Outlook Festival 2012

Outlook Festival 2012

outlook2012 6

Outlook is the biggest event of the year on the bass music calendar. This summer we revisited their little section of Croatian coastline to witness the mecca of underground dance music once more. Even if 4 days and nights of pulsing subwoofers and gurning twenty-somethings sounds like your idea of hell, then fear not as the real star of Outlook is the venue. By night, a maze-like abandoned Croatian fort houses seven unique stages, ranging from a cavernous moat to a fiercely intimate dungeon stage. The atmosphere is utterly irreplaceable. This is combined with camping a stones throw from the beautiful Adriatic beach, where relaxing reggae offbeats ease you into the next day of the festival.

The festival has built itself a well earned reputation for honouring its musical lineage as well as keeping a keen eye on the cutting edge. Soundsystem culture is as fundamental to the festival as it is to bass music. With pioneering underground DJs and producers alongside icons of musical heritage, this is a festival that celebrates the past as much as it looks to the future.

The headliners provided predictably impressive sets. Skream and Andy C wowed the crowd with memorable but not groundbreaking performances. Reggae relic, Jah Shaka’s incredible six hour set was a seductively hypnotic homage to Rastafari roots and dub. Once again Submotion Orchestra enraptured the crowd on the huge main stage. However the real musical highlights were the more experimental producers like XXXY, Gold Panda and Eliphino, who each firmly stamped their own sound on the jungle of basslines and breakbeats.

All in all, this year’s Outlook had a more organised atmosphere, with better security and a less chaotic feel. It still retained the impression of being a bit unrestrained that made it so attractive in the past. One improvement on last year is the diversity of music on offer. This is definitely not the dubstep festival it’s often made out to be. An impressive variety of music from house and garage to reggae and roots, along with the inevitable plethora of edgy sub-genres that always accompanies electronic music. The crowning moment on the beach stage has to go to Plastician, Hatcha and N-type’s Oldskool Garage set. Even the first rain for three months didn’t seem to dampen spirits as the sunset broke through a thundercloud on the horizon.

If two beach stages and three bars, metres from the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea aren’t enough to keep to entertained until night, Outlook also runs twelve boat parties every day. Hundreds of ravers are squeezed onto local tour boats, kitted out with formidable soundsystems and some of the the best DJs of the festival. It’s one of the many features that makes Outlook so unique. I was lucky enough to catch UKF’s offering. A major cock up by leedstickets.com meant over half of the ticket holders missed the boat due to a printing error. Apprehension about the atmosphere on a half empty boat was quickly forgotten as EngineEarz set the pace for three hours of flawless bass music. The boat party remains one of the highlights of the festival. Where else can you cruise an azure sea and simultaneously have your ribcage shaken by world class DJs?

 All in all a pretty unmissable festival for anyone with a taste for bass. It can be pricy with flights, camping and tickets, so check out one of the formidable launch-parties around the globe next year for a taste of the festival and to find out why we think it’s definitely worth saving up for.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.