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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 10:47

Launching this August are OTTILLIE POP, a new fashion house based in the heart of Staffordshire. Their debut range features a beautiful selection of digitally printed bodycon and wrap dresses in prints ranging from floral to geometric designs.

This is a brand with a difference: as they source, design and develop their pieces in-house along with the sampling and production all under one roof. Allowing for upmost quality throughout the whole process the brand avoids the usual mark-ups at each production stage (prices range between £75-£85).

For those of you who can’t wait to shop the stunning OTTILLIE POP collection you can sign up to the mailing list before August 11 and grab a 30% discount code on the official launch!

Words: Becky Burden  

 

The post OTTILLIE POP appeared first on Fused Magazine.

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Date: Monday, 21 Jul 2014 19:58

If there is anything more relaxing than sitting in a hot tub with a Gin & Tonic, watching a movie on a huge screen underneath beautiful blue sky whilst sailing past the Norwegian Fjords then I’m yet to find it. My biggest choices over 11 exciting days on my inaugural cruise were what to choose from the menu, how to avoid eating too much Gelato or freshly baked cakes, and which excursion might take my fancy.

As a cruise virgin I’d packed for every eventuality (or at least one that required a dress and heels). I’d read-up on cruise etiquette. I’d studied the itinerary but I was yet to work out starboard and port side – but figured that was the captain’s job and not really mine to worry about.

What I hadn’t taken into account was the pure magnificence of our accommodation; The Royal Princess. A ship of huge proportion (it was easiest the biggest ship at any port we visited) it was lucky we were given a fold out map to navigate our way around.

Tastefully designed with the full on five star treatment the ship is stunning. Launched by The Duchess of Cambridge just a year ago it is currently starring in its own documentary (imaginatively titled The Cruise Ship) on ITV.

If you thought cruising was just for the over 50s then think again; with amazing food, great cities to visit and onboard luxury we’re total converts.

Day 1 – Embarkation in Copenhagen

Our trip starts in wonderful wonderful Copenhagen. We can take a trip around the city but I’m far too excited to leave the ship now that we’re onboard. And anyway; what if we lose track of time and it sails off without us? We’ve found our stateroom (all sparkling clean with neutral decor, a double bed, shower-bathroom, flat screen TV, and most importantly: a balcony with loungers) through the maze of corridors. We can’t unpack just yet as our luggage hasn’t been delivered so we go for an explore.

The main hub of the ship is the central atrium section set over three levels where all the entertainment happens. From listening to George the crooner or Kory the singing pianist to the striking musicians that make up the string quartet, you can sit with cocktails, get your photo taken on one of the two ‘formal’ nights that take place, eat, drink and enjoy the ambiance. We’re spoilt for choice and it’s hard to know what to choose from. We make it our aim to eat in every restaurant, drink in every bar, and be entertained in every corner of the ship before we disembark.

Our handy cruise card acts as ID for leaving and getting back on the ship; credit card for drink and spa purchases (more of that later); and stateroom key. Its colour, Blue, tells the staff we’re first time cruisers – I think this gives them an extra level of patience when we hand it over looking slightly confused or bemused. Whichever way they are kind, friendly and always helpful.

We use our card to pay for cocktails and think how refreshing it is not to have to carry money around. We have a Thai prawn salad in the international cafe, it’s delicious and a taste of things to come. We’ve been onboard an hour and I’m still giddy with excitement; we’ve got the top deck to explore.

Swimming pools, a gym, loungers and a huge cinema screen (no matter how sunny it gets you can still see it perfectly) are all at the top of the ship. It’s official I’ve decided I never want to get off.

Having explored and gone back to our stateroom to discover our luggage has been delivered we unpack, sip on a glass of champagne and decide where to eat. There are three dining rooms (one of which is set dining), several restaurants that require an additional fee, a buffet hall, snack and seafood bars – whatever food you like they have it.

We head to one of the large dining rooms for a three course meal – of course it’s fantastic. The standard of food onboard matches the ship; delicious, well presented, full of variety and very tasty.

Day 2  – Oslo, Norway

We wake up in Oslo. We’re so central it is literally a two minute walk to the city centre from the port but we’re booked on to an excursion so after a quick pastry and coffee (at the International cafe again) we’re off the ship and on to a coach to head to the Hadeland Glassverk in Jevnaker. We pass the most idyllic scenery which is a stunning backdrop for our 60 minute journey. Once there we’re try a touch of glass blowing and make our own tumbler. A slightly quirky excursion but well worth it for the scenery alone.

We get dropped off just opposite the ship and have two hours to spend in Oslo itself. It is bustling in the central area and we join a crowd outside the Grand Hotel where we’re told the Rolling Stones are about to emerge. After 10 minutes of no show we decide to move on to explore further.

Back onboard our dinner reservation that evening is in the Crown Grill. This is one of the extra pay ‘speciality’ restaurants where for just $25 a head you get a stunning 3-course aged-steak or lobster dinner. I go for the filet mignon rare and it’s so tender and perfectly cooked I can still taste it now.

Day 3  – Aarhus, Denmark

We’re back in Denmark to visit the historical Viking town of Aarhus; Denmark’s second city. Our excursion ‘Highlights of Aarhus’, (available from $139 per person) takes us past cultural icons including the magnificent cathedral (the longest and tallest in Denmark).

We’re taken to the Den Gamle By open-air museum where we get to see a slice of Danish history through the recreation of 75 historic buildings ranging from the 15th to 18th centuries. Also included are more recent living history buildings. Our favourites are the 70′s commune apartments and the interactive dressing up wardrobe.

Day 4 – Warnemunde, Germany

We get off the ship at the port of Warnemunde and on to a (much smaller) boat heading to the nearby city of Rostock for our excursion: Rostock Old Town & Trotzenburg Micro-Brewery (available from $109 per person).

You can get the specially chartered train from Warnemunde to Berlin (3hr journey) but we stay local instead to explore the medieval town. It’s small but packed with history and is the perfect start to the day. We take a quick tour of the Trotzenburg brewery to sample a freshly brewed beer and a pretzel. The excursion is just half a day so we get back onboard the ship and order delicious fresh pizza at Alfredo’s before heading in to the port seaside town itself.

