Super Uho: How to Relive Your Punk Youth with Your Dad in Primošten

Daniela Rogulj

Music festivals. You either love them, or you hate them, and at nearly 27 years old, I have learned to, more or else, live without them. To be fair, I have been going to music festivals for as long as I can remember, thanks to my father, who played a part in the music industry in California. As you would imagine, this had its perks for my family.

Some of the largest music festivals in California took place in my San Francisco backyard of Golden Gate Park. Having attended music festivals from California to Tennessee and across the Atlantic Ocean, I’ve danced to my favorite bands, I’ve cried, and I’ve been wildly disappointed by many live sets. Unfortunately, many of today’s festival lineups are recycled and have lost their appeal, and I guess you can say that music festivals have mostly lost my interest. That is, until I met Super Uho.

To say that music is a significant part of my life would be an understatement. My father is to blame, and I guess his father would be the one to blame before him. Once my father’s family left Split for New York City in 1958, my father’s musical horizons became a bit more open than the Dalmatian lullabies my grandmother would sing to him at night. My father remembers the first Buddy Holly album my grandfather brought home to him at the age of 6 and hearing The Beatles for the first time as one of the most compelling moments of his life. This would shape his musical tastes forever. 

As my father became a young adult, he would record shop, picking albums to purchase based on their covers. For example, this is how he discovered The Velvet Underground. An avid reader of New York City’s “The Village Voice,” known as the country’s first alternative newsweekly, my dad then discovered The Ramones and the venue CBGB’s, both of which would symbolically represent him to this day.

I can’t even tell you how many times my dad saw The Ramones, but the number is in the hundreds. Hell, my dad even became good friends with them, and it was Johnny Ramone who helped my father realize that he needed glasses, and desperately. My father, therefore, was in the heart of the 1970’s punk scene. He would see the first Talking Heads show ever, and Blondie. I think they even played together on the bill that night. He can never remember. He would scalp tickets to see The Clash, only to find out later that the tickets were in the fifth row – “one of the top three concerts of my life.” He would mix in the company of Patti Smith, and best of all, he would make sure that he shared his stories and experiences with his children one day.

And he did.

My brother and I grew up as little punk kids in southern California. There are home videos of me on the top bunk of my brother’s bed singing every word to The Ramones cover of The Who’s “Substitute” at three years old, and my brother pretending to be Johnny Ramone on a plastic toy guitar. My father raised us on punk and pop-punk, but most importantly, songs that had “hooks.” Blame that on Buddy Holly and The Beatles.

His influence naturally carried on for the years that followed, and you better believe that we never succumbed to the evils of the top 40. To this day, that remains true.

Fast forward to Croatia, 2017. My father, mother, and I all reside in Split, Croatia. Having been here just over two years now, we’ve most certainly frequented our fair share of concerts and dipped our toes into the local music scene here. We would be lying if we said that most of our mutual friends in Split weren’t all a part of the local music scene. While we might have moved countries, not much else has changed, I assure you that.

Lovers of live music shows, my father and I try to make as many as we can in Croatia. We’ve seen The Bambi Molesters, Psihomodo Pop, TBF, Sara Renar, Justin’s Johnson, Marjan Ban, and Diktatori; you name it, and we were probably there. 

Before the summer music festival season in Croatia kicked off, my dad and I awaited the lineup to one of the best music festivals the Croatian coast boasts – Super Uho. After visiting the festival last year to check out their new location in Primošten, a place my father and I are very fond of, we fell in love. There are two small stages in the woods, an intimate setting with just the right number of people (and local people), and good sound? This wasn’t a music festival. This was heaven. After discovering some incredible local talent at last year’s event and experiencing a vibe that exuded everything but “I am a generic music festival,” we knew this would be something we would look forward to every summer. 

You have to imagine our excitement, then, when the lineup for Super Uho this year announced two of our favorite punk artists from the past. Billy Bragg, an English singer and songwriter whose lyrics are powerful and politically driven, and The Buzzcocks, an English punk band from the 70s on their celebratory 40-year-anniversary tour, would be playing in Primošten. This is something neither my father nor I thought we would see in our lifetimes.

Surprisingly, after detailing my father’s punk escapades to you, he hadn’t seen either Billy Bragg or The Buzzcocks in his lifetime. On the other hand, I had seen Billy Bragg once at one of those XL-sized music festivals in my backyard of Golden Gate Park I mentioned earlier. So this would be a treat for us both.

We would arrive in Primošten in just over an hour, without a hint of traffic on the roads from Split – surprising, considering we took the coastal road up, too. Once we arrived in Primošten, we decided to visit the giant monument to the Virgin Mary that was completed just a few months ago. And boy, is it giant. While we aren’t particularly religious, this was beautiful, and the views from the top are breathtaking. If you are planning on visiting the monument, wear walking shoes. The hike to the top is incredibly steep, rocky, and not particularly easy – even for a 27-year-old like me.

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We headed to the festival from the monument, which was quite literally a one-minute drive away, arriving at the festival around 8:30 pm. We found parking instantly and made it from the car to the entrance in less than 5 minutes. Was I dreaming? No lines, no drunks, no stress – we were in before we knew it and knew this would be a good night.


Billy Bragg began at 9:15 pm. Not so patiently waiting for a show I knew would blow my father and me away, Bragg took the stage and started with fan-favorite “There is Power in A Union.” Politically driven, I told you so. Bragg especially delighted the audience after a few songs in, saying that he knew just two words in Croatian, and they were “Slaven Bilić.” A West Ham fan, of course, he would then end each song with a “Slaven Bilić!” shout and ultimately got caught up in conversation with a fan about how cool it is that Bilić is in a band and how no other football managers are in a band. He also questioned whether or not Bilić received a hair transplant because why else would he be wearing a hat for six months last season?

In one of the songs at the end of his set, Bragg switched the lyrics to reference “Hajduk Split,” which sent the crowd into a frenzy. The man had won us all over and stole our hearts. He ended his set with one of his most famous tunes, “A New England,” and everyone in the crowd belted at the tops of their lungs. Finally, Bragg said goodbye to the crowd with one more “Slaven Bilić!” and a “Hvala” to all his fans.

We had an hour to kill before The Buzzcocks took the stage, so we indulged in 20 HRK beers, including Pilsner, Crafter’s, Nova Runda, and Zmajsko – not too shabby. We also indulged in 15 HRK french fries and festival fare that cost no more than 35 HRK. I’m telling you, this was not a music festival; this was heaven.


My father and our best family friends are visiting us from Mexico.

The Buzzcocks then took the main stage to a packed house. The band, who are now in their 60s, came out with such high energy, jumping from hit to hit, which had the crowd knowing every word. With basically no commentary between songs, they ended with “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t),” which I imagine even some of you reading this have heard before. The band ended just before 1 am, and we were on our way back to Split under a full moon. 


Croatia is constantly full of surprises. In my two years here, I almost feel I have seen and experienced more than I did in 24 years in California. For example, I never thought I would see the day my father and I could revisit our punk past together in Croatia, just one hour from where we live. Hell, I also never thought we’d see Everton play Hajduk at Poljud stadium either, but I guess we’ll see that too. 



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