Going Solo to Hideout Festival

The journey to Hideout was especially long on my own, I arrived Monday and two men who must have felt sorry for me and put my tent up for me.

I saw a couple of friendly looking guys juggling so I got a beer (bit of Dutch courage) and went to say hello! They were from Ali G land (Staines) and were at the festival with a couple of girls. I made a good move saying hi to these guys they were lovely and invited me out with them that night. I was going to have a quiet one after the travelling but I'm glad I changed my mind! We saw Youandewan, People Get Real, Mike Jones and the mono_cult DJs. We discovered the dome area in Kalypso which kinda became the group meeting point, danced in a tree house and a pool. Awesome.

Tuesday morning we met up with another group of Staines lads who were touring Croatia on their bikes and hitting a few festivals along their travels. Look out for my interview with them about their biking holiday! We all chilled and tucked into plenty of greasy burgers (fried egg sandwiches for veggie me) to cure our hangovers. We also met three girls from Wales who were lovely, the big group just clicked. I can't get over how lucky I was to go out there alone and meet such a lovely group of people. The group headed out to our first pool party where we saw Artwork, David Rodigan, Gorgon City and Jackie Dagger. I can't even begin to describe how awesome this was. Apart from the amazing DJs, at a pre party no less, the atmosphere and the setting were incredible. I remember one moment dancing on a balcony watching the sunset over these amazing Croatian mountains and I just couldn't believe I was there. I was so happy I went despite my huge nerves about going alone.

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We took a wander to the city centre Novalja after the pool party to stock up on pre drinks for the nights antics and it was nice to see the city. After polishing off rather a lot of vodka, whisky and beer between us we headed back to Zrce beach where we spent a little time in all the clubs seeing Heidi, Redlight and Monster. Pretty sure this was the night I danced myself right off the podium whilst Heidi played (it's ok I don't think many people saw.... Or that's what I'd like to believe)... It's also the night we commandeered the dome in Kalypso during Redlight. Right near the main stage, not the best view but loads of room to dance like a twat. And we did! In hindsight maybe that's why people kept taking one look and leaving.....

Most of us crashed out under a canopy near the bar, the veg patch, tents were just so hot! After a chilled morning, recovering, eating, sunbathing and swimming we headed out to the Dirtybird pool party.

After the pool party I was treated to a VIP press event with cocktails and fruit I was lucky to meet Paul an awesome photographer who has kindly let me use his pictures for this article and got to chat to some of the other journos!

That night we regrouped and saw Bondax, Justin Martin b2b with Eats Everything, DJ hype, Bauer all amazing! This was also the night I woke up on a mat in the dome with two of the lads.... Not sure how we fell asleep with that music pounding but Hideout is so non-stop! You literally can't fit it all in! Still I soldiered on! A quick trip to the bar for a shot and a beer and we were back dancing to Bauer's set!

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Despite the awesome pool parties on in the day time everyone was a bit worn out by Thursday. We took a trip to the supermarket for essentials, vodka, beer and picnic ingredients then had a really chilled day! That evening everyone lost everyone else! I luckily still got to see Julio bashmore with Anna and danced to Au Seve - holiday complete, saw Chase and Status by myself, they were awesome! They had guys crowd surfing in a dingy!!! I spent most of their set dancing on a tiny thin ledge clinging on to a palm tree for dear life.... Bet I looked awesome....! I then wandered along to the dome, found a few of our group just in time for Joy Orbison, who was sick! I think this might have been the night Tommy fell asleep whilst walking back to camp and woke himself up walking into the hill...

I couldn't believe Friday came round so quickly! We spent all day tanning and swimming and popped to the town again to stock up on essential vodka and picnic food. We took over a few picnic tables near the campsite bar that evening and drunk lots of vodka I was more than a little gutted it would be my last night. We saw Youandewan, Move D, Floating Points, Four Tet, and Jamie Jones. Jamie Jones while the sun rose over the mountains was immense! I did try and do the bungee jump while Jamie Jones played his set. I queued for an hour only to be told it was closed. I was gutted and even more so when I saw them let on a local girl who was well behind me in the queue. Total pisstake. The staff were rude and nasty about it and even manhandled my friend who was with me out by his neck. He didn't provoke this. This was really the only bad experience I had at hideout.

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Luckily the after party was absolutely amazing and took the bad taste out of my mouth. I was seriously tempted to miss my coach home and stay at the after party. The atmosphere was phenomenal! After the closest I’ve ever come to skinny dipping, the welsh girls and I headed reluctantly back to campsite and I collected my things and headed up the horribly long, steep hill (mountain) to the bus stop may I suggest a taxi if you're camping the hangover started to kick in and I was exhausted. Not a pleasant walk! Then there was the coach journey home. In all honesty I'd fly in future it was too long for me. And I got some seriously swollen feet and cankles which were so uncomfortable!

Still the cankles were well and truly worth it for the best week I’ve had in ages! Register for 2014 tickets at www.hideoutfestival.com you won’t be disappointed!

Words by Laura Catlow