The tiny town houses are beautiful and there is a long beach filled with seating to soak up the sun – although it’s a little too blustery for us to explore. Eateries, spas and shops line the streets for tourists and while it doesn’t take long for us to walk around it is great to stop off and enjoy a Weissbier.

Day 5 – at Sea 

We have an indulgent day at sea. The entertainment schedule is packed with Bridge playing in the library, Texas hold ‘em poker tournaments in the casino, cooking demonstrations in the theatre, croquet challenges on the top deck, dance classes in the atrium, and more. But that all seems like way too much activity for us so we’ve booked ourselves in to The Enclave.

Part of the spa The Enclave is the ships ‘thermal suite’ which include the Hammam (a Turkish-style steam room), the Caldarium (an herbal steam room), the Laconium (a dry heat sauna) and the line’s first-ever hydro-therapy pool. It’s dark and tranquil in here. The perfect place for some relaxing, chilled out time. The spa itself has everything on board you’d expect from a five star resort. The treatments on offer are extensive and on different days there are great deals to tempt passengers.

Sea day also gives us a chance to check out some of the more informal dining offerings including Horizon Court: the hot and cold buffet dining area with a multitude of food choices. There is a queue building for the oysters and fresh seafood but the Mexican stand is quiet so tacos and fajitas it is.

Excitingly tonight is ‘Formal Night’ so everyone is dressed in their finest sipping on complimentary champagne. Dancing is encouraged and the ships crew parade around in their whites looking very dapper.

Day 6 – Tallinn, Estonia

The weather in Tallinn isn’t too forgiving. We were supposed to go on a bike tour but have scrapped that idea due to the pelting rain. Instead we walk around the stunning and very hilly Old Town. Just a 10 minute walk from the port this is certainly one of the prettiest places on our trip so far.

The walled Old Town has remained virtually unchanged for 600 years and is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. There are stunning monuments, churches and architecture at every turn.

We head to the confides of dryness and warmth inside the delightful Chocolaterie Pierre for one of their famous hot chocolates. The decor is somewhere between a junk shop and your gran’s house from the 70s’ – all chintzy with lace table clothes, frilly lights and a mishmash of rugs.

In contrast our lunch is outside of the Old Town, through the bus station, past an intriguing looking market (flogging off communist era memorabilia) and inside a converted factory. F-Hoone is as close to hipster hang-out and as far away from the medieval town as you can get with its reclaimed wood decor, quirky furnishings and contemporary menu.

Day 7 & 8 – St Petersburg, Russia

The weather in still pretty horrible by the time we arrive in St Petersburg. The captain wasn’t helped by the strong winds and choppy sea but navigated us in to the port nontheless and now we’ve got an overnight stay in Russia with plenty of time to explore.

The city is large and sprawling and our first view of it is via boat through the rivers and canals on our tour ($79 per person). On the evening we head to truly opulent Catherine’s Palace ($199 per person) for an evening of canapés, champagne, classical music and baroque overload.

The following day we go all out for art exploring the Hermitage, the stunning architecture at The Church of Savior on the Spilled Blood, and even fit in a coffee break at the beautiful Art Deco Russian tea room at the Kupetz Eliseevs Food Hall.

We fail terribly at trying to find two contemporary art spaces so opt for a couple of beers (with complimentary vodkas thrown in) at Dostoevsky’s old hangout The Idiot.

Onboard we’re being lavish tonight with a reservation for the Winemaker Dinner in Allegro, one of the main dining rooms. Our setting is in the centre of the room but set apart with an ornate glass wall which separates us slightly from the other diners. Our chef has prepared us a special meal to go with the sommelier’s wine choices. Our Steak Diane main is huge and incredibly rich. I can barely sniff dessert let alone eat it.

There is only one thing for it and that is to work our indulgent dining with some dancing at the ships very own nightclub: Club 6. Resident DJ Shea takes requests and puts up with absurd dancing until 2am every night of the week – it must be tiresome.

Day 9 – Helsinki, Finland

Thoroughly cosmopolitan, sparklingly cleansed and with an abundance of saunas Helsinki is certainly a highlight of the trip. Design shops are scattered everywhere and filled with cool scandi-chic furniture. The flagship Marimekko design store is right in the centre and is where I want to buy everything.

After a good walk and a visit to the city’s former prison, which has now been turned in to an amazing looking hotel, we head for a traditional Finnish lunch (it’s an open type of sandwich filled with the freshest Salmon) at Armas with our brilliant guide Karri.

For the afternoon we have a quirky activity planned and we’re taken to a great design store for a touch of ‘up-cycling’. We’re offered bowls filled with bits of rubber, wires, string and given free reign to make something. Inspired by a Moomins lollipop I picked up at the tourist centre I decide to make a keying. As it goes it turns out pretty well.

Day 10 – Stockholm, Sweden

The journey from the port at Nynashamn to Stockholm takes 45 minutes and because of the shallow waters where we have docked it is the first time the muster boats are used to ferry the passengers to the terminal and on to land. Once in Stockholm we’re taken to Gamla Stan; the old town part of the city. Once again, and like many of the places we’ve visited, it is beautiful. Pedestrian friendly you can meander around the cobblestone streets taking in the many sites and fascinating buildings.

Also mainly pedestrianised is the nearby island of Djurgården which is filled with places to visit. The ABBA museum, Nordic and Vasa (Maritime) museums, Skansen open-air museum and lush-parkland are all here meaning you can easily spend a day picnic-ing and site-seeing.

The World’s first permanent ice bar is based in the city’s Nordic C Hotel. Serving up Absolut cocktails in ice glasses, within the ice walls, while you sit on ice chairs with ice tables and listen to loud euro-dance tunes it is a slightly soulless experience and as it is housed within the confines of a hotel feels a little false and very touristy. (Absolut Ice Bar & Gamla Stan’ excursion from $149 per person).

Day 11 – at sea 

We keep hearing the ships horn sounding and a look outside tells us why: It is really foggy today. This isn’t an ideal scenario as we’re supposed to be meeting the Captain today as part of our Ultimate Tour of the ship ($150) and guessing by the weather he’s going to be a little too busy.

