My 16-hour search for sunshine beats is satisfied at SUNceBEAT 2010

A week and three days ago, I travelled by car, plane (propeller powered and 21st century-style) and bus to Croatia for new music festival Suncebeat. You may wonder why in a blog claiming to be about Manchester clubbing with beats, I’m about to tell you about a party that took place over 1020 miles away. You may also wonder, as I did several times, why I underwent all of that travelling for a three-day event.

Once I found out about Suncebeat, which is held at the Garden Festival in the beautiful seaside town of Petrčane and organised by the people responsible for the mighty Southport Weekender, I had to book. Manchester may be home to some of my favourite club nights, but it doesn’t give me the option of partying to my favourite DJs by the Adriatic Sea, surrounded by thousands of people from around the world.

It was also exciting to know I would be able to live out the Ibiza-esque fantasy of dancing silhouetted against the sunset without having to encounter David Guetta, eye-watering ticket prices and people crying in the middle of a Tiesto track.

The Garden Festival has received praise for its Electric Elephant festival (anyone who is travelling there this weekend, have fun) and The Garden Festival parties. So, with good reviews and Southport vibes beckoning, my housemate and I set off to Manchester Airport on Friday 13th August at a bleary-eyed 4am.

Now what was it like? Well I could bore you with emotional intricacies about the way Kerri Chandler mixed in ‘Bar A Thym’ in Dennis Ferrer’s ‘Hey Hey’ on the final boat party of the festival, or argue whether ‘Let The Rain Come Down’ by Jazmina or Elements Of Life’s ‘Into My Life (You Brought The Sunshine) was the song of Suncebeat 2010, but I won’t. I’ve put together my favourite moments of a weekend I will never forget instead.

The tenuous link to Manchester moment

New Jersey DJ – and deep house legend – Kerri Chandler played ‘Blue Monday’ New Order at the end of his Saturday night set. The crowd go mad and I smile for Salford.

The moment I realised three car journeys, numerous hours waiting for buses and planes, two air trips and a four-hour coach ride was all worth it

The first thing I see and hear when I arrive to a fairy wonderland on Friday evening is man of the moment Dennis Ferrer, and dancers screaming ‘Hey Hey’

The ‘finally’ moment

No sun until Saturday afternoon was pretty cack. When it did appear I did a sun dance as 1xtra DJ Ronnie Herel played ‘Candy’ by Cameo.

The pleasantly surprised moment

Croatian spinner Eddy from Eddy Meets Yannah goes UK crazy and drops ‘Neighbourhood’ by Zed Bias (another Manchester link) and Doneao’s ‘Party Hard’ at the Sunday evening Beat Boat party. Kerri Chandler looked bemused, everyone else got down.

The really cool moment that just wouldn’t be cool anywhere else

Dancing in the pool to Bah Samba. The paddling pool, that is.

The moment I realised I really didn’t want to go home

Looking at my watch on the final boat party of the weekend, and it showing there was only 45 minutes to go before it docked. Larry Heard’s set and the crew in Barbarella’s Nightclub helped me forget about the end of the festival for a few more hours though.

Soul dancers, Suncebeat is the essential place for a sunshine party. I’ll definitely be back next year (once its confirmed, hopefully) with more memories to take back to Manchester with me – and yes, a better travel plan too.

Useful links

Check out Suncebeat’s Facebook page for pictures and general wishing being back there.


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