Tuesday, 25 October 2022

Great Success of Umag Sea Star Festival, Organisers Recount

October 25, 2022 - This year's Sea Star festival in Umag, the first festival held in Croatia since 2019, brought a new 54 million kuna in profit for the Croatian economy. From 2017 to today, the total exceeded 225 million kuna, the festival organisers reported.

As Index writes, on May 27 and 28, more than 40,000 visitors came to the fourth edition of the Sea Star Festival, according to research by the consulting firm Hotelis, which specialises in tourism and hotel management, and the independent agency TIM Centar. The visitors brought a new 54 million in profit for the Croatian economy.

The total realised contribution from 2017 to today has exceeded HRK 225 million or almost EUR 30 million, and only direct consumption caused by the Sea Star event was included in the analysis.

Visitors from more than 40 countries and four continents

In addition to this amount, the total value of the marketing promotion of the festival and the destination, specifically Umag, the Stella Maris lagoon, Istria, and Croatia, has been estimated at more than HRK 128 million, or EUR 17 million. In 2022 alone, the value of the marketing campaign carried out in more than 20 countries exceeded five million euros.

In two evenings, visitors from more than 40 countries and four continents entered through the festival gates of this year's Sea Star. Fans from Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, BiH, and Serbia prevailed, and some came to Umag from the USA, Australia, Israel, and Kuwait.

Regarding audience size, Sea Star in 2022 was the most visited music event in Istria and Primorje and one of the three most visited in Croatia. According to the data of the Umag Tourist Board, about 15,000 tourists and almost 50,000 overnight stays were recorded at the destination from May 26 to 29.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Istrian Town of Umag Plans Construction and Further Development

August the 31st, 2022 - The beautiful Istrian town of Umag is set to redefine itself as a modern European city with new construction plans and further development.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the eighth session of the Umag City Council was held on Monday, where several important decisions were made for the further development of the city and the improvement of the quality of life of its residents, writes local portal The Voice of Istria/Glas Istre.

To speak more precisely, the Umag-East Spatial Plan was adopted and passed, which will enable the further economic development of the trade and service zone along the stretch from the entrance roundabout into the town of Umag itself. In the continuation of the zone in the direction of Lovrecica, it will soon be possible to build a completely new quarter, which, due to its appearance, functionality and sustainable green construction, will completely change and redefine Umag as a small, more modern European city.

Furthermore, although the implementation of the POS-4 project, i.e. the construction of the fourth building within the framework of encouraged housing for young families, is still ongoing, the implementation of the construction of a new, POS-5 building was initiated by the majority of votes within the Umag City Council. The move shows that the powers that be within Umag's administration are actively thinking about future needs of young men and women from the area who will, at a far more favourable price, manage to solve their housing issues in this way.

After all the necessary procedures and approvals which needed to be obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Decision on the selection of the best bidders for the long-term lease of agricultural land was also unanimously voted on. A 25-year lease will make it much easier for local farmers to plan and plant what they need to on a longer-term basis, creating the prerequisites for investment security and future business within this gorgeous and seemingly up and coming Istrian town.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 25 July 2022

Croatia Open Umag: Wimbledon Juniors Winner Mili Poljičak to Play First ATP Tour Match

July 25, 2022 - Wimbledon Juniors winner, 18-year-old Mili Poljičak from Split, will play his first match on the ATP Tour on Monday evening at the Goran Ivanišević Stadium as part of the Croatia Open Umag. 

Poljičak will face former Umag winner and 2018 Roland Garros semifinalist Marco Cecchinato (ATP - 147), reports HRT.

The 29-year-old Italian had the best season of his career four years ago, when he won his premier title in Budapest as a qualifier, reached the Roland Garros semifinals by defeating Novak Djokovic, and celebrated at the Croatia Open by defeating Argentinian Guido Pella in the final. This will be only his seventh appearance at the ATP Tour and Grand Slam tournament level.

He only made it through one round in Geneva and Roland Garros and overturned a two-set deficit against Spaniard Pablo Andujar in the first round of the Paris Grand Slam tournament. Cecchinato had a career ranking at the end of February 2019 and reached 16th place in the ATP singles ranking.