We’re met by Cruise Director and all-round entertainment manager Sam. She’ll be our guide for the next hour and takes us on a back stage tour of the theatre, we get to see the engine room, the huge anchors, the staff quarters, the galleys and the laundry room. With 1,300 staff on board it is remarkable to see what goes on behind the scenes.

After a quick bite to eat we head to the gym. Having packed my kit it seemed a waste not to give it an airing so after a short run on the treadmill and a fun-packed virtual cycle race on the bike I feel like I’ve worked off at least one cookie.

The fog has cleared and the sky is blue as we pass through the Norwegian Fjords but the captain is too busy so we never do get to see the bridge. To console ourselves we take a dip in one of the hot tubs on the top deck and top it off with a G&T.

Suitably wrinkled of finger we drag ourselves to get ready for out final onboard dinner. Tonight we are treated to Sabatini’s Italian Restaurant. While I feel another morsel shouldn’t really pass my lips it is hard to ignore the seafood linguine on offer and true to form it is delicious. A final cocktail and visit to Kory on his piano in the atrium and our night is complete.

Day 12 – Copenhagen 

Time to disembark. It’s with much sadness that we have to leave the ship – quite early too for our flight back home. It’s been a whirlwind 11 day tour that has taken us to a brand new region with a new style of travel. It has been one of the best trips of our life!

BOOKING YOUR TRIP

Our trip was onboard the Royal Princess.

The Scandinavia & Russia sailing roundtrip from Copenhagen was 11-nights.

Prices from £1,428 per person (based on two adults sharing an inside stateroom). Fare includes all accommodation, all main meals and on board entertainment, excludes flights. All offers are subject to availability.

For more information or to book visit www.princess.com/holiday, contact your local travel agent or call 0843 374 2403.

Excursions: The Princess organised excursions available to your trip will be online to read about and book before you embark. Read up on the areas; some ports are far out of town, some places you may need a visa to disembark and for others you can just stroll in to the main city yourself.

CHeck out our PINTEREST Map for our route and places we visited.

The post BALTIC BLISS: A FIRST TIMERS GUIDE TO CRUISING appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Travel, Aarhus, ABBA museum, Armas, Balt..."
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Date: Monday, 21 Jul 2014 14:37

The year is 1964 and Beatlemania is in full swing. The biggest band on the planet are about to make their big screen debut. The film is A Hard Day’s Night, a seminal piece of filmmaking that shows The Beatles as they’ve never been seen before.

To celebrate its 50th Anniversary the film will be presented in a new 4k digital restoration approved by director Richard Lester, with three audio options – a monoaural soundtrack in addition to newly created stereo and 5.1 surround mixes supervised by sound producer Giles Martin at Abbey Road Studios. The film will be in cinemas from 4 July 2014 on video-on-demand and available to download from 4 July followed by a special edition DVD and Blu-ray release on 21 July 2014, courtesy of Second Sight Films.

We have 3 copies of the DVD to give away.

To be in with a chance of winning one just tell us what is the name of Giles Martin’s producer father?

email your answer to competitions [@] fusedmagazine.com with ‘Beatles Comp’ in the header.

Winners will be notified by email on 31st July

 

 

 

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Author: "Fused" Tags: "Blog, 50th Anniversary, A Hard Day’s N..."
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 13:46

A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier.  They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species. Sound good? Want to swan around town in some exclusive Merchandise? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Packshot

We have three lusciously dark prize packs to give away consisting of:

Sleeping Bag
T-Shirt
Keychain
Silicone Watch
Mouse-mat

To be in with a chance of winning one of these sets just answer this:

What is the name of the Ape leader in Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes?

Send your answer to competitions [@] fusedmagazine.com with ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ in the subject title.

Our monkey butler will then pull out 3 lucky winners names from his Fez on Tues 31st July.

 

 

The post WIN DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES MERCHANDISE appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Blog, #DAWNOFAPES, ape, Caesar, competit..."
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 13:39

This month new Australian fashion brand The Fifth Label will launch exclusively on ASOS offering their new debut entitled ‘Runaway.’ The brand offers a unique approach to affordable fashion combining the attitude of street wear with a uniquely defined style aesthetic.

The collection offers clean lines, original prints and an understated edge that allows the pieces not only to be comfortable but also showcase the high fashion structure that the brand and the head designer Amy Hicks (former co-designer for Finders Keepers) are known for.

‘Runaway’ has a definite sport influence but with a laid-back feminine touch that makes sure it will suit a diverse range of ASOS customers and become firm favourites in their wardrobes. The signature of the collection showcased through combining paired back basics with elegance and premium quality materials to create a signature aesthetic but at a price range that is affordable with prices ranging from £21 to £81.

Words: Rebecca Burden

The post THE FIFTH LABEL – RUNAWAY LAUNCH appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Fashion, 2014 women's wear, ASOS, Runawa..."
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 13:12

Something of an enigma, French multi-instrumentalist, composer and performer Sebastien Tellier has just unveiled his latest aural masterpiece. Inspired by exotic climes and a desire to explore new musical avenues, L’Aventura sees the European aficionado swap Gallic culture for Brazilian sounds, and as such we thought it would be a good find out whether he was inspired by the recent World Cup, and what else we can expect from him in the coming months.

Hi Sebastien, how’s it going? Other than album what’s been going on at the moment?
I feel really good! I’m hanging out with Sly, Steven Stanley and Michel Esteban in Jamaica for the recording of my wife’s album. I’m doing return trips to Europe to promote L’Aventura. Yummy, I love my life at the moment!

Tell us about L’Aventura- what was the idea behind the album?
L’Aventura smells of Brazil, it’s a record in which I rewrite my childhood. I like the idea that art can rewrite the past, it’s the ultimate means of expression. I lived a common childhood in  a regular Parisian suburb. I wanted to colour my past, to make it blazing, happy and splendid. As a musician, I have always been attached to the music of my childhood, I used a lot of my musical memories to compose L’Aventura. I also realised that most of these memories are linked to cartoons from that time.

