Let me start by saying Outlook Festival will now be a permanent fixture on my calendar. You might remember earlier this year when we told you about the history of the festival, and some of its highlights.
Well, this year was a special year for Outlook as it marked the tenth addition of the festival. It takes place at Fort Punta Christo, which is an abandoned ruin on a peninsula on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. It’s really beautiful there.
There are vast camping options on-site, but we opted to stay in Fazana, a small fishing town 2 miles up the coast. After dropping off our luggage we set off towards the festival site along the coastal path. The bass vibrations could already be felt and heard pulsing through the air. The beautiful beach views along the way got the best of me, and as the bass got louder and louder the anticipation to explore the festival was KILLING ME.
Once there we headed straight to Beach Party area where Jorja Smith’s perfectly raw voice was gracing the system and crowd. The warm afternoon sun was shining. It was hot! And on top of that, the beers and cocktails were decently priced and the food selection was AMAZING. Vegan to meat eater, they had it covered and options had us spoilt for choice! We spent the afternoon and evening jamming out and catching some rays on the beach and even ran into a few surprise faces from London.
We also checked out the Knowledge Arena that was close by where you can tap into discussions and workshops hosted by the likes of Gal-dem, Zed Bias and Youngsta as well the Outlook founders themselves. This was a great place to take a breather and gain some insight from the creative minds behind it all. As the sun set, Princess Nokia took her badass energy to the stage and got the beach party jumping to ease us into the first night of partying.
As darkness set in and the vivid glow of festival lights emerged, it was time to explore the site in its entirety. With so many amazing acts playing over so many stages, we decided to get a little taste of everything. Mungo’s Hi-Fi stage was a highlight where we spent a good portion of the night skanking to some serious dub sounds from the ZamZam crew. Representing London, Radar Radio held it down all night at The Stables and Butterz x JustJam brought heat to The Garden stage.
Hip Hop superstars Ghostface Killa, Raekwon and Pharoahe Monch and jungle legends Congo Natty were among the incredible headliners at the mainstage. We finished off the night with surely the best falafel in the country in our mouths and retreated to prepare ourselves for day two.
After spending the day on the beach again Friday night, we got to see the full extent of the festival’s insane soundsystems. The energy was crazy. We hit every stage that night starting with Kahn & Commodo (Bandulu) at The Void Stage, then on to Grandmixxer shelling it down at The Moat with his powerful grime sound. Then to The Clearing. The main stage, where Foreign Beggars delivered a truly energetic and eclectic performance. I was constantly impressed by the variety of vibes you could get into!
Later on we went back to The Moat to catch Manchester heavyweight, Strategy. We then went back to the Void stage where it got HEAVY with Sir Spyro on the decks. Killa P & P Money were on the mic, along with Capo Lee & ETS. This for me was a personal favourite as the energy of the entire crowd peaked as one. Mala then took to the turntables and continued the 140bpm bass onslaught; The legendary D Double E hosting with his signature vocals. We then headed to the VIP bar at the top of the fort. With great views of the whole festival, and a cool bar area inside the ruin it was the perfect spot to party with some of the artists.
By Saturday we had to slow our roll down to make sure we could make it through the rest of the weekend! The variety of artists, DJs and good food had us stumped for making the right decisions so we hit the Beach Party. Murlo was on the decks, with Fox on the mic. They got us pumped for the rest of the day with those UK garage and bass vibes. As the sun went down we hit the JustJam Boat Party where Zed Bias went B2B with Tim (Tim&Barry).
Then Grandmixxer, ETS & Jammz jumped on and took us to the next dimension as we sailed around the Adriatic sea. The boat party was INSANE. It even started raining at this point, but we hardly noticed. If anything it added to the whole experience and cooled down the fire that lasted for 3 hours on the sea.
With just a few hours left of the night, and the storms lighting up the sky, we powered on to The Clearing. David Rodigan was delivering another signature high energy reggae infused set! Shy Fx then rolled out powerful drum & bass vibes, and after a good skank, we were left in need of some more seriously awesome food to make it home to retire for the last day of the party. Which was gaining on us!
Sunday came all too quickly. The sky loomed and it looked like rain. But, the darkening grey skies only added to the energy of the ever growing volume of the festival. We started the night on another boat party promising us a hyped experience on the sea with Hatcha & Friends; Loefah & Hatcha went back to back delivering a historic set including their legendary archive of beats. Emerald Haze at the stables served us some sick rejuvenating jazzy vibes. And from there we hit The Void again for some dark and powerful bass from German dubstep king, Bukez Finezt.
By this point the storm’s energy was high and moving with the crowd. We moved into The Clearing to catch AJ Tracey’s energetic performance, with a lightning storm as his backdrop. He was joined by Big Zuu and ETS and the trio shut down the Mainstage. On next was Nines, who had the crowd going mental! Looking around it was impressive to say it was the last day. Everyone STILL brought all the fire, all the gun fingers, all the energy.
When we finally ran out of steam around 5 am we decided to call it quits. We spent the last few minutes before we left the site using up our money on the food and drink stalls we were going to so sorely miss the next day.
We looked back down the coast and up into the sky to watch the beams and spotlights joining in with the lightning. They fired in all directions from Fort Punta Christo. Critical Sound were hosting the closing hours at the Mainstage. Their hyper drum and bass breaks were blasting out for miles around. I’m certain they were cranking up the volume for those final minutes of the party!
Outlook was an experience I never wanted to end. And I will never forget it. I could still hear the bangers as I lay in bed reflecting on the last few crazy days in Croatia. It was truly UNREAL.
For 2018 tickets head to www.outlookfestival.com
We’ll see you there!
Photographs by Jamie Kendrick