Traveling to Croatia; En Route to Bear Stone Festival 2024

Posted in Features on July 3rd, 2024 by JJ Koczan

My name on wood bear stone festival 2024

The wooden sign with my name on it greeted me as I walked out of the arrivals door — a moment anticipated by weeks of anciety, and not just the usual me-for-myself kind. In addition to Bear Stone Festival, which I’ll cover over the next four days, and being in Croatia for the first time, the travel to get here included my wife, daughter and dog. And the dog. Weeks of paperwork, chasing down this or that. I had to go back to my vet to get a hand-signed rabies certificate so the US FDA could certify the dog to enter the country. We got papers FedExed to our house with official government crimps all over them, signed off with diligence by some bureaucrat who I’m sure would value knowing that those papers weren’t even checked as we made our way out after baggage claim. Anything to declare? “Uh, I’m really fucking tired and speak absolutely zero Croatian? Also this is The Pecan and if you don’t let her out of here she’s gonna start climbing the baggage claim again?” I could go on.

It was 18 hours of travel — so far; hang on I’ll get there — rendered a full day by the time zone change to CET. We flew through Schiphol in Amsterdam, connecting from JFK to Zagreb. A nightmare. Commercial air travel, Hi Croatia 2terrible at best, with a six year old who, if she was here, surely would remind me forcefully that she’s six and a half. Perhaps if we’d been home in New Jersey for more than four days after coming back from our trip through various national parks of the Southwestern US it would’ve been easier. But I doubt it.

In addition to being severely enough ADHD that I see a real possibility I’ll spend the rest of my life picking up after her, The Pecan’s neurodivergence has come to the fore in my consciousness in seeing her absolute overwhelm at the travel. Granted, she was younger when we went to Ireland, and a baby that time she got kicked out of The Black Heart in London — she didn’t even get the chance to start a barfight — but still, neither of these situations could count as her first time at the dance, and seeing the way she gets hung up on “I want it” as a be-all-end-all standard for what absolutely must happen, to a point of crippling her own experience and certainly that of anyone else in the vicinity — tantrums, I’m talking about — I don’t have the background to say autism but if she was a boy there isn’t a doubt in my mind she’d already be diagnosed.

So she had a hard time. So we all had a hard time. Difficult. Not the dog. The dog got Dramamine and conked out for the duration. I wish I’d done the same for myself. Maybe 20 minutes of sleep on the first, six-hour red-eye from NYC to Amsterdam? The second flight fared better; it was about two hours and I, The Patient Mrs., The Pecan and, yes, Silly Tilly Herself, got real, hard sleep. PBS Nova put The Pecan out, neither I nor my wife needed the help. Just a matter of collapsing.

The next couple days? Bear Stone in Slunj. Here’s a look at what’s to come:

bear stone festival 2024 thursday friday

bear stone festival 2024 saturday sunday

I don’t know that I’ll get to see all of everything — literally, I don’t know how it works; I’ve never been here before — but if you’ve ever kept up with any of the fair amount of fest-type coverage that’s appeared on this site before, you know that I’ll do my best to see and document as much as I can. I’ll need a shower before that happens — I am nothing short of disgusting and a night of sleep. Fortunately both of those things seem to be what I’m heading toward.

And I’m speaking literally there, because the travel is ongoing. I’m writing in back of a van en route from the airport in Slunj to the apartment I’ll be staying at for the next few days, through hilly, green countryside and highway giving over to more rural streets Hi Croatiathrough farms and little towns. My understanding is it will get greener as we go. Won’t complain about that. It was not too hot, not too cold stepping out of the airport, which I first did to let the dog poop since she hadn’t gone in 18 hours (pet relief area at JFK wasn’t cutting it, and Schiphol doesn’t have any, presumably because Dutch canines don’t pee?), then did again so that I could accompany The Patient Mrs. and The Pecan upstairs to where their rental car shuttle was picking them up. They got on their way, I got on my own, and we’ll reconvene after the weekend somehow, some way.

In the interim, there’s rock and roll and then some to be had over the next few days, and I plan to get as much of a dose as I can. Thanks if you’re still reading this, and double-thanks if you keep up with what’s to come. It’s been a ride up to now, both actually and in figurative terms, and I have only the faintest idea what I’m in for here, but I can’t wait to find out for real.