In some ways it represents a subtle stylistic departure from your previous work- less European, and more exotic. Was there a particular reason for that decision?
I needed a thousand splendours scenery for this imaginary childhood. Brazil was the ideal place thanks to its landscapes and close relation to music. I needed to be far away from my reality to find inspiration. I also wanted to develop my bass and guitar playing in another way. Working in the Brazilian style was really pleasant.

Presumably the timing of the release has nothing to do with the recent World Cup, though?
Far from football, far from people. I decided to like football one year ago. I try to understand the rabble. I feel so far from it today that it has become a mystery again. Football is a violent sport, in which everything is about poor taste; the opposite of my record.

You’re well known as a multi-instrumentalist, do you have a favourite instrument, and if so why?
I like the bass. I learned music with a guitar then a piano. When I started playing the bass, I found it wonderfully simple. The bass has a great emotional power, it’s like the unconscious of music.

 The Ruda Cabral directed video is fantastic, do you think video is becoming a more important medium for musicians to use?
The real important medium is the Internet. Today, an artist has to create his own little virtual theatre to exist. Music videos are part of this little theatre’s scenery. But to my mind, video is mostly a good way to travel and make nonsense stuff while trying to create charm.

Finally, what do you have lined up for the next few months? Will we be seeing you play more UK dates at all this year?
This summer I plan to rework a lot of my old tracks and bring them into my new Brazilian world in time for my next world tour, which will start in October, including the UK- an amazing country for music!

The album L’Aventura is out now
Watch the video to his new single Aller vers le soleil

 

The post SEBASTIEN TELLIER appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Music, Brazil, French, Fused, L’Aventu..."
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 12:46

We’re loving the  new fragrance from LACOSTE L!VE with it’s blends of edgy style and authenticity. The unique design, concept and holistic campaign appeal to a more young and urban market with  a cool edge.

What hits you first is a dynamic burst of lime  The zesty touch stands out as an unexpected and energetic top note bright and sharp to awaken your senses. An ideal mens scent for the summer season.

LACOSTE L!VE Eau de Toilette 100ml £47.00

LACOSTE L!VE Eau de Toilette 40ml £29.00

LACOSTE L!VE Deo Spray 150ml £20.00 / €22.00 LACOSTE L!VE Deo Stick 75ml £20.00

LACOSTE L!VE Shower Gel 150ml £11.00

The post LACOSTE L!VE appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Blog, aftershave, beauty, blog, Eau de T..."
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Date: Friday, 11 Jul 2014 10:22

V Festival sponsored by Virgin Media will be THE place to be this summer to catch a huge array  of first-class musical acts such as Justin Timberlake, The Killers,  Tinie Tempah, Childish Gambino, Ceelo Green, Pixie Lott, Sophie  Ellis-Bextor, Vance Joy, Chloe Howl, Josh Record, Icona Pop, Ed  Sheeran, Paolo Nutini, Example, Lily Allen, Elbow, Axwell ^ Ingrosso, Bastille, Rudimental, Chase & Status, Rita Ora, Alesso,  Kaiser Chiefs, Manic Street Preachers, Above & Beyond, Tom Odell,  Sub Focus, Train, Blondie, Jason Derulo, Rizzle Kicks, John Newman,  Sam Smith, Katy B, Embrace, Janelle Monae, Kodaline, Miles Kane, The  Human League, Newton Faulkner, Starsailor, Aloe Blacc, Alex Clare,  Nina Nesbitt, The Strypes, Birdy, Foxes, Ella Eyre, The Stranglers  and many more.

V Festival is now in its 19th year and is renowned for bringing the very best eclectic music together for one mind-blowing weekend. Last year saw incredible sets from headliners Beyonce and Kings of Leon, with other show stopping performances from the likes of Jessie J, The Script and Ellie Goulding. V Festival has an unrivalled music pedigree, previous headliners have included Coldplay, Radiohead, Oasis, Eminem, Foo Fighters, The Stone Roses and The Arctic Monkeys. V Festival is now established as the biggest festival in the UK with over 170,000 fans attending, and was the first festival to establish rotating acts across two sites.

We are giving away a pair of tickets for either of the V festival sites. Just let us know which one you’d like to attend.

VF_2014_logo_flat

HOW TO ENTER

For your chance to win a pair of camping tickets at the UK’s most talked about festival then just tell us in what two counties does V Festival take place?

Send your answer along with your name, address and telephone number to competitions at fusedmagazine dot com. Please put V2014 ONLINE COMP in the Subject Box.

DEADLINE for entry is Friday July 25th 2014.

Winners will be notified via email.

For tickets and V Festival info to go www.vfestival.com

 

The post WIN TICKETS TO V FESTIVAL appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Music, Above & Beyond, Alesso, Alex Clar..."
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Date: Thursday, 03 Jul 2014 14:37

I’ve just eaten a smoked lamb and bean sandwich oozing with Mayo when our driver takes our ‘Super Truck’ off-road and down a vertical hill to “show us what the vehicle can do.”  The stomach flips as the truck tips forward and rumbles down. We can no longer see the scenery outside the window as the mist has set in. This is like no July I’ve ever known. Welcome to Iceland.

For such a small place Iceland certainly holds its own. This Island country (it is the size of England), with its tiny population (just 320,000 inhabitants), brought the aviation world to an abrupt halt four years ago when the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted spewing ash throughout the atmosphere; but I think we can forgive them now after all they are showing the rest of the globe how to be fully sustainable; as the forerunner in the world of Green Energy. Plus the country came first in the Global Peace Index as the most peaceful place to live in the world.

We’d arrived at night having boarded the inaugural twilight flight from Birmingham to Keflavik Airport, Reykjavik. The flight lands in daylight – although it’s almost midnight. It makes for a confused brain. We’ve got just 48 hours to see the sites of Iceland and our jam-packed first day Golden Circle Tour certainly sets the scene of what is on offer in this most diverse of landscapes.

