Interview with Vukelić Drago x Deep House Amsterdam
Organizing events has never been an occupation for the faint of heart, even before the pandemic began to wreak havoc on our beloved scene. One man who knows all of this all too well is Vukelić Drago, the mastermind behind BSH parties in Croatia. Originally a DJ, Drago has since grown into a promoter of some reputation, often throwing some of the loudest parties across his country, Croatia. The last offering we are really excited about is BSH Island. Located at the Noa Beach Club from July 1-5, the parties feature a selection of world-class talent, including ARTBAT, Mathame, Paco Osuna, Sidney Charles and many more. Additionally, BSH also teamed up with none other than Ibiza club Amnesia for a very special show at a nearby fortress on July 2nd. After a year of upheaval, if that’s not enough to turn you on, then I don’t know what it is. Anyway, we recently caught up with Drago to discuss party planning in 2021, the history of BSH and much more….
How was the last year for you? What was good and bad?
It has been a difficult year, I have to say, as it has for everyone in the industry. The good thing is that life has slowed down over the past year, and we’ve had time to focus on other things and also take better care of ourselves. The bad thing, of course, has been all the uncertainty caused by covid-19.
When will events start again, will they even start at all and if I changed my area of work, these were all everyday questions.
Announce the event, then cancel it a few days before because the situation with the covid has changed.
Through all of this mess, it was important to stay focused and continue to believe that a return to normal was imminent. Luckily, I managed to focus on training, and it kept me sane through this whole mess.
How could he mount this party in so much uncertainty?
It’s stressful, especially in 2020 when we had a short lockdown for the first time. When 2021 started, I was happy to organize anything, although I knew it might not happen. After the winter confinement, only the planning of events made me happy.
Can you tell us a bit about your event background and your beginnings?
I started organizing events 7 years ago in our hometown of Zagreb, Croatia.
Since I am a DJ, the idea came from a wish to be able to play a different music which was not so common at the time in Zagreb. From this event, the idea was to organize events in “unusual” and extraordinary places like museums, fortresses, castles, spectacular places in nature with breathtaking views.
Soon after, I got the idea to introduce sunset events and we started a program called Zagreb Sunset Sessions by BSH events. The peculiarity that we did is that we limited the hours to be able to enter the show, and in this way we made sure to be full by 6 p.m. and to be able to offer our guests the idea of sunset sessions. Sun. From there it all started and since then we have taken over amazing and unique places around Croatia, known for its natural beauty, uniqueness and historical significance.
What measures are in place to secure it for the participants?
The event is currently operating with a limited capacity which we set at the start to make sure the event takes place. Now it looks like we won’t need to limit the capacity, but people will need to show a negative test, proof that you have beaten the virus, or proof of vaccination, but that is not yet confirmed.
At the moment none of this is necessary to participate in the event, but the capacity is limited by square meters, so for now it’s really good that we have limited it in the first place.
Why did you extend the event for the first time this year?
The idea was to have Fortress in year 1 as well, but as last year we organized it into literally a month from announcement to day 1, we came to the conclusion that we would leave it for the year. next.
How much did the government and the tourist board help to make this festival possible? have they been understanding and supportive?
The tourist office was really helpful and they provided us with the same extra equipment covered by their side to show their support for the event.
How did you come to have the special holiday with amnesia? Was it difficult to get out of it?
Well, in fact, it all came naturally. I was initially considering just doing the Do Not Sleep Ibiza showcase, at the moment I wouldn’t dare to think that we could have a collaboration with one of the biggest brands in electronic music, but we started talking , made proposals, welcomed them to Croatia, found the same language and I’m grateful that we are here right now and look forward to the future.
Tell us about the location – was it difficult to get permission to party in the fortress? And what do you think makes it such a special place for a party?
It was not that difficult to get the location because the tourist office recognized us from the 1st moment we presented the idea. We have already had quite a few events in similar unique places in Croatia such as the 13th century Medvedgrad Fortress in Zagreb, Zagreb Airport, Pula Castle….
I believe that by combining unique venues and great artists, we are able to offer our guests a different and unique experience that they will long remember and talk about.
The warehouses and the clubs are where the scene started, and they’ll always be our refuge and our home, but I think house music should be everywhere and I think by bringing house to unique places, that t is just another dimension and these shows are monumental.
What else is new and different this year?
Along with a special offsite showcase with Amnesia, we will be hosting Yacht parties that have yet to be announced, secret pop-up parties, and villa events as well.
Tell us about the after hour parties this year – where are they and what can people expect?
Well we have 2 official afterhours in Kalypso, but we will also have Yacht and Villa afterparties.
Expect the essence of the Ibiza lifestyle, expect unexpected guest DJs, special b2bs, secret parties …
Are there any artists that you can’t wait to see above everyone else? And what are you most expecting from the event this year?
I couldn’t choose one artist from all of them, they were all chosen out of love for their music.
Maybe I could say I can’t wait to see some as yet unannounced artists playing.
BSH Island 2021 runs July 1-5, 2021. For more information and tickets, check out here: https://www.festicket.com/festivals/bsh-island-festival/