Onward.

bear stone festival 2024 banner

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Bear Stone Festival 2024 Completes Lineup; Kadavar to Headline, 1000mods, Them Moose Rush & More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 4th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Thrilled to say I’ll be at this one. My flight is booked to Zagreb, and from there I’ll travel to Slunj for a couple days to hang by the riverside and cover the Bear Stone Festival, which has completed its 2024 lineup with the additions below. You can se Kadavar joining High on Fire in the headliner position, and as Greek heavy rock kingpins 1000mods add the fest to what will no doubt be another busy summer, they’re joined in this last announcement by a swath of bands representing Croatia’s local underground — Them Moose Rush, Muscle Tribe of Danger and Excellence###, and so on as you can see below — and others from Austria, Hungary, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Poland. It’s like an international conference, and one which I’ll be honored to attend.

Not even going to pretend to know all the names listed below, but I’ve included the descriptions with the announcement in case you’d like to check them out as well as for my own reference to study up before departure. While I’m talking about it, thank you to Bear Stone for inviting me. I look forward to being in Croatia for the first time, seeing old and new friends, and of course being pummeled into oblivion by volume for a few days. It’s going to be quite a summer. Stay tuned, and thanks for doing so.

From the PR wire:

Bear Stone Festival 2024 Full Lineup Poster_Square

Bear Stone Festival 2024 Full Lineup Announcement

Ticket link: https://eventix.shop/cexrwn4b

Here it is, the full lineup for Bear Stone Festival 2024!

28 bands spread out across 3 stages with our festival veterans Sviraj!Jam taking over the Jam stage as always.

There will be a couple more surprises announced as we get closer to the festival, so make sure to stay tuned to our socials.

Standard festival tickets include parking and camping for the entire duration of the festival and they are available on our website and via Entrio. There will be no day tickets.

Get your festival tickets here: https://eventix.shop/cexrwn4b

KADAVAR (DE)

We are beyond happy to announce the legendary Kadavar as the second headliner of Bear Stone Festival!

Their meteoric rise began with the release of their debut album in 2012, followed by breakout records like “Abra Kadavar” and “Berlin”, which earned them critical acclaim and chart success in Germany. With subsequent albums like “Rough Times”, “For The Dead Travel Fast” and their latest album “The Isolation Tapes”, Kadavar continued to evolve their signature sound while also establishing their own label, Robotor Records.

Known for their energetic live performances, Kadavar’s self-recording approach and unique production techniques ensure an authentic representation of their dynamic stage presence. Their riff-heavy sound resonates with fans of Hard Rock and Psychedelia alike, solidifying their status as pioneers in the modern Rock landscape.

1000MODS (GR)

Rising from smokey basements to packed arenas, 1000mods stands as Greece’s most successful rock band of recent decades. Their seminal album “Super Van Vacation” in 2011 revolutionised European rock with its heavy sound and vintage vibes, cementing their role as leaders of Greece’s Heavy Rock scene. With subsequent releases like “Vultures” and “Repeated Exposure To…”, they showcased remarkable songwriting skills and garnered critical acclaim, setting the stage for international recognition.

MUSCLE TRIBE OF DANGER AND EXCELLENCE (CRO)

Muscle Tribe of Danger and Excellence, born from the vibrant Zagreb Stoner scene nearly two decades ago, brings together top musicians from diverse backgrounds to create a potent blend of Rock and Metal.

With two albums and EP’s under their belt, the band’s latest release, a new EP titled “Call If You Need Anything Else” featuring three fierce tracks, solidifies their reputation for delivering energetic, no-nonsense rock with their thunderous frontman Domagoj Šimek leading the charge.

THEM MOOSE RUSH (CRO)

Them Moose Rush, though often likened to Mars Volta due to their specific vocals, carve out their own sonic niche with a blend of influences spanning from Mike Patton to Radiohead, resulting in a unique fusion of Prog, Noise, Math, Pop, and Stoner elements.

They are already notorious for their DIY art, inventive videos, and critical acclaim from outlets like Prog Magazine and Metal Injection, the band returns with their fourth studio album, “Zepaxia”, featuring 16 tracks, embarking on a European tour and gracing festival stages to promote their latest release.

BLITZPOP (AT)

Formed by Yves Krismer from Mother’s Cake, Pia, Arthur, and Kajetan from Motion Sick, Blitzpop emerges as a revolutionary, convention defying musical force with an ethos that transcends mere music and embodies a vibrant philosophy that resonates with contemporary social dynamics.

Their compositions echo the raw intensity of Dead Weather and Nirvana while forging a path uniquely their own, marking a bold new chapter in the realm of rock ‘n’ roll.

### (CRO)

### (pronounced by hitting a random object three times) is a band best described by instrumental guitar noise, feedback and pulsating lights. They are already well known in the Balkan underground for their DIY approach while avoiding a normal course of things, they have recorded and/or performed in abandoned ironworks buildings, roofs, lavatories as well as moved a whole studio to a squatted cinema.