We’re passing through rocky, and what looks like uninhabitable terrain. The hundreds of Icelandic pure breed horses have long disappeared as have the grassy fields that feed them. This has been replaced with ice patches, compacted snow and a driving rain. It looks impassable; but it’s not an issue for our driver and his jeep. We’re headed to the Langjökull glacier (the second largest ice cap in Iceland at 953 km2) and our mode of transport for the next 45 minutes will be switched to a snowmobile. We’re given snow suits and protective boots, gloves, snoods and a helmet. The weather had felt relatively mild over breakfast but it has taken a turn: It’s pretty cold out there.

Our towering Mountaineer host Anders gives us quick instructions on how to use our new mode of transport. It’s really simple. We ride two to a vehicle and off we go in a convoy traversing lumpy snow, bumpy ice and melting slush.

It all results in an exhilarating, if not biting cold and utterly soaking ride. With a pair of boots full of water and a wet bum we’re back in our jeep to visit the stunning Golden waterfall, Gullfoss. We’re given the opportunity to warm up in the restaurant there with some traditional lamb and vegetable soup – just the thing to heat up the inner core.

A few kilometers away and we arrive at the geothermal area around the hot spring geysirs. These sulphur smelling pockets of boiling water send steam into the air. Only one of them is active and we gather around to wait for it to blow. We don’t have to wait long as it treats us with a fine display and, rather unfortunately, a warm shower. We’re already wet but now we’re soaked – somehow it no longer seems to matter.

For our second day we get to take a quick walk around the capital, Reykjavik. Our hotel is on the main shopping street, Laugavegur and is as close to the action as we can get. Surrounded by Independent design shops, fashion stores, bars and restaurants there’s plenty to spend your money on.

A short walk takes you to the stunning Lutheran church of Hallgrimskirkja. Within the centre of Reykjavik it stands out as one of its tallest buildings. Inside the church the design is perfectly functional and minimal and the 75m bell tower is certainly worth the visit for the views across the city. Luckily there’s a lift to get you up there.

Apparently almost every tourist to Iceland visits the famous Blue Lagoon. Situated on a lava field it’s on the way to/from the airport and acts as an ideal stop-off before boarding your flight – which is also our intention. We get there the same time as a coach arrives which results in slightly fraught and manic scenes in the luggage drop off area (there’s a space for visitors to leave their suitcases). Once we’ve done that it is on to the reception to pick up towels, robes and locker keys. Inside the changing rooms it’s as busy; not quite the relaxing start of a spa experience I’d envisaged. The rain is blustering down so a few brisk steps are called for to get in to the water.

Once in the lagoon the rewards are plentiful. While it’s busy there is more than enough space to move around this hot power plant overflow of strange blue mineral water. Weaving our way through the other tourists (some with iPads in their hands!) we get to the bar in the centre for a luxury glass of wine. There are buckets of cleansing mud to slather around your body and you can also buy a ‘Volcano Scrub’ and cover your face with its natural minerals. Every now and again we’re blasted with rain but the water is so warming it doesn’t really matter what is coming down from the skies.

The weather has been pretty rotten for our 48 hours in Iceland so it doesn’t come to much of a surprise that our flight is cancelled (the plane can’t be flown in due to the fierce wind and rain). But who cares? We’ve got an extra night out in Reykjavik and we can’t get enough of it!

Where to stay

The brand new Alda Hotel is in the centre of Reykjavik and close to bars and shops. Its subtle and stylish design comes fully fitted with chic Scandi-style furnishings, locally-produced products and friendly staff.

Where to eat

Harpa: If you fancy a concert while you are in the city you can checked out the stunning architecture and schedule at Harpa. Acting as a concert hall, Opera House and arts space it also has a beautiful restaurant, Kolabrautin, with views of the harbour and delicious food offerings.

The Blue Lagoon LAVA Restaurant: After a soak and a swim around the lagoon you can check out the restaurant with its rock face walls and views of the steamy water.

Where to drink

Kex Hostel has an unassuming and almost missable facade but inside is a warm, comfy fashionista hangout where you can grab a cocktail, local beer and a steak.
For DJ’s and live bands head to Kaffibarinn. Blur’s Damon Alban is rumoured to own (or at least to have a stake) the bar which is full of Reykjavik hipsters, naturally.

Other info

Our Golden Circle Super Jeep Tour & Snowmobiling was with the Mountaineers of Iceland.

Dress for all weather occasions – temperatures in the Summer don’t reach too high so warm and waterproof clothing and footwear is a must.

How to get there

There are currently 3 x twilight flights per week with Flybe. The service will run all-year round and switches to daytime hours in the autumn.

Check out our ICELAND PINTEREST board for addresses and further info / images.

Flight Info

Flights to Reykjavik Keflavik will operate through to 7 September, 2014, reverting at the end of October to a daylight schedule for the winter.

Flybe twilight flight schedule: Effective until 7th September, 2014

Tuesday/Friday/Sunday
Dep BHX 2130 – Arr KEF 2320
Dep KEF  2355 – Arr BHX 0340
+1

Operated by 88-seat Embraer 175 jet aircraft

One way fares including taxes and charges from £49.99.

The post HIP TRIPS: 48 HOURS IN ICELAND appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Travel, Alda Hotel, Birmingham to Reykja..."
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Date: Friday, 27 Jun 2014 14:30

Minimum Monument, a major exhibition by the award winning Brazilian artist Néle Azevedo,  a poignant and moving display featuring 5,000 figures made out of ice, is being brought to Birmingham by the city’s Hippodrome Theatre.

Members of the public will be invited to place the beautifully crafted sculptures on the steps of Chamberlain Square in the city centre where they can watch as the sea of ice figures melt.

Since 2002 internationally acclaimed São Paulo-based artist Azevedo has been making interventions with the Minimum Monument project in cities including  São Paulo, Havana, Tokyo, Kyoto, Paris, Berlin, Porto and Florence.  The British premiere in Birmingham features the largest ever number of ice sculptures Néle has produced and is part of Birmingham City Council’s World War One Commemorations.