This year he had to play in the Umag qualifiers, and his victory against the Croatian representative Domagoj Bilješko on Saturday brought him to the main tournament after 38-year-old Andreas Seppi withdrew from the following match due to a shoulder injury.

The first qualifier was Frenchman Corentin Moutet (ATP - 112), who beat Matija Pecotić 7-5, 6-4 in Sunday's final round. The 33-year-old Croatian representative remained one step away from entering the main draw of the Umag ATP tournament for the second year in a row.

Along with Cecchinato, two other Italian tennis players, 20-year-old Giulio Zeppieri and 29-year-old Franco Agamenone advanced to the main tournament on Sunday, so the Italians will be the most represented nation at the 32nd edition of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open with a total of six representatives. Argentina has five tennis players in the main draw of the Umag tournament, while Spain is the third most represented country with four representatives.

Croatia has the youngest representative, the current European junior runner-up, 16-year-old Dino Prižmić from Split. The oldest player in the tournament is the 35-year-old Italian Fabio Fognini, who will appear for the 12th time at the tournament, where he triumphed in 2016 and was a finalist in 2013.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

32nd Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag Brings Best of Tennis to Istria in July

July 5, 2022 - The 32nd Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag tournament will be held from July 22 to 31!

Top tennis, an attractive music program, excellent culinary delights, and the great promotion of Umag, Istria, and Croatian tourism - all this will mark the 32nd edition of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag tournament, which will be held this season from July 22 to 31, reports HTS. This is guaranteed by some of the best tennis players in the world, such as Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, Italian Jannik Sinner, Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, Dane Holger Rune, and Croatian representative Borna Ćorić, whose arrival was announced at a press conference held in Zagreb.

"With such a stellar line-up of players on the list of registered participants, we can say that a top tennis event awaits us in Umag. Carlos Alcaraz is the biggest tennis story of today when talking about young players who should have a great career ahead of them, and Jannik Sinner and Holger Rune go with him in the same sentence. So we will have three of today's biggest young stars at the tournament but at the same time players who are already doing great things in professional tennis. There is also Georgian tennis player Basilashvili, last year's Indian Wells finalist, the ever-improving Argentinian Sebastian Baez, the winner of Umag in 2016, Italian Fabio Fognini, and of course, Croatia's Davis Cup representative Borna Ćorić. Borna will receive an invitation to the main tournament, and Umag is very important to him after returning from injury. He recently won the ATP Challenger in Parma, which shows that he is returning to his old form, so we believe he will be among the main candidates for a top result in Stella Maris. Together, we can announce a fantastic tournament," said tournament director Tomislav Poljak.

The Umag ATP tournament will be a great link between sports and tourism again this year, with a live broadcast in more than 140 countries worldwide. This makes it an excellent tennis event and an important promotional one.

"The Umag ATP tournament is one of the longest-running major events in Croatia that combines tourism and sport. Being part of the ATP tournament is no small thing, and we are proud to have such a tournament in Croatia. On the other hand, large sporting events are also the reason for visiting the destination, and we believe that Umag and this tournament bring Istria and Croatia additional promotion worldwide. That's why the Ministry of Tourism and Sports stands by this tournament, and we will continue to nurture cooperation for such a big event," said Josip Pavić, special advisor to the Minister of Tourism and Sports.

Dubravko Šimenc, a specialist for the Croatian Tourist Board's marketing projects, agreed.

"This is precisely the backbone of our cooperation with the organizers of the tournament because basic tourist products, such as the sun and the sea, are no longer a sufficient motive for coming to a destination, but we must all work together continuously to create and market competitive tourist experiences, and Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag, as the oldest tennis tournament in Croatia, is certainly one of them."

This year, Umag will also be the center of tennis where, in addition to the players in the main tournament, 600 recreational players will compete in side tournaments such as the traditional VIP tournament, the HEPi tournament, the Umag Stars Open, and the third ITF wheelchair tennis tournament. It continues with the Road to Umag, a series of tournaments around Croatia that has its final at the Umag tournament. Furthermore, this year's ATP Umag edition will, for the first time, provide all tournament enthusiasts with a fully digital experience through the official WhatsApp chatbot provided by Vodnja's Infobip, the leading IT company in the region and the tournament's technology partner. Through the WhatsApp chatbot, visitors will receive the necessary information about the tournament and the players and a variety of video content. In addition, they will have the opportunity to buy tickets, participate in prize quizzes, and more.