Since 2013, this group of people have tried the best they can to harvest the silence of their small hometowns Sisak and Novska into a self-propelled world of video experiments, tinnitus and print stains on their fingers.

ZOLLE (ITA)

Zolle, the heavy rock duo comprised of Stefano on drums and vocals, and Marcello on guitars and vocals, defy conventional boundaries with their raw and intense sound, echoing the primal essence of existence.

Their latest album, “Macello”, delves into the complexities of human existence, exploring themes of ambivalence, contradiction, and paradox with unapologetic honesty. From the chaotic energy to moments of profound introspection, “Macello” invites listeners on a journey through the raw, visceral realities of life.

KAYLETH (ITA)

Formed in Verona in 2005, Kayleth draws inspiration from the Stoner/Desert Rock sounds of Kyuss, Monster Magnet, and 37005, infused with space influences. Over the years, they’ve self-produced several EPs, evolving their sound to incorporate space/psychedelic landscapes, culminating in the release of “Space Muffin” in 2015 under Argonauta Records.

With successful albums like “Colossus” and “Back to Earth”, Kayleth continues to captivate audiences, earning praise from both critics and fans alike, eagerly anticipating their forthcoming album slated for Spring 2024.

STONETREE (AT)

Emerging from Austria, Stonetree delivers a potent blend of riff-oriented Heavy Rock, characterised by explosive instrumentation, dynamic vocals, and polished production. Formed in 2016 following the disbandment of Machine Zoo, they’ve honed a distinct style fusing elements of Alternative Rock, Grunge, Stoner Rock, and Prog Rock, showcased in their debut album ‘”The Tempest” (2017).

Renowned for their energetic live performances staged from “Evertruck”, an old Volkswagen van transformed into a live stage, the trio has continued to innovate, releasing EP’s like “VOID FILL” and “VOID FILL 2” during the pandemic, setting the stage for their upcoming EP “VOID FILL 3”.

ENTROPIST (CRO)

Entropist is a Rijeka-based trio whose musical oeuvre spans through Instrumental Doom with nuanced influences of Space, Psychedelic, and Post-Stoner Rock, reflecting their diverse musical palette and harmonious fusion.

Their low-key approach and affinity for a bold, robust sound turns their live performance into a must-see experience of their sonic ethos. While carefully balancing diligence with patience amidst the pandemic’s challenges this trio dedicatedly crafted a commendable debut album which, in their own words, is best experienced live.

ACIDSITTER (PL)

AcidSitter are a vibrant musical collaboration, uniting seasoned Psych Rockers from Poland and Japan, headquartered in Krakow, where they delve into a diverse spectrum of psychedelia fueled by Rock ‘N’ Roll fervour and Punk vitality. Having graced stages at renowned festivals such as Red Smoke and Soulstone Gathering, and even embarking on a brief tour alongside King Buffalo, they’ve solidified their presence in the live music scene.

Their latest album “Make Acid Great Again” represents an exhilarating journey through dreamy, spacey realms intertwined with a solid Rock core, evoking a uniquely grounded yet fuzzy sensation akin to stepping into a new Earth.

MISERY CROWN (BIH)

Originating from the picturesque city of Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina alongside the scenic river Una, Misery Crown emerged in 2012 as a Southern/Sludge/Stoner band with influences from genre pioneers like Down and Crowbar, evident in their debut album “When North Meets South” released in 2013.

Evolving their sound with subsequent EPs “One Stone” and “Northern Wind”, Misery Crown balanced homage to genre roots with a quest for originality, culminating in a performance at Croatia’s Bear Stone Festival, marking their debut in the country’s vibrant music scene.

VAN MANAKIN (AT)

Van Manakin, a Vienna-based instrumental duo formed in 2020, has been crafting music together for nearly a decade, channelling their daily experiences into their jams and performances.

Creating wild and energetic soundscapes in their natural habitats, the rehearsal room and the stage, Van Manakin’s music is a cathartic blend of Post-Rock, Stoner Rock and Progressive Rock with hints of Metal and Funk, inspired by the panamanian bird of paradise known for its lasting friendships, creative sounds, grooves, and mesmerising moves.

AZUTMAGA (HU)

Azutmaga, a Budapest-based instrumental stoner rock duo, embarks on a sonic journey marked by climbing riffs and tribal rhythms, interspersed with improvised departures. Founded in 2019 by Patrik Veréb and Martin Várszegi, their music is a meditative massacre, blending psychedelic elements with the raw energy of Stoner Rock.