Minimum-Monument-in-Gendarmenmarkt-Berlin-2009-photo-Silvina-Der-Meguerditchia-copy_c(1)

“Hundreds of ice sculptures are taken to central places of cities and with help from the passers-by they are left to melt”. Comments Néle Azevedo. ”The sculptures are tiny men and women, 20 cm tall, placed on stairways. The urban intervention is called ´Minimum Monument`, because its meaning is tied up to the concept of the monument.”

Minimum Monument will take place on Saturday 2 August from 1pm-4pm on the steps of Chamberlain Square, Birmingham and is a FREE event.

The post MINIMUM MONUMENT BY NELE AZEVEDO appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Art, Birmingham City Council, Birmingham..."
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Date: Tuesday, 24 Jun 2014 15:44

It’s FESTIVAL SEASON – incase you hadn’t noticed! While we’re busy giving away tickets to festivals across the UK and beyond we’re still mindful that come rain or shine you need to be seen in the right gear so whether it is camping must-have’s (of course you need a Cow on the side of your tent), a poncho that looks like a frog or something sparkly and cute we have you covered.

In the meantime you can enter comps here in our special Festival edition. Good luck there are still plenty left.

The post FESTIVAL FASHION appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Fashion, Festival Fashion, Festival gadg..."
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Date: Tuesday, 24 Jun 2014 14:48

“I fancy going to one of them.” My mum’s talking about the advertisement on telly that features Mumford and Sons singing to a festival crowd on a sunny day. Immediately I flash back to be being out of my head on a rainy night at Glastonbury: covered in mud, staring at the lasers in the sky, trying to phone the police and hand myself in because I was ‘too wasted.’ Missing what apparently was a storming set by the Chemical Brothers. That and a thousand other, unprintable, stories come to mind.

“Probably best you don’t really,” I say to my mum.
“That’s a shame,” she says, “I like camping.”

But then I think back to the last few festivals I’ve been to – a far cry from the chemical and mud jamborees of a decade ago. I think about the creature comforts I take and wouldn’t be without, like brushing my teeth with bottled water. The last time I ate cold greasy noodles out of a polystyrene tray for five pounds a pop. Then I realise, it’s not so ridiculous to take your mum to a festival – hell, I’ve become my mum going to a festival.

So here is how to do it properly. You don’t have to come back from a festival malnourished with frostbite or sunburn like a Shackleton explorer and only remembering a man in a suit made of lights playing a gig on broken toys for five minutes between blank spots.

PICK YOUR FESTIVAL
If you fancy being herded from one crowd to another while the world’s biggest artists play truncated sets in the distance by all means go for one of the bigger festivals. But also be sure you enjoy watching thirty or so men contribute to a river of wee, or a scallywag snort suspicious white powder off the back of his hand before starting an argument with a group of drunk nurses wearing angel wings. Big festivals are dead, they just don’t know it yet. Lumbering zombies kept animate by the money of the next generation wanting to say they were there. Smaller festivals are cropping up all over, so forego the long cues, overloaded facilities, and sets by over rated ‘legends’.

FESTIVALS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Hop Farm – An eclectic mix of acts from the last 40 years of music with lots going on.
2000trees – Great for discovering the biggest bands you’ve never heard of.
Y Not? – Award winning, attracting some great artists this year and with a stunning Peak District setting.

DRIVE
Drive, or convince one of your mates to drive. Hitch-hiking isn’t as dangerous as legend would have you believe, but sitting next to a balding salesman called Darren, listening to him recount stories of his ‘wild’ youth is a hassle. Sitting in the toilets dodging the fare is smelly hassle. The uncomfortable amount of waiting, walking, and getting lost is more hassle than you deserve. If you’re the driver, not enjoying a travel beer is mildly inconvenient, as is waiting on Sunday until you’re under the limit to set off again, but setting your own schedule and taking the extra quilt is worth it.

TAKING THE RIGHT GEAR
Leave the expensive tent at home, really, even the friendliest festival will have a fat hippy just waiting to trip on your guy rope and elbow drop your £550 Stormforce Megaplex tent into a broken hang glider. But that doesn’t stop you turning your rubbish petrol shop tent into a cuddle nest of comfort. Take an air bed: not only is blowing the thing up worth the effort, but the resulting head rush is the equivalent of having two open bottles of poppers sellotaped under your nose. Quilts are a little hassle to carry, but when you’re sleeping you’ll be the one laughing. Take a cool box with food: sandwiches, packets of processed ham, pack monster munch for all I care. Having food not only makes you able to handle your intoxicant intake better, but it’ll work out cheaper than being caught short and starving on the Saturday blowing the last of your cash on something you’ll probably be ejecting into the bushes later.
Other useful things: Sun cream, ear plugs, bottled water.

HANDLE YOURSELF
Being a grown up doesn’t mean never having fun again, It’s refining your tastes to the point you know what is actually fun and not just mediated expectations from ad companies or baseless peer pressure that advocates oblivion. Eating is not ‘cheating’, drinking to the point where you become everybody else’s problem isn’t the point here. Enjoy whatever chemical lubricant you can, but handle yourself. Remember the event you’ve paid money to get into? Actually see the bands, enjoy the company of others. Find your limit and tread that. Drunk enough to dance all night, laugh, and not spend two days recovering. Go to bed when you’re tired. True hedonism, is doing what makes you most happy at any point even if it is crawling into your snuggle den.
Tips: Drink water, eat food, find a nice level of wasted and try and maintain that, talk to people, dance.

SEE THE BANDS
When you arrive make a list of the bands you want to see, keep it flexible and factor in exploring time. Your phone will not last all weekend so knowing and arranging meeting points with your mates makes sense. As much as it’s easy to miss the good stuff it’s as likely you’ll discover something new and interesting. The point is when you lose focus from the music and try to get lost in the seductive ideal of ‘the experience’, this is actually when you watch yet another transsexual sword swallower doing poetry at four in the morning instead of catching the performance of the summer.
Tips: Grab a programme early, arrange meeting points and times, stay flexible, see stuff you wouldn’t normally but see the bands you like.

So I’ve become my mum. This isn’t a bad thing, I’ve earned it. By going out and making the mistakes, by searching for the ‘authentic’ festival experience, by going out and having the maddest, wildest time a young hedonist can wring from mud, stages, and thousands of strangers I’ve come to learn that mum was right all along.