You can follow the news about the tournament at www.croatiaopen.hr

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Eurovision Winner Kalush Orchestra To Perform In Umag On 27-28 May

ZAGREB, 19 May 2022 - The winner of the 2022 Eurovision song contest, the Ukrainian rap group Kalush Orchestra, will play their first gig after the Eurovision victory at the Sea Star Festival in Umag, Croatia, on 27-28 May.

The global sensation from Ukraine is the new headliner of the Sea Star Festival, which will also feature another Eurovision competitor, the Serbian musician Konstrakta, who has become the most popular regional performer over the past few months with her song "In Corpore Sano".

At the recent Eurovision contest held in Turin, Italy, Konstrakta won the maximum number of points, 12, from both the Croatian jury and Croatian viewers of the Eurovision final.

In the lineup of the 27-28 Umag festival are also hip-hop star IggyAzalea, techno queen AmelieLens, the region's most popular band Dubioza Kolektiv, platinum hitmakers Meduza and Topic, Senidah, BučKesidi, Umek, Adiel, Insolate, Tijana T and Vojko V.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Istria 100 by UTMB: 9th Edition Runs through Istria this Weekend

April 6, 2022 - This year's Istria 100 by UTMB race in Umag gathers more than 1,000 runners from around the world. Among them so far is the largest number of Elite runners who have all announced breaking the track record!

Marko Gregurić, CEO of Istra 100 by UTMB®, and Alen Paliska, the director of the race, unanimously stated:

“A race full of excitement awaits us! Most of these runners have already run the track in one of the previous years, but the track changed significantly in one of the segments compared to last year. Many of our loyal competitors who have been coming for years commented that the changes have further raised the track's difficulty. This is why the race has become even more attractive for those always looking for a bigger challenge. We are especially pleased with the great response of the Elite Runners, whose participation further confirms the value and quality of our race in the world!"

Depending on the length of the trail they have chosen, from Friday, April 8 until Sunday, April 10, runners will start from Labin (168 km), Lovran (128 km), Buzet (68 km), Motovun (40 km) and Grožnjan (20 km). Runners can travel through the most picturesque parts of Istria. From the beginning to the end of the race, runners will encounter sections of technical terrain, passages through ancient medieval towns, deep forests, and muddy valleys, all enhanced with enjoying the beautiful view that stretches to the Adriatic Sea.


Dejan Hren

All roads and races lead to the finish line in Umag, where volunteers and hosts will greet the competitors. Each runner will be awarded a finisher's medal, and the most successful will be on the podium in Umag on Sunday at 1 pm at the winner’s ceremony.

Traditionally the strongest international ultra trail race in Istria is this year part of the UTMB® World Series trail platform. The goal of the World Series trail platform is to provide runners with exclusive access to the top trail sport but also the final of the world series of races, UTMB® Mont-Blanc. UTMB® World Series consists of 30 international trail races, and Istria 100 by UTMB® with that it is part of this selected society and the first race in the history of the World Series cycle of races.

Those interested can follow the racers through the LiveTrail® web and application. In addition, the organizer made additional efforts to provide insight into watching the race via Sports Television and video transmission on the Istria100 by UTMB Facebook page, where you can follow the runners LIVE.

Istria 100 by UTMB continuously confirms the high quality of organization and service to the race participants, which is why the Civil Headquarters of Istria and all locations support the race.

The City of Umag, Umag Tourist Board, HEP, Ina Croatia, global sponsors UTMB® World Series Hoka, Dacia and Wahoo, and other partners and sponsors recognized the potential and impact of Istria 100 by UTMB on the development of sports, tourism, and related services in Istria and Croatia, and have been happy to continue their cooperation for many years.

