As the sun begins to set earlier and the temperature drops, it’s been an amazing one but it is well and truly time to kiss Summer 2014 goodbye. We reflect upon what was the best week of our summer break which was a trip not to be forgotten: Outlook Festival.
What makes Outlook different from other festivals? Is it the crystal clear waters that sparkle along the coast of Pula? Is it the mind blowing national heritage site in which the festival is held? Or is it the atmosphere-splitting sound-systems that play out amazing music for the best part of a week? We headed to Europe’s leading bass festival for the fourth year in a row and by the end of it, we had every intention of returning next year…
We had the pleasure and honour of meeting two of Outlook’s founding fathers; the name behind the stage, Noah Ball and lead vocalist of Gentleman’s Dub Club, Jonathan Scratchley. The pair told me that what makes Outlook so special is all of the above, plus the significant addition of the fact that people travel from all over the world, making the long (and at times, not so straight forward) journey to Pula. And of course not forgetting the incredible climate we were blessed with this year. Outlook festival is very much the people’s festival, with each and every attendee, organiser and member of staff being an indispensable individual, making the week long party unique and unforgettable every summer.
From it’s humble beginnings in 2008, Outlook has grown and developed into one of the most respected bass music festivals in the world, and each year draws a crowd of around 10,000 people ready for one of the most monumental weeks of their lives. The organisers of Outlook pride themselves upon their booking policy, which has remained the same since the festivals inception and supports the celebration of sound-system culture. The music of Outlook, which if you delve right into the history of bass culture, derives from strong roots in Jamaica and commemorates music of all genres. From reggae to dub, and dancehall to hip-hop, this one of a kind Croatian festival really has it all.
For those who had attended the festival in previous years, changes were definitely evident. Everything was clearer, easier and far more organised making the festival even more impressive. From the production, to the decoration, to the staff, Outlook seemed to have grown up that little bit extra making it a festival we want to come back to again and again.
When asked who they were most excited to see playing this year, Noah and Jonathan were spoilt for choice and ended up reeling off a huge list including Chronixx, Action Bronson, DJ Premier, Moodyman, Jah Shakah and Barrington Levy… to name a select few. This came as absolutely no surprise, given the fact that every single year the line-up is adorned with a list of impressive names, from headliners to boat party performers, and is always put together with assiduous consideration and careful curation.
Following from last years roaring success, Pula Arena, the ancient amphitheatre situated in Pula’s centre, played host to this year’s opening concert. Submotion Orchestra were first to take the stage, bathing the audience in a sea of iridescent lights and soul-consuming bass, playing some of their best pieces including their signature track ‘finest hour’. Front lady Ruby Wood dazzled the crowd with her angelic voice and glittering dress, warming them up for the incredible night of music that was to follow. After the heavens had opened a little, showering the crowd with a sprinkle of rain, the audience were treated to a moving cover of Bob Marley’s ‘Is This Love’ performed oh so soothingly by South London’s Soul singer-songwriter Andrew Ashong. Finally, to end the night, music ledgend Ms Lauyn Hill graced the stage and performed a catalogue of her most well known songs, each with their own unique and fresh twist.
As the sun began to set each and every night of the festival, the air was filled with energy and excitement for music lovers from around the globe, who were united by music that exuded bass. Outlook has the perfect mix of music, people and of course, sound-systems, making Pula our number one destination every September.
1883: “Can you describe Outlook in one work?” Noah: “Sound” Jonathan: “Systems”
Talks of Outlook’s possible collaboration with Ninja Tunes, who will celebrate their 25th birthday next year, are underway. For more information and to find out about tickets for Outlook 2015, click here and visit the official website