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Bear Stone Festival 2024 Spotify Playlist

Bear Stone Festival 2023 Aftermovie

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Bear Stone Festival 2024 Makes First Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 23rd, 2023 by JJ Koczan

bear stone festival 2024 banner

There’s more here than I knew was coming, which is cool. High on Fire are the first announced headliner for Bear Stone Festival 2024, to be held next July across four days and three stages. Big, in other words. Or getting bigger, anyhow. I’d imagine that some of the acts listed here who are Croatian-native — Jantar, Tight Grips, Rens Argoa, A Gram Trip, Vukojarac, etc. — will feature on the newly-added third stage, and since I’ll be in attendance for this one (I don’t have the flight/lodging booked yet, but I’ve been invited and said yes and it’s okay with my wife, so I’m going) I look forward to finding out more about the country’s hometeam underground. Having the likes of Colour Haze, GnomePigsx7Mother Vulture and more to fill out the bill is huge, and if it seems like a lot, it’s half the fest. They say there’s one more announcement coming.

What they don’t say is when, but when I hear something I’ll let you know, and while I’ve got your attention, I’d like to thank Bear Stone for the invitation to attend their incredible-looking festival. I have high hopes for both the experience and the music, and I expect both to be exceeded. If you’d like to know more about the bands, there’s a Spotify playlist at the bottom of this post. Bear Stone made you a mixtape.

Here’s info from the PR wire:

Bear stone festival 2024 poster

First Lineup Announcement For Bear Stone Festival 2024

Here it is, the first half of Bear Stone Festival 2024 lineup. As we have previously announced, Bear Stone Festival 2024 will have 28 bands spread throughout 3 stages over 4 days of the festival.

We would also like to announce that Early Bear festival tickets are now on sale! At the end of this email you will find the button that will lead you to the Entrio ticketing site.

Check out our poster below to discover the first 14 bands of Bear Stone Festival 2024.

HIGH ON FIRE (USA)

Prepare for an electrifying experience as the legendary High On Fire take hold of Bear Stone Festival’s main stage! Marvel at the unforgettable sonic journey filled with their signature blend of heavy riffs and powerful vocals.

Witness their seismic performance and join us in an epic night of Metal mastery!

COLOUR HAZE (DE)

Following their sensational Bear Stone Festival Warm-Up club show in Zagreb, we are thrilled to announce that the mesmerising Colour Haze will be gracing our festival stage for the very first time!

Get ready for an unparalleled fusion of Psychedelic Rock and intricate melodies that will transport you to new sonic dimensions. Don’t miss this chance to experience the captivating artistry of Colour Haze in the vibrant atmosphere of Bear Stone Festival.

PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS (UK)

Allow yourself to be ensnared by the mighty presence of Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs as they summon the very essence of Doom Metal overlaid with their distinctive blend of Psychedelic Rock and Heavy Metal. Let the walls of sound crafted in the fumes of Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard and Sleep wash over you, as they embody heaviness itself.

Witness their unparalleled display of distortion, unveiling the exhilarating saga that is Land of Sleeper and encapsulate the heart and soul of the genre in an electrifying performance!

MOTHER VULTURE (UK)

After their electrifying performance at Bear Stone Festival Year Zero edition in 2022, Bristol’s very own Mother Vulture are back by popular demand! Gaze at their adrenaline-fueled spectacle as they once again shock us with their unique energy and raw Rock prowess.

Get ready to be blown away by the powerhouse performance of Mother Vulture at Bear Stone Festival 2024.

GNOME (BE)

Do you feel like your life is missing more songs about gnomes that are oppressed by their evil king? Belgian band Gnome will take care of that and more with an enchanting performance soaked in their signature blend of Progressive and Stoner Rock, accompanied by their already legendary gnome attire.

NEMEČEK (CRO)

Immerse yourself in the raw, intense sounds of Croatian band Nemeček as they mesmerize Bear Stone Festival with their powerful blend of folk-inspired music marked by its fierce and darkly evocative tones.

BARON CRÂNE (FR)

Baron Crâne are a Paris-based instrumental trio known for their dynamic fusion of psychedelic, progressive, and experimental sounds that shape an immersive musical journey filled with powerful riffs and a blend of diverse influences.

SLOWTORCH (ITA)

Channeling an explosive blend of Clutch’s fervour, Black Sabbath’s heaviness, and Corrosion of Conformity’s raw energy, Italian heavy rockers Slowtorch deliver an incendiary onslaught of relentless, riff-driven soundscapes, marked by their fiery intensity and hard-hitting musical prowess.

JANTAR (CRO)

Jantar are a Post-Metal/Prog Rock band from Zagreb, formed after the dissolution of Pink Fairy Armadillo. They are set on delivering a sound that delves deep into irregular rhythms, dissonant tones, and overlapping layers of analog synths.

