2nd release tickets go on sale at the end of January.
Please register below to receive a ticket link.
All tickets to ION are sold with accommodation.
This is to avoid overinflated rates during the festival week and
to ensure sustainable prices for ION for this year and beyond
ION is a different kind of music event, one where you’re invited to get outside the usual festival fences and have a real holiday experience.
For everyone who chooses to come with us on this extended summer party, ION will be a week filled with new encounters and 3,000 like-minded friends, all soundtracked by electronic music’s best artists.
In a world which has been stripped of most of its mystery, the beautiful Albanian village of Dhërmi is a rare thing; a hidden space in a truly unique location. It’s this sense of seclusion and separation that makes it the ideal location for our first overseas festival.
With its wild backdrop of forested mountains and unspoiled beaches, Dhërmi is considered one of the most picturesque spots on the Albanian Riviera. It’s a place where the natural beauty of sand, sea and sky all combine to create a secluded space, a place where late-night raves and daytime dancing can take place away from the world.
Dhërmi is already familiar to Albanians for its laid-back atmosphere and unrivalled beaches, but it’s widely unknown to international travellers. For ION, this chilled town by the sea will be taken over exclusively by festival goers, residents and workers. For a week in September we’ll all make it our home, old friends and new.
You can find Dhërmi between the cities of Sarandë and Vlorë, nestled alongside the blue Ionian Sea. It’s a private kind of place, accessed from inland via just two roads, so attendance will be limited and everyone coming to our party will need a festival wristband to gain entry to the village. In Dhërmi you can find shops, as well as an ATM. You’ll need cash for local shops, but please note that the Albanian Lek is a closed currency and can be withdrawn in the country only, so it’s a good idea to also bring Euros. The main festival elements will be cashless though including all festival bars and carefully selected restaurants, so guests can top up online beforehand as well as during the festival week.
The closest seafront to the festival area is Dhërmi beach, a gorgeous piece of coastline that’s relaxed during the day but filled with vibrant nightlife when the sun goes down. Here you’ll find bars and restaurants where you can enjoy the local food and hospitality, plus generous amounts of sunbeds and thatched shelters.
Sharing the same pristine sands and clean waters is the neighbouring beach of Drymades. There are several beach bars and restaurants on this quiet, sandy stretch, along with lots more sunbeds, another ATM, free volleyball courts and plenty of other beaches to discover nearby. We will operate a 15-minute shuttle bus service to and from Drymades.
Further south, Gjipe beach is an untouched, undeveloped area that’s protected for its important status as a conservation site. It’s an amazing place to escape and explore the natural landscape, as well as the perfect spot for a very special daytime party.
If you’re looking to escape from absolutely everything then Grama Bay is an exotic and deserted area that can only be reached by boat. With ancient Greek and Latin inscriptions carved on the cliffs, check out this remote oasis for the chance to really lose yourself for a while.
ION is committed to celebrating the most innovative and exciting sounds from the past, present and future of house and techno. Over the past 5 years, Junction 2 has become renowned for its forward-thinking lineups, where electronic music’s most respected selectors stand alongside up-and-comers from across the spectrum. Having built our reputation by showcasing those knowledgeable DJs with the skills to move any rave, at ION we’ll be inviting these champions of underground electronic music to party in Dhërmi’s September sunshine.
We’re currently curating the lineup for the inaugural edition, but attendees can expect it to be reflective of the programming which has made Junction 2 one of London’s most respected festivals. The good news is that you don’t have to wait too long to see our plans as the first wave of artists will be announced at the beginning of 2020.
ION will continue one of LWE’s most important missions, the delivery of sets by world-class artists in unique spaces. ION will be LWE’s most adventurous project to date, however, and we can promise that the scale and grandeur of ION’s locations will be on a previously unseen level.
As production specialists, we have a proud history of throwing parties in unusual spaces and ION will be no different. We’ll be making the most of the landscape and the dramatic, man-made edifices that litter the Albanian coast with bespoke structures, lighting rigs and soundsystems in the area’s most unique spots.
As with Junction 2, ION will combine locations of outstanding natural beauty with striking industrialised features. It was exactly this sense of contrast that made us fall in love with the site and which became a deciding factor in Dhërmi being chosen to host ION.