Ultra trail race Istria 100 by UTMB will be held from April 8 to 10, 2022

● Race start: Labin (168 km), Lovran (128 km), Buzet (68 km), Motovun (40 km) and Grožnjan (20 km) )
● Live monitoring of the race via Sports Television and video transmission on the Facebook page Istria100 by UTMB
● Monitor live results through the LiveTrail® web and app
● Presentation of Elite Runners will be held on Thursday, April 7, 2022, at 6 pm in Umag at the sports hall, Školska ulica 14
● More information about the race is on the official race website

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 25 February 2022

Croatian Traditional Jewellery: Istria's Medieval Earrings, Rediscovered

February 25th, 2022 - Medieval earrings discovered on several archaeological sites in Istria served as inspiration for authentic souvenirs: beautiful replicas in silver and gold, made by local artisans

Our ancestors seem to have loved shiny things as much as we did: traditional garb in all parts of Croatia included precious jewellery pieces such as earrings, bracelets, brooches and pendants. 

Some date back to medieval, ancient or even prehistoric times, and are nowadays displayed as museum exhibits. Others have stood the test of time, with traditional motifs passed down from generation to generation and remaining popular accessories to this day. 

And then there’s some traditional jewellery that falls into both these categories. Medieval earrings found on several archaeological sites in Istria were rediscovered in recent times and recreated with beautiful replicas in silver and gold, made by local artisans and whoheartedly embraced by the public.

The initiative to revive the ancient heritage of Istria in the form of jewellery largely came from goldsmith Klaudija Vorić, owner of Claudia Zlato jewellery shop in Svetvinčenat, now closed. Since the early 2000s, Vorić had been making jewellery inspired by traditional Istrian symbols. About ten years ago, she launched the initiative to make replicas of historic earrings in order to create high quality souvenirs for each given destination in cooperation with local authorities and relevant tourist boards. Vorić was the one responsible for the revival of Žminj, Buzet and Barban earrings on this list, and it's only right we give credit where credit is due.

Join us on a little themed tour of Istria as discover accessories of times past that now have their modern versions, readily available to all who wish to wear a piece of history. 


Žminj earrings / Žminjski rićin

It’s said that all the roads in Istria lead to Žminj, so it only makes sense to start our journey in this picturesque inland town.

Earrings and rings were uncovered at the early Croatian cemetery in Žminj, showing that the local women used to wear jewellery as early as in the 9th century. How’s that for tradition?

zminj.PNGMedieval earrings discovered in Žminj / Archaeological Museum of Istria

The earrings found at the necropolis were part of the rural folk costume worn in the Žminj area in the 9th and 10th centuries. They were made of silver and bronze and are grouped into several categories according to design and origin, with the most prominent type featuring so-called ‘strawberries’, hollow granules made of silver with elements of filigree and mesh. Some feature closed hoops, pointing to the fact they were most likely worn interwoven in hair or looped on hair strings.

Nowadays, the original finds are kept at the Archaeological Museum of Istria in Pula. They inspired a beautiful authentic souvenir, the Žminjski rićin (Žminj earring), designed after the medieval pieces and slightly modified to fit modern standards of jewellery wear.


The gorgeous pieces are nowadays made of silver and gold, and are manufactured in Pula by David jewellery.

In Žminj, earrings and rings are available for sale at the floral studio Heidi as a unique tourist souvenir, complete with a leaflet introducing the history of the Žminj jewellery in three languages.

118951668_1070107190089440_346707340667034873_n.jpgŽminj rings / Zlatarna David Facebook 

Barban earrings / Barbanski rančin

Earrings dating to the 11th century were unearthed in the small town of Barban. The medieval earrings have the form of a hoop with three small beads adorning the bottom part.

Similar to the ones found in Žminj, they were determined to be a part of folk costume typical for the period between the 11th century, when Istria was a part of the Holy Roman Empire, to the beginning of the 14th century when the region was taken over by the Venetian Republic.


Medieval Barban earring / Archaeological Museum of Istria

The initiative to bring the traditional Barban earrings into the modern era was also launched by Claudia Zlato jewellery, with the project devised by Jasminka Benazić and executed in cooperation with the Archaeological Museum of Istria, the Municipality of Barban and the Barban Tourist Board.

119054846_1070502886716537_5295468936080403712_n.jpgBarban earring / Zlatarna David Facebook

The result are beautiful wearable earrings, made in several sizes and materials and inspired by the cultural heritage of Barban.