RENS ARGOA (CRO)

Wonder at the genre-defying musical experience with the instrumental trio Rens Argoa, whose passion for rhythmic riffs and melodies has inspired them to blend together elements of Jazz, orchestral music, Prog Rock, and Punk all across their four albums.

QUIET CONFUSION (ITA)

Join us in welcoming the dynamic Rock’n’Roll/Psychedelic/Heavy-Blues band Quiet Confusion from Verona, Italy, best known for their electric performances and distinctive 70’s-style Stoner Rock vibes showcased in their latest album “Magella”.

TIGHT GRIPS (CRO)

Tight Grips are an explosive and experimental Croatian Rock trio with an evolving sound which infuses mono-synth, Blues, and Grunge elements. They captivate audiences across festivals and regional tours and are currently gearing up for the release of their highly anticipated third album “Jewels”, set for release in autumn 2023.

VUKOJARAC (CRO)

Vukojarac, the dark embodiment of chaos and despair, emanates an otherworldly power that beckons followers into an abyss of maniacal madness. It is driven by its unstoppable desire to spread The Riff and plunge humanity into the void.

A GRAM TRIP (CRO)

Hailing from Zagreb, Croatia, this four-piece band fuels their sound with fuzz-driven intensity, intertwining mantric Doom riffs, Sludge vocals, and intermittent Stoner melodies. They are carving out their unique path across the trifecta of these genres, best exemplified in their debut album “Long Overdue” released in May 2023.

You can listen to our favourite songs from all these bands by clicking on the button below!

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Bear Stone Festival 2024 Spotify Playlist

Bear Stone Festival 2023 Aftermovie

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Bear Stone Festival 2024 Set for July 4-7; Third Stage & Fourth Day Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 9th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

bear stone festival 2024 banner

The sense of growth from Croatia’s Bear Stone Festival does not require a long look to see. A third stage and a fourth day have been added to the event, which will take place next July 4-7 upriver from Mrežnica Canyon, which as you can see the shots of the locale in 2023 aftermovie below is unmitigated in its gorgeousness.

And while the festival offers the below as “everything you need to know” about the event, there is still the question of the lineup. Sit tight on that. I’ve seen a few names and those who caught wind of the likes of Monster Magnet, whose “Space Lord” features as the soundtrack to the clip below, and Orange Goblin — you’ll see Ben Ward‘s monster face in the same video, it’s fantastic — as headliners for this past summer will be pleased what’s in store for next July. I’m not sure when that announcement is coming — the first lineup names for 2023 were posted here at 5:30AM Oct. 13, 2022, so could be right after this goes up — but whenever it comes through I’ll get it posted accordingly to the best of my ability.

I am further pleased to say that as the first word comes in for the 2024 edition of Bear Stone, I’m making preparations to attend the festival — now entering its third year — for the first time. I’ve never been to Croatia, or the greater Eastern European region, but that is something I very much hope to change next summer. My truest and deepest thanks to Bear Stone for thinking enough of what I do here to extend the invite.

Here’s the info they’re putting out today. I’m posting it in no small part because next July I’m probably going to want to know this stuff. Also where to go to get to it. Ha:

bear stone festival 2024 artwork

BEAR STONE FESTIVAL 2024

Instead of doing a bunch of individual posts, we have decided to pack everything into one massive announcement. Buckle up for everything you need to know about next year’s Bear Stone Festival.

Here are the most important things about Bear Stone Festival 2024:

– the dates for Bear Stone Festival 2024 are July 04-07

– the duration of the festival will be expanded to 4 days

– the lineup will consist of 28 bands

– introducing a brand new stage located in a newly opened part of the festival

The 3rd stage will be appropriately titled the Mill Stage and it will be located in a part of the festival that hasn’t been previously available for visitors. The name for the stage comes from an old mill that was used in its vicinity ages ago. The Mill Stage will enable us to host a larger number of emerging bands, both domestic and foreign, and to give them an opportunity to show their goods to Bear Stone Festival visitors.

Even though the Mill Stage is located in the centre of a new festival area, it is not its biggest attraction. Just up the pathway that leads you to the Mill Stage, you will find access to an ankle-high river which leads straight into the upstream of the Mrežnica canyon enriched by the ever-present murmur of nearby waterfalls.

This Wednesday, October 11 at 10 AM CET we’ll be releasing the first batch of extremely limited festival tickets titled “Blind Bear Tickets”. These tickets are meant for our most loyal fans who trust us enough to purchase tickets without seeing any of the lineup. The price of a Blind Bear ticket will be 53€.

