Radar Moves North

Austrian promoter Harry Jenner is moving his Radar Festival in Croatia from Zagreb to Varaždin, which is about 40 miles north and very close to the Hungarian and Slovenian borders.

At the time, he said he was happy that the first Radar – with a bill that included Placebo, Kaiser Chiefs and Queens Of The Stone Age – had sold nearly 5,000 tickets, but sales for this year are already close to double that.

“Moving out of Zagreb was part of the reason, but the city of Varaždin has been very supportive of the festival and I’m very pleased with the sales," Jenner said.

The Croatian capital has suffered most when the Balkan market has found itself overcrowded with international touring acts. Cancellations in 2004 and 2007 left the country’s live music business in a situation that seemed close to a meltdown.

In the last 100 years, Varaždin has become the industrial centre of northwest Croatia, but the monuments and artistic heritage of earlier centuries means it’s also one of its most beautiful cities.

The road infrastructure is good and includes a new north-south expressway connecting the Hungary border-crossing point in Gorican with Zagreb, as well as the coast of the Adriatic Sea.

That puts it on the direct tourist route between the Croatian capital and Lake Balaton, which is the largest inland waterway in central Europe. It’s known as "Hungary’s seaside" and attracts close to a million tourists per year.

Bob Dylan, Manic Street Preachers and two of the areas top local acts are already confirmed for the 15,000-capacity June 13 event.