ION PRE TRIP INFORMATION

7th - 14th September 2022

The time is near!

The time is near, ION Festival is around the corner and we will soon be en route for our long awaited debut. A week of sun, sea and sound all located on the beautiful setting of the Albanian Riviera.

We have created this document so you have all the information you need ahead of your trip in one place, including transfers, accommodationm checking in and accreditation. Please read through and if anything is still unclear drop us an email at info@ionalbania.com

You will be able to access this information at any time on ionalbania.com but you may want to save a digital copy to be able to access it offline.

What to do in advance

Check in online

Remember to check in online and get boarding passes for all passengers for both the outbound and return leg of your flight, otherwise the airline may charge you.

Make sure to check your baggage allowance for both cabin & hold bags as some airlines have updated their policies recently.

Get travel insurance

We strongly advise that you book travel insurance. The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) is not valid in Albania and any healthcare costs can be expensive if you do not have insurance.

Medical Emergencies

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, please make an ION staff member aware. The emergency numbers in Albania are listed below. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Emergency numbers

  • Customer Service: +355696397834
  • General emergency: 112
  • Emergency at sea: 125
  • Police: 129
  • Ambulance: 127
  • Fire brigade: 128
  • Road police: 126
  • British Embassy Tirana - +44 20 7136 6857

Don’t forget to pack

  • Passport: We are going abroad!
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat: It gets hot during the day - expecting up to 27ºC 😎
  • Beach towel and swimwear
  • Party shoes
  • A couple of warmer layers for evening and boat trips
  • Fitness clothes if you decide to take part in our restoration classes
  • EU travel adapter and phone charger. A power bank is never a bad idea!
  • Waterproof mac - weather is meant to be good but better to be prepared!
  • Mosquito repellent

Spending money

ION operates a cashless system. Your festival wristband has an RFID chip where you can top up credit to spend at all the festival bars and some restaurants around the festival site. Most restaurants in town take cards and there are a couple ATMs on site, however we’d suggest you bring cash for the smaller shops and restaurants.

Most of the hotels require the usual security deposit, on average 100€ per person. Bring at least this amount in cash as most don’t have payment facilities.

The local currency is Albanian Lek (ALL). However, Euros are accepted in many places around Albania. If you bring Euros you will be able to exchange them at the local currency exchange office.

We recommend bringing a Revolut or Monzo card with you to save on card fees.

Check your roaming plan

Albania may not be included in your roaming free destinations, which means you will be charged for internet data by your phone provider - and probably quite a lot. It is advisable to reach out to your provider to look at an add on or alternatively switch off roaming and use wifi wherever possible, therefore avoiding any unexpected charges.

The only reason you should really need your phone at ION is to locate your accommodation but not to worry, below you will find a step by step guide on how to save your accommodation on Google maps so you can access it offline.

If you still want to have data, you can get a pay as you go SIM from Vodafone and activate their international roaming plan for £6/day.

Covid

As of May 1st 2022, all Covid-19 related travel requirements have been lifted. This means travellers no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test, nor complete a Passenger Locator Form in order to enter Albania or Greece. However, it is still required to wear protective masks in all indoor spaces, including the aircraft.

Even if not legally required, we invite everyone to take a test before travelling to keep our community safe. After 2 years without being able to enjoy overseas festivals, we don’t take this opportunity for granted. Tests may not be easily available in Dhërmi so may want to pack some as well.

Booking changes

As we need to confirm all final details with your hosts at ION, 25th August is the deadline for any booking changes such as accommodation and name changes. Unfortunately we will not be able to make any changes to your booking past this day. We will however still be able to make changes to your extras.

Road to ION -
Festival Transfers

On arrival

Once you land in Corfu, you need to make your own way to Corfu port (Kerkira). The best way to get there is by taxi - there is a taxi stop right outside the airport, the journey takes about 20 minutes. The taxi should cost €10 - €15 so make sure you have some Euros ready for your arrival.

