Above & Beyond’s label Anjunadeep is curating a six day and five night festival dubbed Explorations that will be set in Dhërmi, Albania to fuse music festival culture with the luxuries of beachfront life.
“Our label parties have been growing really well over the past few years, with sell-out events all over the world,” says Anjunadeep imprint manager Dom Donnelly. “We feel like our sound is best enjoyed outside in the sun, so we’ve been gravitating away from nightclubs and towards day parties. So a week-long party on the beach seems like a natural evolution.”
According to James Grant, Above & Beyond’s manager since 2001 and cofounder of the Anjunadeep label, Explorations will be the first ever multi-day Anjunadeep festival, and it is set to take place June 20 through June 25. He adds that the event will bring together 45 artists from the imprint, making it their largest label talent gathering to date with headliners including Lane 8, Dusky and Yotto. There will also be live acts and rising talent performing at the event.
The festival will host four stages, Grant says, with the main evening stages being Empire and Splendor while the day stages will be The Cove and Yacht Club. There will also be a fifth location named Gjipe for festival-goers to enjoy music, but Grant notes it’s not quite a stage but more of “an incredible beach forest at the foot of a cannon.” The area is only accessible via boat, and there will be three parties at the location with secret lineups over the course of the festival weekend.
Donnelly adds that “the Albanian Riviera is really one of the last remaining secrets of the Mediterranean.” He says few international tourists have traveled to the small fishing town that he notes is “dotted with stunning beaches which all make for amazing intimate dance floors.” The layout of the town will allow for Explorations to set up in a corner of the beachfront that won’t overly disturb local residents.
“We hope to build a strong relationship with the local community over the coming years, and are working on a number of initiatives on this front, including working with local craftspeople and merchants on-site, scouting out Albanian DJ talent to perform and raising funds for SOS Children’s Villages, a charity that works locally to care and provide for vulnerable children,” he adds.
In addition to the music, Donnelly says attendees can participate in numerous activities, including guided meditation, flexibility sessions, yoga classes and gong baths. Many of the activities will be accompanied by Anjunadeep artists performing specially curated sets. Above & Beyond performed a downtempo ‘Yoga Set’ at Burning Man in 2014, which was popularly streamed. “There’s something about our music that lends itself well to doing yoga,” he adds.
“What makes Explorations unique is our holistic approach to the event and the incredible community ofAnjunadeep fans,” Donnelly says. “We’re bringing together nearly 50 artists from our scene who’ll be sound tracking a week-long holiday for 2,000 fans traveling in from every corner of the world who live and breathe Anjunadeep.”