ION also aligns with Junction 2’s philosophy in another important way in that we promise more extended set times for the artists performing with us. The longer format appearances, which have become a hallmark of Junction 2, will be central to ION as they allow the artists to dig deeper into their repertoire and to create the peaks and winding paths of a true late-night odyssey. It’s another example of how we believe that quality of experience beats quantity every time.
Stages will run through the night in central Dhërmi locations, with the additional experiences taking place during daytime hours. We’ll announce full information on the times when the music will start and end soon.
During the week’s activities you will get the opportunity to party in the following locations.
The Main Stage is an open-air haven, a safe harbour set into a private cove. Here you can keep on dancing until the early morning when the warm sunrise spreads over the brilliant blue sea.
Hidden away from prying eyes, this huge indoor space of blasted concrete pillars and labyrinthine passageways is one of the most atmospheric buildings we’ve ever seen.
For lazy days and balmy nights, our beachside stage is a spacious outdoor area in which to enjoy the music of those selectors who know how to soundtrack summer memories.
An intimate, sandy paradise on the water’s edge. As the heat of the afternoon gives way to night-time hedonism, this stage transforms from a chilled-out sun trap to dance central.
Jutting out over the Ionian Sea from its position on top of a rocky outcrop, festival goers can dance into the wee hours and enjoy the coast’s epic panorama from this slick, modern terrace.
In addition to these stages we will also be offering short boat trips which can take limited numbers of attendees to these further experiences:
Located near to Gjipe beach, the stage is enclosed by a dramatic, imposing rock face and is only accessible by boat and is set to provide one of the most memorable parties of the week.
Up on a rocky hill, where it commands stunning views of the clear blue seas below, this hulking, abandoned castle was built in the early 19th century. Spectacular is an understatement.
This ex-military submarine base is an untapped techno behemoth set into the side of a mountain. All stone and rusting steel, this underground lair is now only used for navy training.
In addition to its week-long run time, the immersive and secluded nature of ION means there’s also plenty of time and opportunity for everyone to experience a wide range of activities outside of music.
We deeply believe in the positive connection between music, nature and wellbeing. As a result, ION’s vibrant musical programme is accompanied by restorative activities to enhance your trip, inviting you to decompress and make the most of the unspoiled surroundings as you move between festival and holiday modes.
Activities including meditation, sound baths and yoga will be complemented by more active pursuits such as paddle boarding, hiking and snorkelling. There is ample space for attendees to fully explore all the possibilities offered in this unique location.
Many of these experiences are offered by local experts who specialise in each field, benefitting the local economy and, crucially, any profit from this restorative offering will be donated to local charities. It’s ION’s way of giving back to Dhërmi and the world.
ION will cover dietary requirements with a wide range of locally-sourced food options that are fresh and reasonably priced.
For those who haven’t visited Albania before, the food is often described as a tasty mix of Greek, Italian and Turkish flavours, so there’s plenty of dishes you’ll already know in addition to the rich, slow-cooked recipes that the country’s known for.
As it’s on the coast, the seafood in this region is also especially good. All the fruits and vegetables used in the local restaurants are fresh, and we think that attendees will love the choice, value and quality on offer. Don’t miss the opportunity to try burek, an indigenous pastry that can be either sweet or savoury and is loved throughout the Balkans.
Main courses in the restaurants can be purchased from as little as €6 a dish. A beer or spirit and mixer but can be found from €3 in some bars. Bottles of wine in restaurants sell from around €12.
By heading off the beaten track and approaching a new location and a new experience in this way, we want ION to stir the intrepid explorer in everyone who joins us.
In this respect, travel to and from Dhërmi is a vital component of the experience, one which we want to make as hospitable as possible and we’ll be offering a range of options to cover this.
The exploration of this corner of Europe begins with a flight into the historic Greek city of Corfu. Flight time to Corfu is under 3 hours from most European cities and can be done via a wide range of airlines.
From the airport we head by taxi to the port (taking approximately 15 minutes), where we’ll take in the stunning coastlines by crossing the Ionian Sea to Himarë for passport control on the Albanian mainland. Standard ION boat transfers cost only £37.50 per journey and £47.50 for the speedy transfers.
Once we reach Albanian shores, we’ll travel to Dhërmi by bus. Included in the boat transfer price, the bus will leave you near your accommodation.