Be sure to ask your taxi driver to take you to the International port for Albania rather than the domestic one for the rest of Greece.

Collecting your wristband at Corfu Port

On arrival at the port, head to the meeting point (number 2 on the below map). A festival rep will be present outside the main terminal building and will advise you on where to join the queue.

Whilst in the queue for the boat check in, festival reps will be running accreditation and distributing wristbands. Please ensure you have your photo ID, your e-ticket, and any cashless top up vouchers ready to be scanned. The e-ticket will be sent via email the week before the event.

Once you have collected your wristband, please head inside the terminal building to collect your boarding pass. You will need your e-ticket and a photo ID. Then turn right to go through Greek passport control and wait to board the boat.

We advise bringing water with you to the port. There can be a slight wait in passing through passport control and boarding the boat, and temperatures can reach 30-35 degrees. Staff will be on hand with water when necessary but it is best to be prepared.

The boat ride

Boats go from Corfu (Greece) to Himarë (Albania). The standard Ferry takes about 2hr 45 and the Dolphin (speedy transfers) only 1hr 15. Enjoy the view while you cruise the Riviera. If you are lucky you may see some dolphins!

Final leg

Once you get to Albania, our festival reps will escort you to the Albanian Customs desk for passport control, then direct you to the coach park before leaving for Dhërmi. This will take between 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on where your accommodation is located. Please note that the bus will not be stopping at every hotel/apartment, however there are plenty of drop off points, some of which may require a short walk to your accommodation.

Fancy a sneak peek of what the journey will look like? You can see a folder of what it will look here.

What happens if my flight is delayed?

If your flight is slightly delayed and you miss your boat, we will do our best to accommodate you on the next ferry. If you are on the last boat and your flight is delayed by more than 30 - 45 minutes you may need to stay in Corfu overnight - check with your travel insurance. If that happens, come to the port the following day so you can put on the first boat.

The only exception to this is if you miss the last boat on Friday. If this does happen, you will need to get the public ferry to Saranda and arrange your own taxi to Dhermi.

If you are going to miss your boat, feel free to whatsapp this number to let us know:

Travel and accommodation +355 69 639 7835

Not travelling with us?

If you are not travelling with us, please make your own way to your accommodation to check in and then head to the info point located near the main gate with your e-ticket and photo ID to collect your wristband at the following times:

Wednesday: 14:00 - 02:00
Thursday - Sunday: 10:00 - 00:00

Arrival Information - Check in procedure

Locate your accommodation

Before travelling, please check the accommodation map below and locate your accommodation and the nearest transfer drop off point in advance.

Bear in mind that you might still have a 10-15 min walk before you arrive at your accommodation so it’s vitally important that you know the name of your accommodation and how to get there from the shuttle stop.

Pro tip: save this map on your offline maps so you can access anytime. Check here to do that 🗺️

Your accommodation name is detailed on your booking confirmation email - if you cannot locate it you can re send it via manage booking.

Upon arrival

Once you have been dropped off, please head to your accommodation to check in. Festival reps will be at the shuttle stop to help you locate your accommodation.

Accommodation check in

If you are travelling with us, we have notified the accommodation of your arrival time and they will be ready to receive you, even if you are arriving late. If no one is at the accommodation or the reception is closed please contact the Travel and Accommodation number on+355 69 639 7835 and the team will be able to help.

If you are not travelling with us, please check in between 14:00 and 23:00.

For check out times, please speak to the hotel directly upon arrival.

Security deposit

As with any other holiday, your accommodation may require you to pay a security deposit upon arrival.

If this is required, it is likely it will have to be paid in cash as most hotels don’t have the facilities to take card payments. Please confirm upon arrival with your hotel. Deposits vary depending on the accommodation type but on average they are around 100€ per person. We recommend bringing this amount in cash in case your accommodation requires a security deposit.

