The ION festival brought fierce warehouse energy to the Albanian ‘rivia – Features

Back on earth, Monday relaxation begins with a playful set of Manami, which sets the beach soundtrack with a series of cheeky edits — “Hollaback Girl” and the “Macarena” are particular favorites — before a star-studded evening lineup. This is the last big night for most, and the energy of the six nights continues skyward. The Bunker opens for one night only, ION’s seventh stage featuring a slate of big-league techno favorites including Jeff Mills and Dax J in the throes of an underground car park – a sweatbox, if you’ve ever experienced one. The party continues below the surface until 6am as the sun rises elsewhere, on the likes of Nicholas Lutz, Bambooand Well UFO.

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ION Festival feels hugely triumphant just a year later, and despite being the organizer’s first-ever attempt at overseas production, there are apparently few problems getting started or getting started. hiccups that left it feeling like a rookie event. Whether it’s been helped by the learning curves of its sister festival KALA, or LWE’s years of experience, it’s a clear attempt to do something a little different from the other established events taking shape at this place.

Perhaps the combination of a scenic location, a good crowd and a prestigious lineup of warehouses that helped set this year’s festival apart from Anjunadeep, KALA and any other seaside festival in Europe for that matter, all made for the perfect storm. What we do know is that this festival feels like it’s been around for many years already, and in its short duration, ION might be the organizer’s most promising event yet.

The next ION festival will take place from September 6 to 13, 2023. here for early access tickets.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter

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