Outlook Festival in Croatia – Review
Milly Gill headed to Croatia’s increasingly-popular Outlook Festival. Here’s what she discovered:
After travelling for over a day we felt only minor comfort in arriving at our campsite in rainy Croatia. Following the construction of a soggy tent, with a glimmer of hope left, we ventured out to see what this bass festival was really all about…and we weren’t disappointed. With camping tickets extended to two days before the festival’s official start-date, we had a chance to explore the luscious camping site and rocky beach before the music began.
The next day, as the clouds cleared and the sun appeared, we swam in the clear waters of Croatia’s distinct coastline. Music blasted from the beach stage all day whilst crowds formed to drink, dance and sleep off the previous night. The beach stage boasts live Reggae and effortlessly forms a relaxed party atmosphere.
Not for the faint-hearted, Outlook prides itself in promoting a heavy dub, drum & bass and hip-hop festival, with music starting late and ending the next morning. It’s hard to get to bed before 6am as the most famous DJs congregate in the early hours. This means dancing on as the sun rises over the sea, before taking the long walk back through trees to the camp as the heat of the sun begins to bear down.
The second night was a personal highlight. Fresh-faced from our afternoon naps on lilos at the beach, we smothered ourselves in glitter and headed to the Roman Amphitheatre, a 2000-year-old structure in the Centre of Pula. A dark, open, eerie space with mellow blue and purple spotlights highlighting the stone ruins was the perfect set for the sleepy sounds of the night’s support-act Submotion Orchestra (pictured, below). Their smooth percussion underlay the effortless voice of lead singer Ruby Wood.
As the tiered seating filled and the semi-circular floor became increasingly occupied, the suspense for headliner Lauryn Hill intensified. When she finally arrived- she did not let anyone down. Strolling on 25 minutes late the crowd roared for one of hip-hop’s most influential female artists. Delivering her set in a modern upbeat reggae rework, amid Bob Marley covers, the amphitheatre lit up with warm voices singing and Outlook signs reflecting on the ancient ruins.
The most impressive feature of Outlook Festival was the festival site. Set upon a 150-year-old fort, the stages wriggle in and out of what remains of the beautiful structure set high on a hill. The most impressive stage, The Moat, consists of a stage and rigs engrossed in the long tunnel of a derelict moat, the phonetics magnified by the narrow walls as the sounds bounce off each other. The ballroom, another popular stage, is set within the chambers and dungeons of this historic fort, and festival goers have to venture through the derelict stone tunnels to reach the drum and bass high walled passageway. Mungo’s High Fi stage was a particular favourite; a cosy fit stage nestled at the end of a wobbly wooden bridge. The smooth reggae dub sat well in the air of an orange haze of lights, reflecting off the leaves of the trees growing out the walls. Secret stairs snaked up the sides of the forts tunnels to roof top bars, where views of the whole site could be captured.
Compared to the extrovert flamboyancy in the decoration of festivals such as Bestival, Outlook is minimalistic in its efforts to Wow. Camping at Outlook was a pleasure, besides the stuffy temperatures midday and the occasional outbreak of rain in the night. Oh, and the fact that you were guaranteed no sleep as the festival’s music never really ended. However. The campsite brags hot (yes hot!) showers, real toilets with barely a portaloo in site, and luscious forestry, as well as bakeries, convenience shops and tasty, hot food. Buying drinks and food on site was not as wallet damaging as anticipated; I ate and drank well for over a week for about £200. The major setback is the cost of flights, tickets, transfers, camping, etc.
Although not a huge Bass fan, I absolutely adored this festival purely for its uplifting vibes and incredible setting. Outlook is a must. What more could you want from a festival than a beautiful setting by the sea with ideal weather and music to keep you dancing through until the next day. The unbeatable ambience created by the ancient magical setting makes Outlook the top of its game.
Review by Milly Gill