This amount will be refunded on the grounds that your accommodation is left just as found. Please be sure to arrange this with the hotel prior to your departure. If you are leaving early it may be best to do this the evening before. It is your responsibility to arrange this, we won’t be able to collect it for you.

Accommodation FAQ

Can’t find accommodation?
Check the interactive map (make sure to save it on your offline maps). If you still can’t find it check with festival reps at the shuttle stops.

No one at the accommodation or reception is closed?
Travel and Accommodation +355 69 639 7835

Any issues with your accommodation?
Please refer to the customer service team at info point at your earliest convenience

Any emergencies related to your accommodation?
Please whatsapp / call this number Travel and Accommodation +355 69 639 7835

Festival Information

Info Point

The information desk is located by the main entrance to the festival site, outside the Grand Boutique Hotel. Head here for:

  • Event information
  • Customer service queries
  • Tickets for The Canyon and The Fort
  • Tickets for local activities such as Gjipe Hike, Dhermi Village Tour, Speedboat to Grama Bay inc. BBQ lunch
  • Accommodation queries

Opening Times

  • Wednesday: 14:00 - 02:00
  • Thursday: 10:00 - 01:00
  • Friday: 10:00 - 01:00
  • Saturday: 10:00- 11.00
  • Sunday: 10:00 - 22:00
  • Monday to Wednesday: 09:00- 18:00

Contact details

Email: info@ionalbania.com (Available during the Info Point opening times)

Customer service & medical emergencies: +355 69 639 7834 (Available 24hrs a day)

Travel and accommodation: +355 69 639 7835 (Available 24hrs a day)

Festival site

There are two entrances to the festival site:

The main entrance is by Grand Boutique Hotel - E1 on the map. The information desk will be here too. The second entrance is by Splendor Hotel - E2 on the map.

Most of the restaurants are located by the main entrance along the water edge. You will also find a couple shops, an ATM and a currency exchange office in that area.

Stages

There are five stages in Dhërmi plus The Canyon & The Fort, which are outside of the festival area that can only be accessed by boat / bus.

The Main Stage

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 beautiful blue sea.

The Deck

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.

The Cove

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.

The Yacht Club

Jutting out over the Ionian Sea from its position on top of a rocky outcrop, festival goers can dance into the early hours and enjoy the coast's epic panorama view from this slick, modern terrace.

The Canyon

Located near Gjipe beach, the Canyon stage is enclosed by a dramatic, imposing rock face and is only accessible by boat and sure to provide one of the most memorable parties of the week.

The canyon is only accessible by boat, thus requiring an extra ticket. It opens Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday between 12:00 - 18:30, with DJs playing including Daniel Avery, Roman Flügel, Batu, Craig Richards & many more.

There are a handful of tickets left on the manage booking portal.

The Bunker

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.

The Fort - Porto Palermo

One of the characteristics that will define ION will be the showcase of world class artists in unique locations. We’ll be erecting bespoke structures, lighting rigs and sound systems across Dhërmi’s striking features, such as The Fort. During the activities there, you will get the opportunity to see the likes of Helena Hauff, George FitzGerald, Hessle Audio & more all playing this outstanding location.

Music schedule

Music schedule

Running order and set times will be announced closer to the event. Keep an eye out on our socials.

Harassment

ION operates a zero tolerance policy towards any kind of harassment or sexual assault whether it is racial, homophobic or gendered. If you or someone you know has been subjected to harassment please inform one of our members of staff wearing a pink armband, the pink team will be able to help you with reporting your experience so that the festival management team can take action.

In addition to this, we operate welfare as a safe space in which members of the public can come and report or just talk about any experiences around harassment or sexual assault. We will take every report seriously and investigate fully, ION is a safe space and we protect it preciously.

Sustainability

We are in a beautiful part of the world and we want to keep it that way so please make sure you are not dropping litter while at the festival and instead using the correct recycling bins provided.

Respect

Not only do we want to respect the environment while we are in Albania but also the locals, they live here all year round so party hard while you are inside our venues but be sure to keep the noise down on the way back to your accommodation.

