Sun and Bass 2019
Every September, Drum & Bass heads travel to beautiful Sardinia for a small festival. Maybe you've never even heard of it, but after reading this article you might want to attend next year's edition. Here's what we experienced, my review of the festival and some tips for first-timers.
Our experience & highlights
After visiting Hospitality on the Beach and Liquicity festival in July, I was so hyped to end the festival season at Sun and Bass once more. It always feels like one more week of summer, before returning to autumnal Switzerland. My friend Andrea and I landed in Olbia on Friday afternoon and got a taxi to San Teodoro. Once we arrived, we checked in and got the keys for our apartment. It was located on a little hill, which meant we could see the sea and the town centre from our terrace. It was magical to wake up to this view every day. San Teodoro is such a pretty town! After getting our wristbands at Hotel Al Faro and buying some groceries, we headed to La Posta for the pre-party, where Bailey and A Sides were playing non-DnB sets - that's a Sun and Bass tradition. This is also the place where everyone comes together again for the first time in a year, so it's always quite emotional (but in a very positive way!).
On Saturday, we headed to the beach to relax a bit before the big opening night. We also met our French flatmate (shoutout to Alex!) who we found through the Sun and Bass group on Facebook. My excitement went through the roof as the first night of the festival was approaching. One of my traditions is to eat a pizza and drink an Ichnusa at Central Bar / Le Due Isole. We then visited the first event at Ambra Day. It served as a perfect warm-up for the party at Ambra Night - my favourite location of the festival. I can't really describe what it feels like to walk down the hill to Ambra Night for the first time each year. Euphoria probably best describes it. You can see the laser beam in the sky and as you get closer, you hear the music. I always have the biggest smile on my face while entering the club (which is half outdoor / half indoor and next to the sea). This year it was even more special, because my friend Andrea had never been to SnB before, so I got to show her all the locations and see her reactions, which was priceless. The opening night was amazing (as was to be expected) and I was incredibly happy to be back at my favourite festival.
Another highlight followed on Sunday afternoon: A beach party featuring artists from my favourite label - The North Quarter. I had the time of my life. Going for a swim in the clear blue water, seeing the mountains behind La Cinta and the gorgeous Isola Tavolara in the distance, all while listening to amazing music - life can't get any better than this. After the beach party, we headed to Bal Harbour and then got ready for another event at Ambra Night.
That's pretty much what we did for 8 days and nights. However, I want to give you an overview of my favourite sets. After the incredible beach party on Sunday, we were also in for a treat at Ambra Night. I spent the entire night dancing in front of the Garden stage, thanks to Bredren, Zero T, John B and Bryan Gee. My highlight was Zero T's set though, which was hosted by Steo. What a voice! On Tuesday, Seba played a vinyl set in the Garden, which honestly took me to another dimension. The madness continued on Wednesday with breathtaking (literally, I went crazy the entire night!) sets from Marky, Pola & Bryson and Makoto. The night ended with people demanding "ONE MORE TUNE" from Marky, but it was already way past 5am, so unfortunately we didn't get another tune (even though Marky would have played for another 5 hours probably if it was up to him - legend!). Thursday night was a Gazebo night for me, with sets from Dogger and the one and only Calibre, hosted by DRS. Vibes all night long! And last but not least - one of my all-time favourite producers - Satl. I loved his set on the last night of the festival.
Fortunately, many sets are currently being uploaded. So people are able to relive their personal highlights and check out sets they couldn't witness during the festival due to clashes in the timetable. The easiest way to find them is to join the Facebook groups linked below - most of them are posted in there.
After the closing night came to an end, everyone went to the beach right outside Ambra and collectively watched the sunrise. It's always such a special moment, provoking mixed emotions: on the one hand, the fact that the festival is over hits you, on the other hand, you're thankful for all the memories you've made. When I walked home at around 9am, I felt incredibly happy. What a magical week! I met so many amazing people that I now call family. And you know what made me the happiest in that moment? Knowing that I'll be able to return to paradise again next year and rave with these beautiful people again. Sun and Bass, I love you ♡
If you read the first part of this article, you probably know that I'm very biased. I love Sun and Bass. I've attended three times in a row and it's my favourite Drum & Bass festival. The vibe is just incredible and the festival locations in San Teodoro are amazing (except for the toilets at Ambra night maybe). The average age of the crowd is higher than at other festivals, but there are still many young ravers. Also, people from all over the world travel to Sardinia for Sun and Bass, so it's definitely a very international festival. The only thing that I heard people complain about is the late reveal of the line up. It's usually published one or two weeks before the festival. However, I can guarantee you that it's amazing every year and there are artists that have been playing every edition for years. Speaking of the artists: you can really feel how much they enjoy playing at the events. That's probably also thanks to the location itself. San Teodoro is so incredibly pretty! The clear blue water, the mountains looking down on the town and the lovely architecture make this place unique. I promise you, once you've attended Sun and Bass, you're hooked and you'll want to return every September.
Tips for first-timers
♡ Facebook Groups
If you have a question or want to connect with people before the festival, check out these two Facebook groups:
Unnofficial Sun and Bass group
♡ San Teodoro and the festival locations
San Teodoro is a small town, but the festival locations are still quite far apart. You've got La Cinta - the beach where the day parties are held. Bal Harbour and Ambra Day are the early evening locations. Ambra Night is where it's going down during the night. I recommend you stay somewhere in the town centre so you won't have to walk too far to any of the locations. Many people also rent bicycles for the week.
The closest airport to San Teodoro is Olbia. There's also a ferry port. You can get from Olbia to San Teodoro using the local bus service or a taxi. Another option is to book transfer beforehand. Information on that can be found in the Sun and Bass Facebook groups (linked above), usually shortly before the festival.
Book your accommodation early enough! San Teodoro is not a super big town. You can either book a hotel room, an apartment or an entire villa. I did it both, hotel and apartment. I preferred living in an apartment with a few people during the festival. If you've booked an apartment or villa and have spare rooms, post about it on Facebook. You'll find flatmates pretty quickly.
Please be aware that many agencies only post their office location online (which is often times in the town centre) and not the actual location of the apartment that you're booking (which could be miles away)! So make sure you find out where the actual accommodation is before booking.
♡ Festival Dates
Festival Dates are usually released around Christmas time. So watch out and book your flight as soon as the dates are out.
Tickets are usually released around May (this year it was early June). Full week wristbands were gone in just a few minutes, so you have to be quick! The capacity of the festival is pretty small.
You didn't get a full week wristband? Don't worry! You can buy single night tickets (except for the first and last Saturday). And if you didn't get those, you can still come to the festival. Events at the beach and Ambra Day are free for everyone. You can even get into Ambra Night, as they sell a limited amount of tickets at the door each night. The only location you can't get into without a wristband is Bal Harbour.
♡ More questions?
Join one of the Facebook groups or contact Sun and Bass directly. You can also get in touch with me if you'd like to hear more about the festival.
Feel free to add a comment below and tell us your best Sun and Bass story :) Let me know if you want a more detailed post on certain aspects of the festival (e.g. locations). I hope to see you in San Teodoro next year!
Shout out to all the people I met at Sun and Bass this year. Love you guys ♡