Dvigrad earrings / Rančin Dvegrajka

On to Dvigrad, a ruinous medieval town in Limska Draga valley, where two unique types of earrings were discovered, made of bronze and dating to the 9th century.

Both types are simple hoops, one with a thin wire wrapped around the bottom part (see image below), the other adorned with a bead. Several other kinds of earrings were found in the Dvigrad area, but since they share features with various types discovered on archaeological sites elsewhere in Istria, it was decided to only make replicas of the two designs unique to Dvigrad. 

The wearable souvenirs are made by David jewellery from Pula, whose owner, goldsmith Luiđi Đinić, said it takes up to five hours to make a single pair. The delicate hoops are entirely handmade, and available in silver, silver-gilt, and silver gilded rose gold versions.

Like the other artefacts, the historic Dvigrad earrings are kept at the Archaeological Museum of Istria and were declared a cultural asset of the Republic of Croatia back in 1968.


Buzet earring / Buzetska naušnica

Delicious truffles aren’t the only precious thing found in the north of Istria, as the history of the hilltop town of Buzet and its environs goes all the way back to the Bronze Age.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that beautiful historic jewellery was discovered in Buzet as well, a type of bronze earring dating to the 7th century and known as the Buzet earring in archaeological literature.

buzetska_nausnica_002.jpgMedieval Buzet earrings / Buzet Tourist Board

Bronze earrings are most commonly found at the early medieval burial grounds of the native population and the Illyrian-Celtic people who inhabited the area between Buzet and the west coast of Istria.

The original pieces are kept at the Regional Museum of Buzet, and a silver replica was created as an authentic souvenir of Buzet. Two kinds are available, one being a near identical copy of the medieval earrings, other slightly modified and equipped with a clasp to be more easily wearable.

 claudiazlato.jpgBuzet earring / Buzet Tourist Board


Umag earrings / Umaška naušnica

We’ll end our little tour in Umag, a coastal town in the north-west of Istria. Although best known for the ATP tournament, Umag has much more to boast, including priceless historic finds such as the so-called Umag earring.

The bronze earring is shaped as an elliptical hoop adorned with three beads and a large engraved pendant, altogether cast in a one piece mold. It was found during archaeological research conducted in Umag in 2005, at the ruins of an early medieval church that burned down in the 9th century.



A silver replica was made by the local goldsmith and filigree master Njaci Široka, creating an original Umag souvenir that is available for sale in his shop.

Sunday, 20 February 2022

Fishermen in Istria Struggling With Jellyfish Infestation

February 20th, 2022 - The barrel jellyfish is mostly harmless to humans, but sure seems to be a menace to fishing nets due to its size - and numbers. Fishermen have been struggling with an invasion of huge jellyfish in the north of Istria that shows no sign of subsiding

An infestation of large jellyfish has been a source of headache for fishermen in Umag and Savudrija for two months now, so much so that some have given up and are not even going out to sea anymore. There are so many of them, and they’re so big and heavy that they destroy the nets as the fishermen lift them out of the sea, reports Jutarnji list.

Danilo Latin, a fisherman from Savudrija, says it’s not uncommon for them to pull out one ton of jellyfish at a time. He’s never seen such a thing before, and fishermen in general don’t know how to go about it. 

‘This has been going on for two months. It’s never been this way. Last year, [the jellyfish] appeared for a short while in March and that was that. This year they just won’t leave, and we don’t know when we’ll be able to go out to sea again. There are so many of them that even us fishermen are starting to feel uneasy. A friend of mine was recently at sea and told me that he’s never been scared to look at the sea before. He had a feeling as if it were ghosts under the surface’, said Latin.

Latin and other fishermen who are dealing with the jellyfish invasion in northern Istria are calling for the situation to be declared a natural disaster.

