Photo Gallery and Impressions: The First Day of 11th INmusic Festival

Photo: Boris Stromar/JustZagreb

The first day of INmusic festival is behind us, we’ve let the impressions settle in and now its time to take a look back at the eleventh edition of Zagreb’s biggest music festival with rested eyes. A festival that has ten years behind it, no matter how successful it is, has to make certain changes to keep it fresh, make certain parts that were lacking better and increase its quality overall. While this year’s lineup (on paper) has been praised as one of the better in the last few years, the organizers have taken certain risks with its execution. If they are good or bad risks we’ll see by the end of the festival.

First of all, a bit of good luck with the weather. That has nothing to do with the organization, but rain has been a bit of a thorn in their sides for the last couple of years. It didn’t hurt them much because, well, dancing in the mud is fun, but it was a bit of a nuisance if you were in the camp.  Heavy rain did fall the day before the festival, and it caused some minor technical problems, but by the looks of it, it’s smooth sailing this year.

A few good changes were noticeable from the entrance. The payment system is better this year. When getting rid of the cash system and implementing festival credits two years ago (partly due to a new national taxation system, partly to shorten the waiting time when getting drinks), the idea seemed valid, but backfired with longer waiting times and double lines: one for the credits, one for the drinks when you finally get credits. Implementing payments with payWave credit cards has taken care of that problem and you could order drinks fairly quickly for a festival, and that means more time with the bands you want to listen to.

The big risk INmusic took this year was the timetable of performances. Some big names were given really early slots (6:30pm, The Coral (1st day) and Wilco (3rd day)), probably to pull in the crowds to the festival earlier. In general, it’s has sound logic behind it, but yesterday’s performance of The Coral did not shine as much as it could with the first festival goers just starting to arrive. By nightfall the festival amassed a crowd of 20 000 people, so a band with that kind of name recognition could have fared better in later slots.

The newly installed replica of Tesla tower with VJ-ing sets in it was a hit, and adding focus to other performance arts associated with music is always a good thing. The camp got better this year as well: it’s better arranged, with more accessibility to different utilities (electricity, internet…) and more content for the campers. Sunny weather also plays a big part in the overall impression. It just looks way better hidden in the threes with sun rays cutting trough.

Django Django has justified the hype with an energetic performance after a bit of a rough start (the aforementioned rain and minor technical problems at the start of the concert), giving the best show of the first night. The next two best of show shout outs go to the locals on smaller stages: Chui and The Bambi Molesters. Jake Bugg seemed tame compared to the act that followed it: the gods of rock multimedia show Gutterdammerung featuring Henry Rollins. It was not for everyone, but there was not a single person left unfazed when they played Ace of Spades in honor of the late Lemmy Kilmister whose Motorhead was one of this year’s announced headliners (the Gutterdammerung was one of Lemmy’s last projects).

Having such a multimedia project as the headliner for the first day was also one of the risks the organizers took,  with most of the crowds that frequent the festival for headliner performances being more on the mainstream side of things. They are playing it safe on the second day though, with Skunk Anansie (8:30pm) and Florence and the Machine (11:15pm) performing on the main stage. Both bands have an great track record of awesme performances, and we’re sure they’ll deliver them in Zagreb tonight.