Shortly after the Blind Bear tickets are sold out, we’ll be releasing a limited run of Early Bear tickets that will be priced at 63€, and the first part of the lineup. The price for a Standard festival ticket will be 73€, and the price of tickets purchased on the day of the festival, if there are any available, will be 83€. As always, all tickets include parking and camping for all 4 days of the festival including the Early Arrival which will be available from the afternoon of Wednesday, July 03.

To address many of the inquiries we received before Bear Stone Festival 2023, we wish to officially announce in advance that there will be no day tickets. We firmly believe in the full festival concept that Bear Stone Festival has to offer and we do not want that experience to be based solely on an individual performer. While we do understand that there are people who won’t be able to attend the entire festival, with this decision we wish to encourage visitors that are used to experiencing festivals solely through their lineup.

Although the lineup represents a significant aspect of Bear Stone Festival, its essence lies in fully immersing yourself in the festival’s natural surroundings and connecting with the priceless nature it offers. Eliminating day tickets is not a financially more viable option for us, but from our very beginnings we have stood behind our core values that are based around our never ending determination to push the limits of festival experience. Therefore it is our decision to be consistent in the way we approach Bear Stone Festival. We invite those who share our vision to stand with us and embrace the true essence of Bear Stone Festival.

We also wish to address the shortcomings of some of our external service providers, to whom we have outsourced certain festival operations. We understand that this may have caused some inconvenience to our visitors and this is why we are pleased to announce that for next year’s edition of the festival, we will implement special teams in various sectors dedicated to ensuring the smooth operation of the festival for your maximum enjoyment.

Our primary objectives are to provide pristine restroom facilities and minimise waiting times at the entrances and bars. Your satisfaction is our top priority, and we are committed to going above and beyond to achieve it.

Embark with us on another journey through nature and music on July 04-07 2024.

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Bear Stone Festival, 2023 Aftermovie

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Bear Stone Festival 2023 Announces Full Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 10th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Not to take away from Bear Stone Festival completing its lineup by adding Church of the Cosmic SkullAlunahDeville and Malady Lane, but the transportation update from the fest is a big one as well, especially for somebody like me, who while not morally opposed to camping is in no way a camper. Running the proverbial shuttle-into-town lets the Croatian fest accommodate a greater range of attendees, and again, for someone like me, that makes a big difference.

And to return to the lede, the lineup is frickin’ awesome and the vibe looks right. You want to see Church of the Cosmic Skull and Conan and Orange Goblin and Monster Magnet in a Croatian riverside field? I do. Bringing Deville on board from Sweden adds impact alongside the awesome weirdoism of The Freak Folk of Mangrovia, and with Alunah, Seven That Spells, Mother Cake, Woodstock Barbie, Cojones and Malady Lane, there’s aural and geographic variety to be had. For their second installment, Bear Stone are showing that they learned important lessons the first time out and are looking to build their event over a longer term. I look forward to keeping up over the next few years.

The following came down the PR wire:

Bear Stone Festival

Bear Stone Festival 2023 Full Lineup Announcement + Transportation Update

Ticket link: https://www.entrio.hr/event/bear-stone-festival-2023-12404

After months of looking at locked brackets in the poster, we’re proud to finally present you with the full lineup for Bear Stone Festival 2023:

MONSTER MAGNET (USA)
ORANGE GOBLIN (UK)
CHURCH OF THE COSMIC SKULL (UK)
CONAN (UK)
MOTHER’S CAKE (AT)
SEVEN THAT SPELLS (CRO)
COJONES (CRO)
ALUNAH (UK)
WOODSTOCK BARBIE (HU)
DEVILLE (SWE)
MALADY LANE (CRO)
THE FREAK FOLK OF MANGROVIA (CRO)

From Nottingham (UK) we have Church of the Cosmic Skull, part time seven piece Rock/Prog/Psych/Pop band and a part time spiritual organization that puts “Abba in Sabbath”.

Also coming from the UK, from the Sabbath City of Birmingham Alunah brings their very own Doom/Blues/Psych brand of Hard Rock amped up by ethereal vocal expression of their frontwoman Siân Greenaway.

For more than 15 years Swedish powerhouse Deville have been touring on their signature fusion of Rock, Metal and Stoner. This summer the road brings them to the lovely shores of the Mrežnica river.

Last but not least are Croatia’s very own Malady Lane, a Rock band whose creativity stretches through various realms of Post-Grunge, Alternative, Indie Rock and dreamy lyrics. Their music is compared by many with the spirit of the Seattle scene of the 90’s with its groove and ferocity.

TRANSPORTATION UPDATE

In order to make Bear Stone Festival more accessible to our visitors that plan to travel to the festival by using public transport, we have partnered up with our local transportation provider Autopromet Slunj to create our very own bus line.

