Outlook Festival 2014

If you’re a bass music lover then you must have heard about Outlook Festival. A festival which takes place in a breathtaking venue and surroundings featuring all kinds of different music styles. From dub to dubstep, dnb to jungle, hiphop, house and techno. If you like bass, you will find it at Outlook Festival in Pula, Croatia. This was my 5th year going and because I had just come back from a weekend at Dimensions Festival, I only had four days rest until it all began again. It was the main event we had all been looking forward to. Over the years, I’ve seen the festival grow at Fort Punta Christo, Pula. It might not have the same vibes like in 2010, but it’s still the place to be for people like us. It used to be smaller, around 5,000 people back in the day, whereas now it has grown up to 15,000 people. Along with that, has come better organization and maintaining of the festival. Superb soundsystems and decoration, lighting in all the different arenas of the fort have improved over the years as well. For me there is no better festival in Europe which holds so much attention for the quality of music.

It all started on Thursday. The main plan was to go to a club night called ‘Contact’ in the moat, which is hosted by Youngsta. The line up was very diverse featuring artists like Nomine, Vivek, Truth, Youngsta, J:Kenzo, Icicle and Proxima. Each played their own unique styles of dub, dubstep and dnb in a Moat packed with people from the front ‘till the back. With stacks of soundsystems spread all out across the 100m long trench. This was the best opening night a fellow dubstep head could dream of! The next day we had the ‘Contact’ boat party lined up as well, which we expected to be a nice experience mainly because it had Youngsta on a boat, you don’t get to see that everyday. On top of that, it was his birthday aswell! We got some amazing sets by Unicorn Fukr, J:Kenzo, Truth, Youngsta, Icicle b2b Proxima while the sun was disappearing in the Adriatic sea. Amazing experience! 3 hours later and a lot of liquors diggested we came back to the shore. Upon docking we decided to go up to Mungo’s Arena for a 5-hour session of Jah Shaka, and this man never disappoints. It was his 3rd time playing at Outlook Festival doing an all-nighter. 5 hours of reggae, roots and dub passed by like it was nothing!

Normally in the afternoon you have the chance to go up to the beach parties on the campsite and enjoy some beers, sun, good food and all different kinds of music. But if you’re staying over in a private apartment you can’t always find the strength to go down and party from the afternoon until morning.

So, on Saturday we started our day with the ‘Reconstvct vs Big-up Magazine’ boat party at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Which was already a hard task to get to after two days and nights of straight partying. But we managed to get on the boat all together and I can easily say this was one of the best vibes and boat parties I had in the last five years. It was a 3 hour back-to-back session with Kahn, Neek, Commodo, Gantz and True Nature. The hours flew by as did the massive amount of dubs we were able to hear. Everybody on that boat went nuts and that was only in the afternoon. So when we came back to the shore, we had the ‘Deep medi’ boat as well. We waited there for only half an hour surrounded by Mala, Truth and all the other Deep Medi guys, to then get back on the exact same boat as Reconstrvct, which Gantz, Kahn and Neek were still waiting on. With the Deep Medi boat you never know who’s gonna be on it, but the closer we got to boarding the boat, we could guess who was going to play out. Eventually we saw Gantz open up the boat party with his mesmerizing tunes followed by Kahn and Neek with a b2b session. The whole time we saw Loefah hanging around leaving us wondering what was going to happen. But we could’ve already guessed… Mala and Loefah went back-to-back like in the good old days. After that Truth had the last set on the boat. They literally killed the night with a banging set, in the DJ corner, which had a low ceiling, which ppl started banging on and it actually came down. They were able to fix it but nobody was allowed to bang on the ceiling again from then on. It all added to the experience of course!

After these two amazing boat parties we decided it was time to go to our apartment for dinner and a rest. Two weeks of partying (Dimensions Festival too) was getting to us. We eventually went back to the festival, missed the whole DMZ night, but went down to the void, to see Friction play a killer oldschool dnb set. That guy can mix for sure, 3 deck mixes the whole time… practically stayed there the whole night, Icicle was on afterwards too.

And then on the last day, I missed the Sub FM boat party. It was on at 12 o’clock in the afternoon so it was one of those moments were you had to decide if you were to get up early and take a chance and then not make it through the whole Sunday night. I know now that if I would’ve gone on that boat party I would definitely not have made it through the whole night. I heard from my friends who did make the boat, that the Sub FM boat party was really cosy, only 30 people with T_!, Gantz, Compa, Vital Techniques and DJ Foster playing. I know I missed out on a nice boat party, but the Deep Medi all nighter at Mungo’s Arena was way more important for me. I knew it was going to be one of those sessions you keep on thinking about. We tried to go down as early as possible but we missed Gantz, but made it for Commodo, which was brilliant and then Goth-Trad and Mala. No words for that! Amazing sets. After that we also went to check out Elijah and Skilliam with Newham Generals and Novelist on OBF soundsystem. Nice experience to see the Butterz crew do their own thing, but was way too tired at that point. Eventually we stayed till the end (6 o’clock) of Outlook because we knew one of our friends was closing down in the ballroom. A filled up ballroom had their last hour of skanking. Only to end it at 6 o’clock in the morning while the sun was rising and morning light hitting the walls of the fort! We were down to our last long walk home from the fort all the way down to the parking lot to make our way up to the apartment.

It’s with great pleasure again that we look back to an amazing two weeks experience with Outlook Festival as the cherry on the cake! I would never want to miss out on one year and I think a lot of people would agree with me on that.

Words by Robbie Vandierendounck.


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Photos by Ben Donoghue.

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