‘We can’t go out to sea as we only suffer damage. Some of the jellyfish weigh up to eight kilograms. And we don’t even know when we’ll be able to sail out. We informed experts at the Institute of Agriculture and Tourism in Poreč of this, and invited the Ruđer Bošković Centre for Marine Research in Rovinj as we wish for this to be declared a natural disaster. As far as I know, the scientists from the Rovinj institute haven’t yet arrived to see what’s going on. We reached out to the Department of Agriculture of Istria County and they told us they had never dealt with this issue. It’s new to everyone’, Latin said, adding it wasn’t only an issue in Umag and Savudrija, but also in the waters of Slovenia and the Italian region Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Scientist Barbara Sladonja from the Centre for Invasive Species of the Institute of Agriculture and Tourism in Poreč wasn’t able to say with certainty when the jellyfish would pull back and if it would happen before summer.

‘It’s the barrel jellyfish (Lat. Rhizostoma pulmo). This jellyfish is naturally found in our waters, and over the last hundred years or so, it has made an occasional appearance in large numbers. It’s the so-called jellyfish bloom phenomenon, seen in many jellyfish species, including the barrel jellyfish. In recent years, such blooms have been lasting longer and longer. It can’t be said for sure when it will pull back. Judging by the last few years, they already should have retreated, but their population remains large. We hope this won’t last until summer’, said the scientist.

She explained there were several reasons why the jellyfish would appear in such large numbers.

‘One reason is the sea temperature being too high. The barrel jellyfish population should decrease significantly in winter due to low temperatures. This year, it apparently hasn’t dropped low enough, and the population kept growing. In addition, marine food chains have been disrupted by several factors’, said Sladonja.

Experts from the Ruđer Bošković Institute from Rovinj said they were monitoring the phenomenon and that this jellyfish species is among the bigger ones found in the Adriatic. They can weigh up to 10 kilos each.

Until they fall back, it’s only the Ministry of the Sea that can help the fishermen. According to Ezio Pinzan, head of Istria’s Department of Agriculture, Istria County doesn’t have the funds for it.

‘We have to see what’s going on and how to prevent it from happening again next year. The Ministry has an aid package of 50 million kuna in the works, which they’ll distribute to our fishermen for this difficult situation’, said Pinzan.

Thursday, 17 February 2022

10th Indirekt Music Festival in Umag Announces First 5 Artists

February 17, 2022 - After a two-year break, the 10th Indirekt music festival will be held in Umag on June 10 and 11 this year! 

How does an extended weekend at sea sound, embraced by the pine forest shade, warm rays of the sun, and the scent of festival season in the air - bold with the art and riffs of musicians who have conquered and shaken the domestic, regional, and international music scene?

Meet the smallest, biggest festival of the summer - Indirekt! 

Not everyone can unite the best of the domestic and regional independent scene in one weekend. Still, the Indirekt Festival team has succeeded, which has built a community of artists and musicians for ten years. This team thus uses a decade in action to draw the line under the domestic and regional scene and celebrate the achievements of those musicians who once slowly but surely stepped to musical maturity from a small, independent stage located in the far west of the country.

Indirekt presents: ABOP, Rolo, Nemanja, Stray Dogg, and The Black Room

Beginning with the after party, Indirekt presents electric group ABOP, one of the most successful Croatian instrumental bands, consisting of drummers Ivan Levačić (ELEVEN, Kries, Chui) and Ivan Vodopijec (Elemental), bassist Erol Zejnilović (Elemental, Kries), and Ivan Božanić (Pips, Chips & Videoclips) and Bogumil Kulaga on synthesizers. Delta, an album whose mix is credited to the pioneer of techno in this area Petar Dundov, brought them three Ambassador Awards, three nominations for the Rock & Off Award, and a bunch of new fans who will look forward to their performance at this year's Indirekt.


Another successful group during the pandemic is Nemanja, an acclaimed psych-funk band whose songs seem to have been written for the sea, with the sound of the waves. Nemanja is Luka Šipetić, an author and musician active in Para Lele and NLV, who recorded and released the albums Tarot Funk (2019) and Cosmic Disco (2020). He is accompanied by drummer Matej Perić, percussionist Karlo Lugarić, bassist Laura Matijašević, and synthesizer and organist Leo Beslać. For a complete impression, there are also video projections of Branimir Štivić (Će Zoone), which are an indispensable backdrop to their live music. Their rhythms have won over listeners worldwide: from Japan, through Brazil to the US and Canada. They also performed side by side with bands like Algiers and Kikagaku Moyo. During the album's promotion, they sold out KSET and Medika in Zagreb, and they also played in Ljubljana, Belgrade, Novi Sad, and throughout the region. In addition, they had their first live performance at Indirekt, so they are happy to return after their well-deserved success.


