Outlook: TNT goes to Croatia – Part two

Two festivals, two completely different vibes but nonetheless two weeks of the biggest and baddest acts, past, present and future.

Set in Fort Punti Christo and camping grounds around – just outside of Pula – both festivals took full advantage of the idyllic coastline that provided the pristine beaches and crystal clear waters; make no mistake, this was not Parklife.

So let’s now turn to the second offering – Outlook.

Established in 2008, Outlook is Europe’s Mecca of bass-orientated music. We waxed lyrical about the atmosphere and surroundings of Dimensions in part one, but part two, i.e. Outlook, was all about the music.

There was a polar shift in the crowd as the Dimensions crew started to fade a new breed of festival-goer moved in. Straight away there was a notable increase in noise – jump-up drum and bass pumping out of newly sprung tents at 9am, and the calls and screams of the much younger, much larger and much more English crowd.

To those still transitioning from Dimensions to Outlook this was not a welcome shift. The site itself lost a lot of its charm as those pristine beaches turned to raucous, litter-strewn piles of bodies like a seal beach in mating season. Having said that, there’s a reason people flocked there sun up ‘til sun down.

The biggest highlight for TNT had to be the boat parties. Starting with the Archetype one. The day boat parties definitely go off more than the ones that play out as the sun sets, though that in itself is an experience worth seeing. Being two feet from D Double E, Footsie and Logan Sama in baking heat, being rocked by the Adriatic waves and battered by the hottest grime beats and bars about made the festival for us.

The Swamp 81 boat party was also a welcome distraction from the main events going off on shore but with the DJs on a higher deck, the connection between the crowd and the selectors Benton, Mickey Pearce, Paleman and Loefah; Manchester’s own Chimpo MC for the night. Everything from jackin’ house to future garage, old school grime to more techier grooves.

Musical highlights on shore came from those you’d come for and more unexpected acts like Cause n Effect who dropped some weighty remixes with a house and bass vibe. Bondax smashed it as usual with the latest cuts including 2014 festival season MVP Walking with Elephants, interspersed with edits of Groovejet by Spiller and Modjo’s Lady plus some more slower bpm classics.

Straight out of Leeds’ number one dub night, Mark Iration and family did their thing with bottom-heavy, rib-rattlin’ vibrations at the Fort. Filthy 140 came from Vivek, bringing back the deep and dark sounds from the heyday of dubstep; shout out to Big Narstie, his “BASS” show went off. The Harbour stage was rammed for a rare performance from hip hop legend DJ Premier, with Primo dropping tracks like Biggie’s infamous 10 Crack Commandments with the crowd finishing every line – “Number four, know you heard this before…” everyone should know how that bar ends.

Pinch followed by Flow Dan and the Bug fired heavy signal from the Clearing and the timing of Eglo Records co-founder Floating Points’ intelligent, electronic set was spot on. There were of course some big notable absentees which caused a stir without spoiling the experience. Busta Rhymes was a headliner so that no-show must have stung the organisers as much as the rabbleous youths gathered and perhaps equally as missed was everyone’s favourite, DJ EZ not to mention one man like Oneman.

Bushkin and Sticky at the Moat on the Sunday night killed it. Sticky came with all of the biggest dubplates from the Sidewinder days, his tapes of course getting rinsed on a regular. The ever Heartless Bushky-Bushky-Bushky-Bushkin was relentless and his chants of “give me some energy, I need some energy!” didnt fall on deaf ears. Boddikka at the Void made the most of its herculean soundsystem delivering a potent payload of big and banging tech.

Back at the Harbour stage, Rodigan dropped the best set we’ve seen of his, and trust that’s into double figures. He dropped the dancehall version of Alicia Keys’ No One, then took it back to the old school, through Buju Banton’s Murderer, through a history of jungle to fresh cuts from Collie Buddz before playing homage to the legendary Barrington Levy who was up next.

The man known for his sweet voice since breaking through all those years ago in JA dropped his unmistakable classics but the switch up from Rodigan’s power plays, wheel ups and unfadable energy to a full band zapped the hype that had built in the crowd, if anything it should have been Barrington first and Rodigan to clean up after.

By the end of Outlook the TNT team were positively flagging and just like Dimensions the week previous, the festival was brought to a dramatic close as the heavens opened and threatened to wash away the sins of the previous two weeks with yet another biblical deluge. While it may have taken a copuple of weeks to get back into the swing of things and shake off those post-festival blues, both Dimensions and Outlook deserve their place at the forefront of the international festival calendar, especially the former, take us back any day! Get yourself there next time around though for the sake of your sanity we can’t recommend doing both back to back.

The whole operation for both was smooth, the staff, mostly volunteer-led wereas much a part of the crowd as anyone, even the security managed a smile here and there. Toilets and showers though queues could be lengthy, were as good as any event we’ve seen. Big shout out to all in the press and PR team who made our job a dream and that’s Alice and Damo and of course to Noah who made this all possible.


TNT Entertainment Lloyd Wall

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