Words: Thomas Brent.
Tucked away in the North-West of Croatia is the historic city of Pula, surrounded by seven hills and banked on the sandy shores of the Adriatic Sea. It is known for its Roman architecture, crystal clear sea, fishing, shipbuilding and winemaking. Now though a new element has entered the fray, and taken up residence just outside. Introducing Outlook Festival, Europe’s biggest bass music festival.
Outlook Festival is now into its seventh year, and brings together a mix of house, dubstep, techno, reggae, electronica and other dance-floor styles, and places them all in the heavenly setting of Croatia’s Dalmation Coast.
Situated along a 1km stretch of coast, and boasting around 400 acts, top artists from around the globe, boat parties and 11 different stages/areas, it is easy to understand why the Festival has gained such popularity. It has especially found an appeal with the UK audience, who make up much of the attendees, desperate for a festival experience that doesn’t come with the ever-looming, ever-unpredictable force that is the British weather. It’s safe to say that in Croatia the outlook is bright…I apologise.
Moving on to the aforementioned stages and areas that make up the festival, there is a real variety of unique and weird settings. The Festival is orientated around a 150 year old Fort, built at a time when Pula was one of the biggest ports in Europe. This provides some creative spaces such as The Moat stage which, you guessed it, is down in the old and now waterless moat that surrounds the fort. There is also Noah’s Ballroom, described by the Festival as ‘a circular pit with a sound system in it’. It’s not every day that you get to have your ears blasted off by bass whilst surrounded on all sides by a crumbling, cavernous, open-top ruin anyway. The Clearing hosts the biggest stage area, with room for around 3000 people and is usually home to the highest profile acts to grace the festival.
In the past Outlook has snared some top artists from around the world, coming far from its humble beginnings. Jamie XX, Bonobo, Rudimental and Disclosure have all played, and helped create the buzz that now encircles the festival and entices more and more revellers each year. 2014 will have Daddy G (Massive Attack), Busta Rhymes, Bondax and Andy C all arrive on the golden shores of Pula this year, so its clear the high level of performers is not letting up.
Outlook is just one of a number of new(ish) festivals popping up along Croatia’s coastline, which are all helping to mark the country as a musical hotspot. And why not? It isn’t really possible to imagine a more perfect spot for music than the golden, sunny and picture perfect scenery that acts as a home for Outlook Festival.