Having fun can be sustainable. Don't throw away your cigarette butts, use the recycling and waste bins provided, refuse plastic bags & straws from local shops & restaurants, collect any plastic you see on the beaches, and help us keep this beautiful place in pristine condition.

Getting Around

Shuttle bus

If your accommodation is located outside the festival area you will need some sort of transportation to move between the festival and your accommodation.

We operate a shuttle bus service between Dhërmi and Drymades. The weekly pass costs only £25 per person and provides unlimited shuttles. You can get this in advance via manage booking (up to 29th August) or at the info point.

If you book this in advance, you will be able to collect your shuttle pass wristband in Corfu from a festival rep before boarding the bus. If you want to purchase on site or are not travelling with us you will have to make your own way to the info point to get your shuttle pass wristband.

If you are unsure whether you need a shuttle pass, please check the accommodation map to see where your accommodation is located. Anything in Dhërmi is walking distance to the festival. Perivolos and Drymades areas will require a shuttle pass.

Shuttle times

The shuttles will be looping continuously between the stops roughly every 30 mins.

Wednesday 7th September from 16:00 to Wednesday 14th at 08:00.

There are 4 shuttle stops between Dhërmi and Drymades, plus 3 on request stops where you will be able to get off the shuttle if you request so to the driver. Note the shuttle won't be able to pick you up at those on request stops and you will have to walk to the nearest stop.

Taxis

Alternatively, you can book a taxi to move between the festival and your accommodation. However, the cost will be higher than the bus and you will have to book on the phone each time by calling tel: +355 67 696 0187 . There will also be a taxi stop near the main entrance.

Our shuttle bus and taxis will be branded so you know they are official. Please don't walk home alone and don't take unlicensed taxis. If you have any trouble finding transportation, please contact us and we will recommend a trusted provider.

Food & Drink

Cashless bars and top up

We are operating a cashless system at ION. It's safer and easier than using your bank card or cash. It also means less queuing and more dancing.

Your festival wristband will have an RFID chip that can be topped up and used like a prepaid bank card across all festival bars, the market area and selected restaurants. All prices will be in Euros.

You can top up your wristband either by a prepaid voucher bought online before the festival, or at one of our top up stations across the festival site. These stations accept card payments only.

The stations will be busy during the first few days. We advise topping up in advance as much as you would like, as any leftover is refundable online after the festival. Online top ups will open the week before the festival.

Please take a photo of the 14 digit number on the back of the RFID chip as this will be required to claim your refund.

Refunds will open the following Monday after the festival finishes on the 19th of September at midday & the refund system will close on the 3rd of October at midnight.

Please note there are some small fees to cover part of the costs of running the cashless system and the commissions charged by the credit card providers:

Activation fee: 1€
Refund fee: 2€

Opening hours

Top up stations will be located across the festival site and will operate from 11am - 5am. The top up locations and opening hours are :

  • Cashless Area ( Main top up station) : Wednesday - Tuesday from 11:00h - 4:00am
  • Main Stage: Thursday - Sunday from 22:00h - 6:00am
  • The Deck: Thursday - Sunday from 21:00 - 5:00am
  • Yacht Club (specifically for Gjipe top ups): Friday - Monday from 11:30h - 14:30h
  • The Fort - 17:30 - 20:30
  • The Bunker - 22:00h - 5:00am

What happens if my wristband is faulty?

If your wristband is faulty or damaged, you will need to head to the main cashless cabin in the market area to have it exchanged. The money on the faulty wristband will be able to be transferred onto the new wristband. This is only possible if you have the wristband present.

What happens if I lose my wristband?

Your wristband should remain securely fastened to your wrist. There shouldn’t be any reason for you to remove it, until the event has ended. You should treat your wristband as you would cash or your bank card.

From our experience, it’s very very rare for one of the wristbands to break. If you lose it, we won’t be able to recover any balance but if you have taken a photo of your 14 digit number on the back of the RFID chip you will be able to claim a refund after the festival.