Words: Danny Smith
Image: Pooneh Ghana

WIN TICKETS
See our special edition Festival Guide here to win tickets to LOADS of great festivals.

The post TAKING YOUR MOM TO A FESTIVAL – A GUIDE appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Music, 2000trees, Danny Smith, Festivals..."
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Date: Friday, 20 Jun 2014 15:07

Uumellmahaye‘, from the Pink Industry EP, is the second release taken from Ivan Smagghe’s new imprint, Les Disques De La Mort. The track produced by Manfredas pushes the punk limit towards a synth cliff, sitting in the grey area between the end of post-punk and the beginning of techno.

Shot in Lithuania last summer, work behind the video for the track was hugely complex. Crafting a series of letters, the twenty man team assembled and ironed them together out of a greenhouse film.

Utilising a gradual change in frame rate, the entire shoot took around fifteen minutes of uninterrupted filming to shoot a video which lasts for a mere three minutes.

The post MANFREDAS – Uumellmahaye appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Blog, Fused, Ivan Smagghe, Les Disques D..."
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Date: Wednesday, 18 Jun 2014 14:46

Nothing quite says summer like these delicious Hero & Cape unisex tees featuring pineapples and flamingos – it’s time to get the cocktail shaker out and head in to the sun!

Available from truffleshuffle.co.uk at £21.99 each in Men’s and Women’s fit.

The post HERO & CAPE SUMMER TEES appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Fashion, Flamingo Tee, Hero & Cape, Pine..."
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Date: Wednesday, 18 Jun 2014 12:08


LCM is all over following a fully comprehensive representation of some of the best designers and High Street offers for Spring/Summer 2015. Each day has been captured with 3 short films… Day 1 features highlights with model David Gandy.


Tinie Tempah recaps Day 2 at London Collections Men SS15.


And finally Nick Grimshaw recaps the action from Day 3.

The post LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN – HIGHLIGHTS appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Fashion, Alexander McQueen, Burberry Pro..."
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Date: Tuesday, 17 Jun 2014 12:22

Lunar festival is set in Umberslade Farm, with the unique appeal of feeling like you’re in the heart of the countryside yet only being 8 miles from a big city, my city – Birmingham. This appealed to me, as I love festivals but hate festival camping, so the option of sharing a cab home each day for a mere fiver each was a clear winner in my book.

I needn’t have worried as the camping site was really lovely and only a few paces from the festival entrance. Even the yuckiest of mud couldn’t have made the transition from tent to stage too difficult and amazingly the toilets remained clean and well stocked for the whole weekend. The festival was very compact, a colourful array of food traders, stages, DJ tents, hippy clothes stalls and all the festival fare you would normally expect (and some you wouldn’t), were all within easy walking distance of each other.

Lunar Festival

Lunar Festival

Just walking onto the site Friday afternoon filled me with awe and excitement, that feeling of ‘Yep, this is going to be badass’ came over me. I know it’s more important to most festival goes which bands are playing, but for me, the overall festival experience comes first. It’s never as good watching one of my favourite bands if the atmosphere is non-existent. Luckily the right atmosphere was in abundance, smiles all round, love in the air and new friends made at every turn.

At several points during the daytimes I felt like we were in the film ‘The Wicker Man’, with pagan songs in the air and pretty maidens with flowers in their hair floating past, and that was before I knew about the burning… Strange figures in black cloaks roamed the fields with large crow and donkey heads, quite amusing for anyone who had just consumed some ‘magic’ cookies, I would imagine.

The main attraction of the weekend for me was the ‘will they-won’t they’ love story emerging between ‘old crazy dancing guy’ & ‘old crazy dancing girl’. I’m sure they were there back in the 60s, maybe through all the pot & acid they lost each other and never quite reunited that summer of love, until now…

Musically there were plenty of treats on offer, the hotly tipped Toy, Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess and nature-lovers British Sea Power were the big hitters who got the crowd going on Friday. It was the first act on the main stage ‘The Exploding Sound Machine’ that stole the show for me. They really look and sound as psychedelic as their name. The Hammond organ, proggy guitar, vintage garb and psyched-out visuals combined with the blazing sun was very trippy and I felt like they would have been just as at home on stage at Woodstock or The Isle of Wight Festival in the 60s and 70s.

Lunar Festival

Lunar Festival

It was some of the lesser-known singer-songwriters; such as the hypnotizing rhythmic vocal style of Barnesy, and the heartfelt performance of Michael King of Boat To Row, that were the other stand-out artists of the day. I tried my best to enjoy Money, as I like to support up and coming acts, but as I politely commented to my companion ‘middle of the road’, her response was, shall we say, not as kind. As darkness fell I was torn between the infectious beats being played by This Is Tomorrow and the dub sounds of Don Letts & Silver Dollar.

Saturday was brimming with post-downpour mud and an abundance of talent, including an acoustic set from the mighty Donovan who regaled the crowd with rock n roll tales in-between songs. He later returned to the stage with headliners Temples for a rework of ‘Sunshine Superman’.

As with Friday the first act of the day were one of the highlights, local band Batsch. Fruity disco beats combined with a touch of Talking Heads, perfection! Later I caught the morose and weary looking Horse Feathers, pale-skinned and black-eyed, they looked exactly as I would have imagined them if I’d closed my eyes whilst listening to their sombre twangy instrumentals and fabulously flat vocals, except perhaps, not in the desert and without their horses. Incredible. As the sun came out it was the uplifting electronic beats and commanding vocals of Victories of Sea that sent my spirits soaring into that happy place. Band of the day were definitely Goodnight Lenin, no other band seemed to fit the festival vibe quite so well, imagine Neil Young and Crazy Horse but younger and better looking. Donning Indian headdresses, sun ablaze they cast a spell on the crowd who were transfixed for their whole set. Saturday night the club nights were two of the finest, legendary Birmingham 60s psych and garage night Sensateria and feel-good fun-fest Magic Door. As much as my musical leanings would see my feet planted firmly in the Sensateria tent all night, the lure of a man dressed as a fox giving me a magic bean that lets me in through the ‘magic door’ (it really is a door) to a girl dressed as a unicorn who paints my face with glitter or dresses me up in fancy dress was far too strong for this party gal to resist. A truly joyful affair, everyone smiling and dancing til they drop, every festival needs a Magic Door in my opinion…