Bear Stone Festival bus line will drive from Slunj to Bear Stone Festival and back several times a day starting on Thursday, July 06 and finishing up on Sunday, July 09.

We’ll give you more details regarding the bus line timetable as we get closer to the festival.

Ticket link: https://www.entrio.hr/event/bear-stone-festival-2023-12404

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Church of the Cosmic Skull, “Everybody’s Going to Die” live in NYC, April 1, 2023

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Bear Stone Festival 2023 Adds Monster Magnet, Conan, Cojones and The Freak Folk of Mangrovia

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 9th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

bear stone festival 2023 banner

This is the second lineup announcement for the 2023 Bear Stone Festival in Croatia this July, and it’s a doozy with Monster Magnet and Conan joining the bill for the two-day riverside camp out, along with native purveyors Cojones and The Freak Folk of Mangrovia, the latter of whom recently issued their new nine-minute single “Astral Nomads,” which you can stream below.

As you can see in the poster, there’s room for one more four-band batch to be announced, and I’m curious to see who’s in that top left spot right next to Conan as well as the other three, but with Orange Goblin and Monster Magnet established as the headliners for each day supported by Conan‘s crush, Seven That Spells‘ intricate and spacious prog, the funk fusion of Mother’s Cake and so on down the lineup, there’s a lot to dig here if you’re looking for heavy vibe without fillers. Which I think everybody is to some extent or other.

I’d be at this in a second if I could. Sunny summer days spent breathing unfamiliar air in a place I’ve never been before, watching killer bands in the kind of friendly, inviting environment one sees portrayed in the aftermovie from last year’s fest — also streaming below; granted the reality won’t be in slow-motion, but it’ll give you an idea — and yeah, that’s enough to hang a daydream on for the afternoon.

To wit:

Bear Stone Festival 2023 second poster

Monster Magnet Leads The Next Batch of Bands Announced for Bear Stone Festival!

It is with great pleasure that we announce the new names of the upcoming edition of the Bear Stone Festival.

For all Spacelords and Superjudges! It is a great honor to announce the performance of the legendary American Rock band Monster Magnet, the second headliner of this year’s festival edition. They are followed by English stoner/doom champions Conan. Favorites of the underground scene and a highly respected band that are going to promote their new full-length album.

We’re bringing stoner rock aces Cojones from a deep, five-year sleep. This will be their first performance after the break and their first appearance at the festival. We round off this shot of names with the psychedelic sounds of the city of Rijeka. A group with a bit of a strange name, The Freak Folk of Mangrovia.

Get your festival tickets here: https://www.entrio.hr/event/bear-stone-festival-2023-12404

Don’t forget about the Bear Stone Festival Warm-Up Party with Colour Haze and Bosco Sacro performing at the legendary Klub Močvara on April 14th.

Tickets: https://www.entrio.hr/event/bear-stone-festival-predstavlja-colour-haze-13230

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The Freak Folk of Mangrovia, “Astral Nomads”

Bear Stone Festival – Year Zero Edition aftermovie

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Bear Stone Festival 2023 Makes First Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 13th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

bear stone festival 2023 banner

People, dogs, a river, plenty of rock and roll. If you have a minute, take a gander at the slow-motion-prone aftermovie from Bear Stone Festival in Croatia earlier this summer. It’ll make you nostalgic for the event whether you were there or not. A frog even shows up. That’s always fun. And they’ve got the same bear back on the poster art for consistency’s sake. I vote we name him ‘Beartholomew.’

Perhaps bear and frog alike will put in an appearance next July for Bear Stone Festival 2023, the first lineup announcement for which has just been made. Orange Goblin stand among headliners, as they will, and Mother’s Cake, Croatia’s own Seven That Spells and Hungary’s Woodstock Barbie are the initial confirmations, and you can see with handy visual aid of the poster below that there’s plenty more to come for the vibe-heavy two-dayer set for July 7 and 8. I’ve never been much good at things like camping, enjoying sunshine, being around humans, etc., but I’ll be damned if they don’t make it seem enticing here, and what looks like an intimate vibe balanced with the outdoors in a kind nestled-in spot? Yeah. I think there’s something cool happening with this one. Like, let’s watch over the next couple years and see what happens.

The fest sent the following down the PR wire. I love that they call them ‘early bear’ tickets instead of ‘early bird’:

bear stone festival 2023 poster

Bear Stone Festival 2023 – First bands and ticket presale info announcement

It’s with great pleasure that we are announcing the first bands that are set to perform at Bear Stone Festival 2023 as well as the presale date for a limited number of Early Bear tickets!