You will need to ensure your passport is valid for entry to both Greece and Albania. If you are from a country listed here, or have a Schengen visa, you will be entitled to visa-free entry to Albania. Please visit your Government’s website for specific travel instruction. To apply for an Albanian visa, please visit: http://e-albania.al
It is essential to have travel insurance for holidays abroad. Most travel insurances include Albania, although we recommend that you check the policy wording before purchasing. Our preferred supplier is First Travel Insurance. Request a quote from them here.
Dhërmi can be accessed by boat from Corfu airport.
London: 3 hours, direct
Berlin: 2.5 hours, direct
Amsterdam: 2h 45mins, direct
Frankfurt: 2h 20mins, direct
Barcelona: 2.5 hours, direct
Rome: 1.5 hours, direct
Milan: 2 hours, direct
ION benefits from having the majority of its accommodation in the village of Dhërmi and nearby Dhërmi town. This means attendees can get the most out of their experience without having to spend time travelling to venues or having problems getting home after a long night.
There will be a range of options for festival goers, with all rooms being in clean, modern hotels, many of which have stellar views of the gorgeous scenery, all at excellent prices. Best of all, no boiling hot tents or sleeping on the hard ground.
All the hotels in the village itself are a 5 to 15 minute walk to the festival. This is likely to be the most popular option, so we encourage early ticket registration in order to secure the accommodation of your preference. The festival area will also be pedestrianised for the duration of ION, making for a village that’s safer and cleaner for everyone.
For those staying in the equally good hotels in Dhërmi town or Drymades, there will be a regular shuttle bus running to and from the festival.
2 people from £242pp
3 people from £205pp
4 people from £186pp
2 people from £259pp
3 people from £227pp
4 people from £213pp
2 people from £575pp
3 people from £426pp
To gain access please register. All tickets to ION are sold with accommodation. This is to avoid overinflated rates during the festival week and to ensure sustainable prices for ION for this year and beyond.
We aim to provide the best festival experience and being able to manage the accommodation for our guests enables us to deliver a smoother event. We charge hotels and apartments the same commission as Airbnb, so this makes your price better too.
We will also be operating the following payment plan options for tickets. Please note there will be no additional costs to take advantage of these:
A limited number of loyalty tickets to ION will go on sale next month for those who have previously booked Junction 2 Festival (and who have agreed to find out about our future events), or who have signed up on www.ionalbania.com.
Booking early will allow you to access the best hotels and apartments in Dhërmi for a fraction of the price. There are limited accommodation options within the festival area, and we expect these to sell out fast. You will also have priority to book tickets for ION’s additional experiences, with these going on sale in the new year.
It's our intention that ION will leave only a positive impression on both the local community and the word at large.
We’re confident that this philosophy will be adopted by our attendees, wherever they are from, and with this in mind we’ve developed a sustainability plan that includes measures to reduce waste and contribute to local environmental charities, as well as a considered carbon offsetting plan, the proceeds of which will be donated to global conservation projects that positively impact the effects of climate change.
By purchasing a ticket and accommodation package you are entering into this plan, acting as a force for good in Dhermi and beyond.
Cool Earth is our chosen environmental partner for ION 2020. By incorporating a fee of £8 into the price of each ticket, we can offset roughly 1 tonne of generated carbon emissions per attendee (based on the calculation that a 3-hour round trip generates 0.31 tonnes of carbon, therefore offsetting 1 tonne per ticket comfortably allows for less common longer journeys).
The proceeds of this initiative will be donated to Cool Earth’s conservation project in Awajun, Peru. This project positively impacts the effects of climate change by working with local people to reduce deforestation in the area, by addressing poverty and other social issues that ultimately contribute to forest loss.
Whether it’s climate, food or finance, resilient communities are key to the long-term protection of rainforests. The indigenous Awajún population are famous for having resisted the Inca and today continue to fiercely defend their land against external threats such as loggers, miners and narcos. Keeping their rainforest intact will ensure the next generation retain their most fundamental asset for years to come.
For more information on Cool Earth click here.
ION will be a partnership between LWE and Mainstage Festival, the promoters who have been the driving force behind the Kala festival that has taken place in Dhërmi for the past three years. Their extensive local knowledge and networks will be a significant part of the travel and logistics relationships that will make ION a smoothly functioning experience for all.