30 Apr Kala: The electronic music festival that’s putting Albania on the map
Ask where the music’s at this summer and the answer will be the usual culprits – UK, Croatia, Netherlands, maybe the Middle East if you’re feeling adventurous. But Albania? That’s a festival spot you haven’t heard before.
And with good reason, I suppose. Albania is considered the poorest country in Europe and is still struggling to adjust after a long history under communist regime. Walking through Tirana you can still find bullet holes in the walls left over from the Civil War in 1997.
So it’s taking a while to catch up with the rest of Europe when it comes to tourism, economy and electronic music. But Kala aims to change all that and put Albania on the map.
And with a little research you’ll ask yourself what’s taken so long? Albania is the perfect location for a festival. While everyone loses their shit over Croatia’s countless events over the summer season, Albania shares the same crystal clear water and Adriatic coastline. Not to mention secluded beaches untouched by tourism. Caves, cliffs, capes, lagoons virtually unexplored; and all at a fraction of the price. 7 day festival pass + accommodation for Kala start at £245.
So what’s the story behind Kala? Well, the founders are focused on creating an experience that is all about creativity and community. The festival has capacity for 2000 people and the site can be reached only by boat. Festival-goers will fly into the Greek island of Corfu and will be ferried across to the site by specially organised boats.
Oh and then there’s the line-up. Kala’s debut year will see the likes of The Black Madonna, Todd Terje, Moodymann, Tom Misch, Roy Ayers, Ross From Friends, Danielle, Mister Saturday Night and more hit the decks (boat pun intended). A host of London’s ground-breaking party pioneers have been announced as partners including secretsundaze, Phonica, Stamp The Wax, Feelings and Savage.
The vast pool of DJs will be playing their music around the clock across various stages – some located in coves, some accessible only by boat, all facing out to the Adriatic Sea. One stage stands on a platform that extends out to sea so you can dance the night away surrounded by clear blue water on all sides.
Accommodation comes in the form of luxury hotel partners ranging from 3 – 4 star, some with swimming pools and all of them only a minutes walk away from the beach.
The Albanian tourist board has taken the festival as an opportunity to show just what their country has to offer. Street food vendors will be showing off their fine cuisine and day excursions are available to explore the sites of Albania.
To emphasise the community-feel of the festival the line-up on the day will be announced via a ‘town announcement’ – festival-goers will need to gather in the ‘town centre’ of the festival site to find out set-times for the day. The idea is to create a sense of here-and-now – Instagram definitely isn’t top of the agenda at this party.
There are fewer than 400 tickets left to Kala 2018 – get your tickets here and check back with us in July for our review of the festival.
By Alice Austin
For more of Alice’s writing go to nofilterzine.com