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article imageGljevstock 2014, a decidedly local festival in Sinj, Croatia Special

By Paul Bradbury     May 26, 2014 in Music
Sinj - As Croatia's reputation as Europe's top festival destination grows, Digital Journal visits a festival very much off the tourist radar.
With many headline festivals such as Ultra Europe, Outlook and The Garden Festival on the coast earning Croatia the title of Europe's top festival destination, Digital Journal headed inland on May 24, 2014 to the remote village of Gljev near Sinj, for a very local festival called Gljevstock 2014.
Gljevstock features local bands from nearby Sinj.
Gljevstock features local bands from nearby Sinj.
The one-day festival, now in its fifth year, is an opportunity for local bands from the nearby town of Sinj to play live in the middle of inland Dalmatia's pristine nature, and the festival has become a cult event with the local youth. Located in a very remote location near the village of Gljev, the festival is free for all, and many take tents and camp, enjoying both the music and the wonderful and largely undiscovered nature of the region, which is just half an hour by car from the busy tourist destination of Split.
Located near the remote village of Gljev  the festival is decidedly local and attracts little media ...
Located near the remote village of Gljev, the festival is decidedly local and attracts little media interest.
The festival attracts little media coverage even in the local press, and it only came to the attention of this Digital Journalist due to the promotional efforts of the Sinj Tourist Board, which has become known in the region as the most active tourist board promoter.
Gljevstok is a free festival  with many local people camping in the remote location.
Gljevstok is a free festival, with many local people camping in the remote location.
Sinj Tourist Board director Jelena Bilic has done much to transform the tourism fortunes of the town since she became director two years ago, and Digital Journal spent the day with her last year to learn more about the positive changes in tourism in Sinj.
The beautiful voice of Jagoda G. C. was one of the opening acts.
The beautiful voice of Jagoda G. C. was one of the opening acts.
The Gljevstock festival is one example of an attraction in the historic town of Sinj, which is little known outside the reason, but has excellent potential. Bilic explained a little about the history and concept of the festival:
The festival attracted local people of all ages.
The festival attracted local people of all ages.
"The Gljevstock Festival is designed as an informal music event where members of bands from Sinj hang out with their friends. The first Gljevstock was held in 2010. The Festival was visited by large audiences even without any kind of promotional activity, and the step-by-step organisation and quality progress has marked the following festivals. A year later, in 2011, the Gljevstock organisation was taken over by the Sinj Artistic Commune association (Sinjska umjetnička komuna – SUK). On that occasion, a higher quality sound system was provided, a stage as well, drinks, food, promotion etc. Bands from all over Croatia performed at the 2012 Gljevstock and they made it more popular. There are also plans to introduce to the Festival bands from neighbouring countries, as well as arts other than music.
Ljuta Kuca performed a great set of country music.
Ljuta Kuca performed a great set of country music.
"Hanging out and a sense of freedom are the main goals ofGljevstock, and as such the Festival has been totally without restriction. Bands play in order to present themselves but not to compete with each other, and both camping and entrance are free. What is most important is the spirit of the Festival so the quality and popularity should not be seen as its opposites, and what matters most to the organisers is positive feedback from visitors, with last year's attendance of almost one thousand."
Gljevstock is a very relaxed festival  with festival goers free to express themselves.
Gljevstock is a very relaxed festival, with festival goers free to express themselves.
Jelena Bilic  Tourist Director of Sinj  with Digital Journal
Jelena Bilic, Tourist Director of Sinj, with Digital Journal
Ilija Veselica
The unspoilt beauty of inland Dalmatia  one of Europe s least discovered regions.
The unspoilt beauty of inland Dalmatia, one of Europe's least discovered regions.
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