For someone with music so richly in his blood it’s not entirely surprising Nick Colgan has, during the last three decades, spent much of his life involved with some of the best parties around the world as well as a stint of 80s boy-band action, to work..
From nascent early 90s events across South America and organising legendary boat parties in the San Fran Bay, to founding one of the most talked-about and revered festivals on the current global scene, Nick’s career has taken him around the world on a variety of projects and adventures. From these travels Nick has for the last few years distilled his experiences into a hugely successful life in Croatia, which this spring has seen him ranked in the Top 20 Most Influential Foreigners in the country as the 8th Garden Festival Croatia takes place.
But let’s rewind just a little. It’s a little-known fact that during the 1980s Nick’s career involved Boys Like Judd, where Nick played keyboards in a boy-band when boy-bands were cool. After leaving behind such coiffed aspirations he travelled extensively, including hooking up with long-term friend and business partner Eddie O’Callaghan in San Francisco where they promoted the now legendary Bulletproof boat parties (as an example of how much resonance these parties had, members of the now Phenomenal Handclap Band used to attend them – and now they have played at the Garden Festival, making a nice full-circle ☺).
A period in South America followed, promoting large-scale festivals and events including Dance Energy. Nick then worked extensively with fellow Brummies UB40 on their tours and as their studio manager which helped develop deep friendships with the band, as well as finding time to promote the wild Bostin Warehouse parties too. Nick would later work with James Brown from UB40 on separate projects including the conception of and the music behind the cult VBirds cartoon with Cartoon Network.
Nick and his wife Charlotte and their family moved to the Adriatic region in 2004 and first opened what has become one of the country’s coolest venues – the beautiful, open-air Garden Zadar perched on the high fortress walls in the historic part of the city. The bar and restaurant has flourished as Nick and Charlotte set about cultivating a stunning location with great music, food and drink which remains one of the region’s hot spots.
During the last few years, Nick – with the Garden Festival team of Charlotte and Eddie and Gail O’Callaghan with their families - have created what is widely regarded as one of the world’s best small festivals. Nestled on the Adriatic coast is the Garden Tisno festival site, where along with hosting the Garden Festival itself also annually hosts a series of events from outside promoters, drawn to the idyllic, paradise setting. Resolutely remaining an intimate affair, the Garden has grown into an event which attracts music lovers and party people from all over the world – everywhere from Brazil to Australia – to the stunning Adriatic site.
Such is the success of the Garden Festival and the festival site that this Spring Nick has been recognised as one of the Top 20 Most Influential Foreigners. This is indicative of the hard work invested by the team into creating a musically defining period for the region and country which has helped put Croatia on the map of those seeking music, culture, adventure and lots of sun as they flock from the UK, Europe and far beyond to the Garden Tisno.
Such a broad range of illuminating experiences, projects and ventures encompass not only incredible business acumen but an inspirational drive in Nick who is a fascinating character. And whilst still retaining his purely grassroots principal of putting on damn good parties - the ethos of which remains a firm foundation at The Garden Tisno today - Nick continues to evolve as a figurehead on the global festival scene.