ROLO perfectly describes the very core of the festival - with their creativity, they re-examine and change the existing molds. This is evidenced by their latest album Ponte Rosso, which highlights the recognizable influences of three bands - Leut Magnetik, Wizard Of Stone Mountain, and False Mustache, where the members of this band come from. Earlier this month, they also released Stuntman, announcing their self-titled album.


On the wings of the new single Motel Monaco, Rijeka rockers The Black Room are returning to Indirekt to present their new album of the same name. The latest release is inspired by their latest European tour, during which they discovered other faces of cities in the region and their hidden corners that took them back to some forgotten times. The top audio production signed by Matej Zec (Let3), thoughtful visual aesthetics, and flawless realization have already given them a reach far beyond the borders of our small country, and the new album could very well move those borders even further. Jakov Katalinić, Leo Ventin, Kruno Kukuljan, and Ivan Ritoša will show concertgoers why it is so good to listen to live music again.


From Lisinski to Močvara, from Indirekt to collaborating with Devendra Banhart - this band has been through everything and is also going back to where it all, in a way, started. If you are a fan of Americana, you certainly know how much the audience adores Stray Dogg, a band led by Dukat Strajnić. With four albums, over ten years of gigs, and at least as many tours in Europe, they have gained cult status among fans of sound that rely on American and British folk and modern indie rock bands. The band arrives on the Indirekt stage in complete composition. You know you don’t want to miss this unique phenomenon on the regional scene.


Five bands and five great reasons to secure your tickets now for this year’s Indirekt, a festival that over ten years has built a dense network of fans who love music and to share that love with others. Early bird tickets will be available on Entrio until March 15 for 100 kuna for two festival days or 80 kuna for one day. And since this is only a third of the program, who knows what other ace is hiding up their indie sleeves. 

The program is co-financed by the City of Umag, the Umag Tourist Board, and funds from the competition, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian Music Union.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 2 January 2022

Croatian Plava Laguna Strengthening Brand, Change for Hotels Coming

January the 2nd, 2022 - The Croatian Plava Laguna company is going to be spending 2022 strengthening its brand, and there is quite the change coming to its hotels.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, as of this brand new year, the facilities operating under the Croatian Plava Laguna brand in Umag will no longer operate under the brand of the Spanish Melia, instead, all of the the facilities of the company will be repositioned under the brand and name Plava Laguna, the company recently reported.

As has since been learned from the Croatian Plava Laguna company, this will not mean a complete ''break up'' with the well known Spanish hotel chain, as their cooperation is set to continue according to the new model, which includes only sales being carried out through the Melia channel.

“After Plava Laguna's rebranding back in 2018, the company is continuing to strengthen the brand. As such, from the 1st of January, 2022, we're going to be moving the current Sol and Melia facilities from Umag to put them under the Croatian Plava Laguna brand. This means that from the beginning of 2022, all facilities in Umag with Melia and Sol in their names will officially operate under the brand and name exclusively under Plava Laguna,'' it was explained in their company announcement.

As is already known, the Croatian Plava Laguna inherited the contract with Melia from Istraturist, which the Luksic group purchased way back in 2014 from Zagrebacka banka.

Zagrebacka banka initially joined Istraturist in 1996 after the transformation of the company, and two years later, Melia Hotels International was hired for sales and operations to apply international standards to their tourism services. This remained Melia's only engagement in all of the Republic of Croatia. Plava Laguna then launched the new brand into business in 2018, as a completion of the merger of Umag's Istraturist.

"With this merger, one of the largest tourist companies in all of Croatia was created, which manages four resorts (Park, Plava, Zelena and Stella Maris), as well as nine camps, which operate on the market under the brand ''Istracamping'' by Plava Laguna. Thus, Plava Laguna will enter 2022's summer tourist season with a unique portfolio under its belt, which will enable the strong standardisation of processes and activities, as well as the creation of new and unique Plava Laguna products and services,'' the company pointed out.

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