Reusable cups

In order to reduce plastic waste, we will offer reusable cups across all bars. This means that for certain drinks such as spirits you will have to buy a reusable cup the first time you order at the bar. Cups are just 3€. Make sure to hold on to your cup at the end of the night and help us make the event more sustainable. If you need a fresh cup, you will be able to swap yours at no extra charge from one of the bars.

Restaurants and bars

There are some great restaurants and bars in Dhërmi and Drymades. Albanian food is the meeting point between Italian, Turkish and Greek cuisines. Above all, pride is taken on the use of fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Expect heavenly Mediterranean dishes, fresh salads, fish, pasta and delicious stone-oven pizzas.

Opening times are flexible and it is not rare to see some of them open until midnight.

Lots of on-site restaurants and traders will be accepting your wristband (RFID). All other restaurants will accept cash and card. Cash points are located on the map if required.

Activites

The Canyon

Located at Gjipe beach, this is a hugely impressive hidden gem on the Albanian Rivera. Anyone who has ever been will confirm that this is one of the most incredible locations you will ever dance at, and the perfect place to spend the day. 

The Canyon is only accessible by a short boat trip from the festival site, so you'll be back in time to catch the acts programmed in the evening.

The Canyon is only accessible by boat, thus requiring an extra ticket. It opens Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday between 12:00 - 18:30.

Boats run every 30 - 45 minutes from the jetty at the far end of the Yacht club.

Boat check in opens: 11:30
Boat check in closes: 14:30

Return check in from The Canyon opens: 17:00
Return check in from The Canyon closes: 19:00

If you arrive outside of these times, we cannot guarantee travel.

If you already have a ticket, you will be able to collect your wristband before boarding the boat with proof of ID and your e-ticket.

If you haven’t got a ticket yet, there are a handful of tickets left for some of the days that you can still book via the manage booking portal, or head to the info point on site.

Line-up:

Friday:

Daniel Avery B2B Roman Flügel
Otik

Saturday:

Dan Shake
Jayson Wynters
Sno

Sunday:

Batu (Extended set)
KT

Monday:

Craig Richards (Extended set)
B.Love

The Fort

The Fort is a 19th century Venetian Castle located on a small island in the Bay of Palermo with stunning views across the Ionian Sea.

During the activities there, you will get the opportunity to see the likes of Helena Hauff, George FitzGerald and Hessle Audio play on top of this outstanding location.

The Fort is accessed via a bus trip, thus requiring an extra ticket. The Fort takes place on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday between 17:00 - 20:00.

Buses depart from Shuttle stop A.

Bus check in opens: 15:45

Buses depart: 16:10

If you arrive outside of these times, you will not be able to attend The Fort..

Buses depart from The Fort at the conclusion of the event.

If you already have a ticket, you will need to show proof of ID and your e-ticket to board the bus.

If you haven’t got a ticket yet, there are a handful of tickets left for some of the days that you can still book via the manage booking portal, Or head to the info point on site.

Thursday:

Dusky
George Fitzgerald (DJ)

Friday:

Helena Hauff
Liebus

Saturday:

Spokenn (Ferro & Reiss)
Malika

Sunday:

Hessle Audio (Ben UFO, Pangaea, Pearson Sound)

Monday:

Dax J (Jungle Set)
Marcel Dettmann

Holiday activities

​​We have partnered with expert local tourist guides to offer a selection of the best holiday activities in the area.

Activities on offer are:

The Gjipe Hike - return by speedboat
If you’re looking for some wild nature along the Albanian Riviera, this is the spot! A panoramic spot overlooking the Ionian sea and Gjipe Canyon.

Dhermi Village Tour
The trail that connects Dhermi village with the beach. It’s a quiet place that combines a walk with history in an unusual, but fun way. There are some really interesting things to see on the hike.

