Dekmantel Selectors 2020: A Break To Breathe
Festivals can feel like cramped cities, with concrete paths connecting areas heaving with human traffic, giving endless options competing for your attention but minimal charm in how they are presented. Since 2016, our Croatian get-together Selectors has operated like an end-of-summer camp instead. The attendance is capped at 2500, prioritising room for people to relax, converse, dance, and otherwise express themselves. The festival spreads out over a leisurely Thursday to Monday: the Beach Bar has music from midday at the water’s edge, three stages run from afternoon to evening, and a handful of boat parties sail out per day. The guests we bring receive extended sets, so pressure to sprint around in order to catch everything is reduced. If you feel tender, our indie cinema (hosted by FC Hyena last year) hosts film screenings in a softly-lit enclave off the beaten path, or there is of course the beach. Once the action on the main site wraps up, Tisno’s infamous club Barbarella’s hosts just two or three performers from midnight to 6am. That’s it.
2019 brought changes as well as consistency. The Nest was reborn, placing a spread of daring DJs in an intimate, ravier setting. Familiar stars of our world returned, but the music last year also pushed farther out than before: standout sets from the likes of Darwin, OKO DJ, Miss Jay, Phillip Jondo and a raucous Kiosk Radio boat party had minds racing as fast as arms were pumping. Selectors 2020 will continue to maintain this balance, something that comes with being an established presence on the same grounds. A new area for listening music will spring up, away from the hum and thud of the dancefloor. And while this has been a factor since the start of Selectors, 2020 will see more collaborators and co-curators than ever. Record labels, radio stations, parties and overall forces for good in the Dutch scene will be foregrounded, paying back those around us who make up such a fertile, diverse, vital scene. At the end of a manic summer, it is this combination of an easily navigated playsheet with small tweaks of improvement that draws DJs and punters back to stay in Tisno, time and again. Great music, plentiful sunshine, and a much-needed moment to breathe.