We are very eagerly expecting the next edition of Bear Stone Festival after this year’s “Year Zero Edition” which created quite a buzz and very quickly established the festival as a fresh new concept that has been recognized both by its domestic and international audience. The symbiosis of Rock music with all of its (sub)genres and untouched nature has never been more beautiful.

See you again on July 07&08, 2023 on the banks of the magical Mrežnica river (Donje Primišlje, Slunj).

Our first headliners are a world famous UK institution for over 25 years, the legendary Stoner Rock/Blues Metal band Orange Goblin. They are followed by Croatia’s very own Psychedelic Rock magicians Seven That Spells for whom this will be their first public appearance since the pandemic. Mother’s Cake are a band that tenaciously expands their Alternative Space Rock gospel across the European stages for a number of years proving themselves to be the backbone of the Austrian alternative scene. Coming from Hungary are Woodstock Barbie led by the charismatic vocalist Alexandra Pádár with an arsenal of material that guarantees a wild ride.

ORANGE GOBLIN (UK)
SEVEN THAT SPELLS (CRO)
MOTHER’S CAKE (AT)
WOODSTOCK BARBIE (HU)

We are also announcing the presale date of limited and discounted Early Bear tickets that will be available from Wednesday, 19.10. from 10 a.m. Follow us on social media below for important links that will be posted soon.

Grab your discounted tickets on time!

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Bear Stone Festival – Year Zero Edition aftermovie

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Bear Stone Festival Announces Inaugural Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 5th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

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With what they’re calling the ‘Year Zero’ edition, the new Croatian two-dayer Bear Stone Festival unveils a lineup with immediately international ambitions, with Mars Red SkyBlack RainbowsMother Vulture and Acid Mammoth up on top of the poster. It sounds like a pretty genuine outdoor experience, with free-but-limited-to-1,000 entry and free camping on-site, and they say there’s more to come in the lineup, which I’m inclined to believe since although the 12 acts announced would be just fine to fill a two-day bill with six per, there’s also a jam-stage to work out, DJs and other artists reportedly taking part, so yeah, one way or the other, it seems like there will be space for announcements after this.

But it looks like a cool happening if you’re in the area or up for a bit of travel. I can think of worse ways to spend a weekend than by a riverside in Croatia listening to rock and roll and experiencing art of various stripes. I can feel the vibe from here, and it’s not even long enough for everybody to get super-smelly, which is also a win.

Best of luck to Bear Stone Festival on Year Zero, and many happy returns:

bear stone festival poster

Welcome to Bear Stone Festival – Year Zero, the first of its kind

Welcome to Bear Stone Festival, the first of its kind!

This year’s edition of the festival titled #YearZeroEdition will start off Bear Stone Festival as a special preview. Year Zero Edition will be a free admission festival with free camping and an attendance limited to 1.000 visitors. Tickets can be purchased online in digital form via this link –> https://www.entrio.hr/event/bear-stone-festival-year-zero-11209

An audio-visual experience, international gathering of travelers and tribes in the Croatian outback. Two days of psychedelic, stoner, desert, fuzz, heavy rock, electronic and experimental music accompanied by live bands, DJ sets and Jam stage. Stunning landscapes, fantastic psychedelic art installations and projections will shape a unique festival experience and make you reexamine reality.

BLACK RAINBOWS // MARS RED SKY // MOTHER VULTURE // ACID MAMMOTH // SHE LOVES PABLO // STONEBRIDE // DALIBOROVO GRANJE // JASTREB // ACHACHAK // WIZARD OF STONE MOUNTAIN // ARISES // POMELO CHESS SOCIETY //

Slunj, Donje Primišlje, Croatia // 1 & 2 July, 2022 //

MAIN STAGE // JAM STAGE // DJs // CAMPING // FOOD VENDORS // BARS // RAFTING // SWIMMIMG // NATURE and more!

The festival is held in Donje Primišlje (Croatia) on a breathtaking location, on the banks of the river Mrežnica, which with its distinctive emerald color is known as one of the most pristine rivers in Croatia. The location of Bear Stone Festival is also the centre stage for the world famous trance electronic music festival Mo:Dem (Momento Demento).

The Bear Stone Festival is located in the canyon of Mrežnica and is completely surrounded by forest. Both the forest and the river are what make the festival site a part of nature in its most basic and pristine form. The festival site is a 15-minute drive from the towns of Slunj and Ogulin on each side, a 45-minute drive from the world-famous Plitvice Lakes National Park, an hour’s drive from the capital Zagreb and an hour and a half from the Adriatic Sea.

More information at –> www.bearstonefestival.com

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Black Rainbows, “Supernova & Asteroid/Fire in the Sky” live at Desertfest Belgium 2021

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