Lunar Festival

Lunar Festival

Sunday was even more magical (albeit a little confusing after the weekend’s exploits) despite having to barricade ourselves in to protect from random bouts of rain. I was pleased to hear an old favourite of mine, local singer-songwriter Chris Tye playing in The Northern Sky tent along with the infectious The Dirty Old Folkers. It was hard to leave the main stage with such a plethora of amazing acts throughout the day kicking off with post-punkers The Grafham Water Sailing Club who shook everyone into action, following on Brummy favourites Misty’s Big Adventure’s jolly romps were a hit with young and old alike. Captain Beefheart’s The Magic Band didn’t disappoint and The Destroyers got the crowd stomping along in no time. I was a little disappointed that Arthur Brown of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown didn’t don his infamous halo of fire for his big hit ‘Fire’ but his bizarrely engaging performance made up for it. All this was leading up to what was possibly the most perfect festival header, The Polyphonic Spree. Euphoric doesn’t really cover it, the whole festival seemed to be having an out of body experience, truly magical end to a magical festival. Throw in the burning of the wicker statue accompanied by a brass band, sun rising and Lunar you’ve pretty much nailed it.

Lunar Festival won me over, I’ll be back next year for another magical experience.

Words:  Maryam Snape
Pictures:  Christopher Wise

The post LUNAR FESTIVAL – REVIEW appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Blog, Batsch, Birmingham, Boat To Row, B..."
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Date: Tuesday, 10 Jun 2014 10:55

Iconic 50s tattoo designs are recreated in rugs by illustrator Rob Pybus for FLOOR_STORY.

Perfect for urban hipsters looking to bring a touch of retro lux to the floor, ‘Hello Sailor’ is a striking interpretation of this classic image, recreated by hand in 100% wool by skilled weavers using the traditional Tibetan weave. Strictly limited to 20 works, Hello Sailor joins two other tattoo takes in the first foray into developing a unique and exclusive rug collection by London-based FLOOR_STORY.

Each rugs comes with its own hand printed provenance label and a digital record of its origin, bringing the story of creation to life. Using an exceptional 80 knots construction for incredible clarity of design, ‘Hello Sailor’ is a work of art for the floor with a quality that can only come from the attention-to-detail that comes with craftsmanship by hand.

Prices start from £1,500 for 160 x 230cm with bespoke sizes upon request. Only 20 of each rug design will be produced, to discover more go to FLOOR_STORY

The post ICONIC 50s TATTOO DESIGNS RECREATED IN RUGS appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Blog, Design, 50s, design, designs, FLOO..."
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Date: Monday, 09 Jun 2014 16:13


With just over one week to go until London Collections: Men, we’re looking forward to checking out what Christopher Raeburn, Alexander McQueen and Burberry Prorsum (among the many others) have in store for the SS15 season. Here’s a teaser to what’s coming up and check back to see our stylish picks of the catwalk shows.

The post LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Fashion, Alexander McQueen, Burberry Pro..."
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Date: Monday, 09 Jun 2014 10:35

Larmer Tree Festival is an extraordinary and intimate five-day party on the Wiltshire/Dorset border offering festival-goers a chance to let their hair down and escape from reality in stunning surroundings. 2014′s line up of music acts include Frank Turner, Tom Odell, Squeeze, Stornoway, Public Service Broadcasting, Gentleman’s Dub Club, The Heavy, Hudson Taylor and Dreadzone, Dub Pistols and We Were Evergreen, while Lee Nelson is heading the bill for the late-night comedy acts this year.

From midnight until 4am fantastical late-night discoveries lurk around each corner for after-hours festival fun…be seduced by twinkling night-time site art, lose yourself in spooky Lostwood literary adventures or head to The Social for high-energy bands, DJ’s and unabashed revelry.

Larmer Tree are offering a pair of 4-day Festival tickets to win. This includes entry to the festival from Thursday 17th with camping for four nights. Parking passes must be purchased separately. Entrants must be 18 and over.

To be in with a chance to win the tickets just tell us the name of two of Larmer’s headline acts.

Send your answer along with your name, address and telephone number to competitions at fusedmagazine dot com. Please put LARMER TREE FESTIVAL COMP in the Subject Box.

DEADLINE for entry is July 2nd, 2014.

Winners will be notified via email.

For full terms and conditions please visit www.larmertreefestival.co.uk/tickets/bookingconditions

The post WIN TICKETS TO LARMER TREE FESTIVAL appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Music, Area, Dreadzone, Dub Pistols, Fra..."
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Date: Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 17:51

Europe’s most beautiful, boutique music event, Soundwave Festival Croatia (17-21 July 2014) is back for its 6th year and announces its most exciting and eclectic lineup yet. 7-piece New Zealand outfit Fat Freddy’s Drop lead the pack, followed by a highly-anticipated DJ set from one of hip hop’s most legendary artists, the Los Angeles based DJ/Producer/Rapper - Madlib, and British electronic music DJ/Producer Mr Scruff.

Heralded as one of ‘Europe’s Best Music Festivals’ by The Independent, Soundwave Festival Croatia makes the most of it’s bountiful setting year on year with its boat parties, beach stages and club nights for a long weekend of guaranteed sunshine in the aptly named ‘The Garden’ in Tisno.

To be in with a chance to win the tickets just tell us in what city is the DJ / producer  Madlib based?

Send your answer along with your name, address and telephone number to competitions at fusedmagazine dot com. Please put SOUNDWAVE FESTIVAL CROATIA COMP in the Subject Box.

DEADLINE for entry is Wednesday June 11th, 2014.

Winners will be notified via email.

The post WIN TICKETS TO SOUNDWAVE FESTIVAL CROATIA appeared first on Fused Magazine.

Author: "Fused" Tags: "Travel, competition, Croatia, dance, Fat..."
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