If you listen to the sounds of the underground in any genre ranging from Garage to DNB/Jungle, Dubstep to Reggae, Hip Hop and Grime, you will most definitely have heard of the mighty Outlook Festival and if you haven’t it’s about time you got to know. Outlook Festival is truly a one of kind experience that is the highlight of our summer every year. We’ve been venturing to Pula, Croatia for the past few years to be part of Outlook Festival, and we don’t plan on stopping now. Outlook reigns supreme for any sound system culture lover with its immense sound systems that vibrate throughout every arena. The beach, fort and clearing stages host a wide variety of the artists throughout the festival.
We were extremely excited to attend the Opening concert that is held yearly in the 2000 year old Roman Colosseum! It was truly a magical experience to attend an insane concert with the likes of Slum Village, ASM, Iration Steppas and Damien Marley.
It was amazing to see Damien Marley perform some of his hits as well as some of Bob Marley’s. All the performances were incredible and definitely set a high bar for the next few days to come. The lighting, sound system, and location of the opening concert under the Croatian skies made for an unbelievable night. It was the perfect start to a week in paradise.
Thursday: Festival Day 1/Night 1
After nursing a serious hangover from the night before, we proceeded to the first official event of Outlook 2016; the Metalheadz Boat Party. As we were running a wee bit late, we rushed to the harbor to catch our boat. We are seriously glad we made it on board in time, because for the next 3 hours Goldie, Scar, and Detboi absolutely killed it. There was a heavy mix between old Metalheadz classics along with some new unreleased material. Even on the Adriatic Sea, the sound systems were pumping hard. This was a definite highlight of Outlook 2016.
After taking some time to rest after a chaotic afternoon boat ride, we decided to skip the beach stage for the night, have a nice pizza dinner, and hit the fort for the first night of Outlook Festival.
There were a number of takeovers that we had to hit up throughout the night. There are so many amazing acts playing, you literally need to run around to catch everyone you want to see, but we found it was a much better vibe to just go with the flow. Because there really isn’t one single act that disappoints at Outlook.
Takeovers included JUST JAM in The Void, Metalheadz X STAR WARZ that was moved to The Garden stage due to high demand, David Rodigan’s RAM JAM, and Boom Bap.
As any junglists would, we headed straight to the Metalheadz stage just in time to catch Onemind Live. Onemind, a relatively new duo featuring DLR and Mako, was a very unique act that I did not want to miss. Because of the tight capacity in the Moat stage, the Metalheadz takeover was moved to the Garden stage. Just tucked away outside the fort, the Garden stage was slopped on a hill with the perfect amount of lighting and sound. After seeing how large of a crowd the takeover had attracted, it seemed like a really good idea to move the stage from the Moat.
As Onemind continued to slay we decided to go venture to The Moat Stage. We were so excited to get back in that wonderful venue. It is truly one of our favorite venues we’ve ever been in. Giant towering walls within a 300 meter long stretch with speaker stacks all lined up along the walls. The sound was quite like nothing I had ever heard before. The sound reverberated off the walls to create the perfect sound. The Moat itself is a highlight of Outlook, no doubt.
As we proceeded to The Void to see the Just Jam crew, we stopped to re-up on some alcohol and food. Outlook has a token system whereby you prepay for tokens and use them for all purchases on the grounds and makes the process a lot faster for the most part.
The Just Jam takeover included the likes of DJ Barely Legal, Swindle, DJ Q, Zed Bias, and MJ Cole. We could only stay for so long as we all really wanted to go back to the Metalheadz takeover to catch Doc Scott.
The Metalheadz takeover was everything we wanted it to be. Hard hitting baselines ranging from classics to brand spanking new tunes illuminated The Garden stage all night long.
After a while we took a hiatus from The Garden stage to check out The Ballroom. As many have noted, The Ballroom is a one of a kind venue. Simply put, it’s a round room with an open ceiling looking up at the stars. Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper Outlook stage without a massive sound system that shook the entire room.
After running around for the remainder of the night through the different stages, the night came to an end and we got some much needed sleep.
Friday: Festival Day 2/Night 2
Friday was set to be another incredible night. We were ready to see the likes of Kano, Joey Badass Goldie, Noisia, Andy C, Ivy Lab at the Clearing stage. We could have stayed at The Clearing the entire night, but we felt inclined to venture through the rest of the festival to see some new acts we had never seen before.
Among some of the acts we caught were Zed Bias, Chimpo, Hatcha, Mungo’s Hifi, Signs, Greazus and many more that we just can’t remember.
We couldn’t miss another chance to witness Goldie murder a set, which he did. Goldie’s selection was absolutely impeccable and kept the crowd jumping the entire time. Don’t ever miss a set from the Metalheadz Don.
Initially, we were planning on skipping the Andy C set since we have had the pleasure of seeing him perform a number of times this year alone and we wanted to catch a few other artists. We were convinced to stay by our friends which is the best decision we made all weekend. No word of a lie, we have never witnessed an Andy C set like this before. It was like Andy had a point to prove. He wanted to show The Outlook world that he could instantly switch his festival sounding sets to one of the darkest DNB sets we’ve had the pleasure to listen to.
