Event Preview: Festival Special, Kala Festival, Albania

Kala are planning to launch a brand new festival on the Albanian Riviera and have recently dropped their first line-up announcement. The Waveform Transmitter‘s Léa Ben Saïd takes a look at what a festival in an undiscovered paradise will be like.

Your new destination for incredible scenery and finely selected music has been chosen: it’s called Kala, in Albania, and is a festival full of promises.

In recent years, UK promoters have traded their noise restrictions and the typically bad weather of their kingdom, for the freedom and the sun of Europe (well, south Europe). While Dimensions, Outlook, and Soundwave have been around for years in Croatia, new ones enter the scene every season. The newest addition to the UK-abroad landscape is no less than Kala.

Unlike its counterparts, Kala innovates by being held in a location, even a country, where no festival has been held before: Albania. For seven days, expect incredible scenery made of beaches, cliffs, forests, unlimited access to beach caves, natural canyons, hiking trails around a stunning location, but party goers will also be able to enjoy amazing Albanian cuisine and take part in wellness workshops. Music left aside, Kala is already distinguishing itself from more well-known festivals and appears to be exactly the place where we will want to be this June.

There are still some names left to be announced, but the line up is already a testimony of the awareness of the programmers. At the top of the bill we find Moodymann, who needs no introduction and will be leading everyone through a sun-kissed journey like only he knows how to. He is joined by an array of acts who we are not used to see on such line ups, including the legendary techno collective Underground Resistance presenting their Depth Charge live show, and also Mark Flash or DJ 3000, which truly shows nothing about Kala has been left to chance.

Some of the most respected and demanded artists on the circuit right now will also play this unique festival, including Peggy Gou and Jayda G, both strong from very recent releases, and Maurice Fulton. Collectives and official party-starters will also join the party, with the boys from Secretsundaze taking over the Sunday at Kala, and Mister Saturday Night bringing their much loved party to Albania after cementing their reputation and throwing parties for over a decade in New York.

What I think really distinguishes Kala from other festival, is the attention its programmers have given to create a line up which will showcase music from across the many electronic spectrums, but is forward-thinking, inclusive and diverse. By booking The Pilotwings, LNS and Or:la, they show that they are well cemented in the current scene while being on the look-out for up and coming artists. Moreover, all the Balearic needs of the party goers will be catered by Alfredo, Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy, and Kasra V, and essential to any party under the sun.

The first wave of acts finishes with an intriguing bunch of ‘beach forest residents’ who will be able to lead the party in their own unique spaces. Esteemed selectors Jan SchulteJohn Gomez, Bjørn TorskeJenifa MayanjaNick The Record, and Brian Not Brian, will undoubtedly make sure the paradise adventure is unmissable.

Seeing how well thought-out this first wave of names is, we can only expect more from the second wave that will be coming sometime soon. If Kala is relatively unknown still, as it is brand new, it is sure to rapidly become a festival for those with similar ethos and on the look-out for original but fine selection, looking to immerse themselves in a unique experience at the heart of a location to explore.

Tickets to Kala include festival access, accommodation and transfers from Corfu. All tickets available here.

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