Speedboat to Grama Bay inc. bbq lunch
This is the best tour for discovering the most amazing untouched beaches and caves. Enjoy a ride to one of the most amazing beaches of the Karaburun Peninsula surrounded by crystal clear sea and rocky cliffs.

These will be available to book on site on a first come first served basis. Head to the customer info point where we have a dedicated activity stand to find out more information.

Water sports equipment is available for hire at the following locations:

• Kayaking: Available for hire at The Yacht Club
• Paddle: Available for hire at the beach by The Yacht Club

And last but not least, Dhërmi offers some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean. Check out our beach guide.

Restoration

As ravers, we respect that to enjoy the festival to its fullest, both body and mind want restoration.

Every morning and afternoon we will run 2 yoga sessions to soothe yourselves, recovering from the night and days before!

In the evenings, we are giving special workshop experiences, inspired by practices around the world from the Himalayas to Mexico.

Expect epic discoveries to elevate your experience of ION and to create altered states naturally.

Heart opening Cacao, transformative Kundalini yoga, even a Native American-style sweatlodge known as a Temazcal… join to restore, enjoy and expand your horizons.

All profits from our restoration activities will be donated to SOS Children’s villages, a charity that provides homes, care and schooling for children in Albania.

Places are limited so make sure to reserve your spot via the link below.

Departure Information

Departure transfers will begin from Monday 12th September. The closing party for ION will take place on Tuesday 13th September until the early hours of Wednesday.

If you have booked your festival transfers with us, please get to your nearest shuttle stop 30 minutes before the bus departure time. You can find your transfer times on your e-ticket.

Do not forget that if you are leaving as early as 4.30am, you may need to arrange your checkout and security deposit return with your hotel the evening before.

The return trip

The bus will pick you up at the transfer stop nearest to your accommodation to take you to Himare. From there you will get a boat to Corfu. Remember you will need a taxi to get from Corfu port to the airport.

Please make sure you have checked in for your return flight home to make your return journey as smooth as possible.

Basic Albanian Words & Phrases

Hello (General greeting) - Mirë se vjen
Thank you - Faleminderit
Yes - Po
No - Jo
Good morning - Mirëmëngjes
Good afternoon - Mirëdita,
Good evening - Mirëmbrëma
Good night - Natën e mirë
Goodbye - Paçim
See you later - Shihemi më vonë
Cheers! (Toasts used when drinking) - Gëzuar!
Have a nice day - Ditën e mirë!
Bon appetit / Have a nice meal - T'bëftë mirë!
I don't understand - Nuk kuptoj

Conditions of entry

The event is strictly an over 18's event

All admission is subject to search

The promoter reserves the right to refuse admission to any festival area

For promotion, safety & security reasons, customers may be filmed at any time. When entering Mainstage Festival’s venues you are agreeing to this condition of entry

Unauthorised photography, audio and video is strictly prohibited

Mainstage Festivals will not accept any responsibility for damages or loss sustained at the festival

Tickets are sold on the understanding that the event is subject to a licence from the appropriate authorities

All tickets including extras are non-refundable from the point of purchase

Security reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone wearing footwear deemed inappropriate for the environment

Swimming at night and jumping off boats may result in temporary or permanent eviction from the event

Prohibited items or any items that the Event or third parties acting on its behalf (such as security) deem to be either; a risk to the safety, security or enjoyment of others; unsuitable to be taken to the Event; or, may be used in an illegal or offensive manner (regardless of whether or not the item itself is illegal) are not permitted to be taken into any Venue or Stage.

Prohibited items

  • Illegal drugs, New Psychoactive Substances and Nitrous Oxide
  • Glass
  • Spray paints and pens
  • Drones
  • Items that may be used in a dangerous manner including sharps/blades, tasers and CS gas
  • Animals (with the exception of approved assistance dogs)
  • Alcohol & food items
  • Private sound systems
  • Flares, bangers, fireworks, sparklers, Chinese lanterns and naked flames Inc. tea lights
  • No unauthorised professional commercial photography