The rest of the night became quite a blur. One of our last memories of the night was listening to Ivy Lab drop that Pharoahe Monch tune; Simon Says. As we stumbled out of the festival grounds yelling “Get the fuck up. Simon says get the fuck up”, our night came to an end.
Saturday: Festival Day 3/Night 3
As Saturday rolled around and half of the festival was over we were still alive and well. We were up quite early to catch the Kurrupt FM boat party. Being avid fans of the BBC show People Just Do Nothing, we were so pumped to catch Beats, Grindah, Steeves, and the rest of the Kurrupt crew do their thing. Their entrance was one of a kind. After about 20 min of the boat departing we could see 3 Sea-Do’s racing up to the boat. The Kurrupt crew was rolling in with style and caused quite a commotion in the best way possible. As soon as they came on they began playing the best in Garage and Drum and Bass that kept the boat bouncing so much that you couldn’t even tell we were going over waves in the sea. Another great boat party completed.
That night consisted of a few takeover that needed to be witnessed. The Hospitality and Playaz takeovers.
The Hospitality takeover was like something out of a dream for someone from North America. While we do have an incredible drum and bass scene, we just don’t get quite line-ups like this. In one night we got to see London Elektricity, Metric, High Contrast, SPY, Etherwood, Krakota, Reso, Keeno, and Mullet from the Hospitality Crew. Did we mention that we love Hospital Records? This was a total win for us. They all brought unique sets to the stage that everyone seemed to love. Stand out sets go to High Contrast, London Elektricity, and SPY who all had beautiful soulful sets mixed with the perfect amount of change-up tracks.
The Playaz takeover consisted of Potential Badboy, Hype, Randall, and Hazard. Attracting a bit more of a harder crowd who wanted some serious jungle and jump up, the Playaz crew all threw down serious sets as their stage was packed all night.
We were not able to catch too many more sets that night. At this point we were beginning to lose our voices, so we decided to call it an early night to get some recovery time. Early being around 4:30 am instead of the normal 6:00 am.
Sunday: Festival Day 4/Night 4
As Sunday came about, there were a few acts we couldn’t miss. It was a bitter sweet day as we knew it was the last day of this wonderful festival. However, all great things must come to an end eventually.
The beach was the spot today. Soul:ution had a takeover that made for the perfect beach day in my opinion. As we got to the beach, we weres greeted by the sounds of LSB who was playing a nice relaxing set that set the tone instantly. Afterwords DRS live, Marcus Intalex, and Calibre were on deck. DRS live was something totally different. Having a variety of live instruments combined with a number of MCs that graced us with their presence creating a soul:ful beach vibe that got the crowd pumped for Calibre. Calibre just took it to the next level and slayed the entire beach as the sun went down in the horizon. You just really had to be there. It was truly perfection.
That night, we had a Takeover at the Arija stage with our good friends over at Last Planet. But that wasn’t until a little later on in the night, so we were able to catch up with some friends over at the Medschool and Dispatch Takeovers.
The Medschool takeover was at the Garden as well. Some incredible artists like Mullet, Bop, Blu Mar Ten, Royalston, Etherwood, Anile were part of that takeover. Shouts to Etherwood, Blu Mar Ten, and Royalston for smashing their sets. We were happy to see both a Hospitality and Medschool stage over the festival. The Medschool takeover took a bit more of an underground vibe to their sets and it worked really well.
We had to catch the Dispatch stage, as they were hosting some of my favorite artists including Zero T, Amoss, Alix Perez, Skeptical, Dub Phizix, DLR, ANT TC1, Survival, and Safire. We were able to catch Zero T b2b Amoss. This was a delight. They both worked really well together played a hard hitting set to start up the night. As the night moved further along, Alix Perez b2b Skeptical ft. DRS began. Now this was a probably our favorite set of the festival. With a ton of unreleased tunes being dropped with such intensity and precision was perfection. It was most definitely a highlight of the weekend.
As the night proceeded, it began to rain so hard you’d think you were in the middle of a hurricane. But the show must go on as we prepared for the stage takeover with Last Planet. Even with the rain we had an amazing crowd that loved all of the garage, dnb, and bass that was being played by the like of Marcus Visionary, Lush, Hungry T, and Freeza Chin. They all slayed the dancefloor for the few hours we had which we were so thankful for.
As the festival came to an end all we were left with was sore limbs, aching heads, and some really amazing memories. This truly is the perfect get away for anyone, even if you don’t listen to the music. Just good vibes, great people, and amazing music.
We are looking forward to Outlook 2017 to join them for their 10 year Anniversary. Check out the initial lineup here:
So many incredible names have already been announced in the first phase of the lineup below including Dizzee Rascal, DJ Shadow, The Outlook Orchestra, Giggs, Goldie, Friction, Pharoahe Monch, Wiley and many, many more.