop meant there was no need to leave the site during the duration of your stay. By day, the beaches were calling to be enjoyed and by night, guest artists from across the region and worldwide were there to represent the entire scene and culture of reggae, dub, ska, drum and bass, dancehall, electronica and world music live on five stages.

For those looking to relax, but party and who appreciate a more intimate atmosphere with plenty of Bass then this is the festival for you to book in 2018!

There isn’t long wait until the next festival in Pula at Punto Christos with the Dimensions Festival taking place between 20.08.17 and 03.09.17, and the Outlook Festival between 06.09.17 and 10.09.17.


All photos: Dave Gasson / Text written by Hannah Smith


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