With its varied stages surrounded by the crystal waters of Pula, Croatia, the many famed stories and experiences of Outlook festival over the years made me wish to experience the legendary festival for myself. Beyond excited to finally be a part of this magical five day experience in the summer of 2015, the DNBDose and Last Planet crew arrived to Pula a day before the opening ceremony. Loaded up on all the essentials we would need in preparation for the next few nights (lots of liqour and lots of beer) our excitement grew in anticipation of the opening day.
With wristbands in hand we made our way to the beach stage the next morning. Introduced with the one of a kind setting in which Outlook takes place, crystal blue waters is the first thing you see as you make your way to the festival entrance. Once at the beach stage, we could hear the soul shaking vibes from the speakers watching festival goers from all around the world enjoying themselves. This was the beginning to a week that will never be forgotten.
Hours later, we made our way back to the villa to get ready for the opening party which featured Gentleman’s Dub Club, SBTRKT, Jurassic 5, and Roni Size live. The best part again was the location. The opening party is hosted in a 2000 year old Roman amphitheater. This colossal building was just stunning and once again set the excitement levels high for an opening night of amazing acts.
As we entered the amphitheater we could hear the sounds of the Trojan Sound System crew holding it down in the distance. Jurassic 5 made their entrance on stage soon after and blew me away. Taking full control of the crowd, Jurassic 5 brought out all of their classics; Concrete Schoolyard, What’s Golden, and Quality Control! After that SBTRKT came on and played a great set, but as a Toronto junglist…Roni Size live was something I was really looking forward to. Surpassing my expectations, the energy of Roni Size Live was what kept the entire crowd going the whole time. Brown Paper Bag in a 2000 year old roman amphitheater was all that I could have hoped for as a junglist. Night one complete. Four to go.
After getting some much needed sleep, we embarked to catch some sun and enjoy the beautiful Croatian beach. Our relaxation period was short, but sweet, as we were ready to kick off day two with the Detonate Boat Party. Another one of my favourite features of Outlook is the varied stages as there are many boat parties going on throughout the festival. To say I was excited to be partying on a boat in the Adriatic Sea was an understatement. The Detonate boat featured Critical Music don, Kasra, along with Xtrah, Gerra & Stone, and Transit Mafia. The entire three hours was an array of the best Drum and Bass and Jungle, from the heavier/techy DnB to the more soulful sounds that really brought out the beauty of where we were partying. I can confidently say that everyone was quite happy with what happened that Thursday evening.
After the boat, I had to run to the beach stage to catch the last bits of DJ EZ crushing it on the beach. I was only able to catch a glimpse of his set, but we were ready for more as he was playing on the Clearing stage later that night.
We then proceeded to check out all the stages briefly as I needed to see all the fort stages. I was once again very impressed with the memorable projections and art installations placed all over the fort and around all the stages. We briefly caught fellow Canadian artist Vilify at the Garden Stage, then headed straight to the legendary Moat Stage. I knew well before the festival had begun that I would be in the Moat for the majority of the night as Critical Music was hosting a takeover. As we walked over to the stage we were blessed by the sounds of Hyroglifics, Foreign Concept, Ivy Lab, Emperor, Kasra, Enei, and Mefjus. I was looking forward to seeing most of these artists for the first time, especially Ivy Lab, Emperor, and Enei. If it wasn’t for my friends wanting to see other artists I would have stayed there the entire night, but as expected Critical Music put on a hell of a show.
That same night we also caught some of Stormzy’s set who had Outlook on fire with the entire crowd chanting back his lyrics. This was followed by a masterclass in mixing by DJ EZ who I can honestly say is one of the best DJs I’ve ever seen. His mixing and selection was flawless making it hard to leave such a vibe fueled environment. Lastly, we proceeded to the harbor to see some other sets, but I found myself back at the Moat for the rest of the night to end it off with Ivy Lab. They were all that I hoped for and more. Night two complete. Three to go.
As you will learn if you ever attend Outlook Festival, it’s a hard decision deciding who to see next and who to miss out on because there are so many great acts on the lineup. Fortunately throughout the festival we were able to catch bits and piece of Boy Better Know, Beenie Man, Flatbush Zombies, Bad Company, Maztek, DBridge, Skeptical, Stray, Iration Steppas, Mungo’s Hifi, Kenny Ken, DJ Hype, and more!
Our week at Outlook Festival was so much more than I ever expected. It was one of the most well organized and properly curated festivals I’ve ever experienced. The sound systems are the best in the world and allow for you to hear the clarity of the music from anywhere you stand. The setting in which it takes place was impeccable and one of the most unique in the world. The stages in the Fort were like nothing I’ve seen and the beach was perfect for curing the impending hangover you’ll have in the morning.
Further memories of the festival includes takeovers by the Exit Records crew, Jungle Jam in the Fort Arena, Reggae Roast, RAM JAM curated by David Rodigan, Dispatch Records, Madlib Carnival, Butterz VS Keepin It Grimy, Noisia Invites, DMZ 10 Year Anniversary, and so many more.
Without question I will be returning to Outlook Festival this year. With all the quality sound systems, stages, and acts, the trip across the globe is always worth it. I’ll be there, will you?