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The beach

My colleagues and I were sent to report back on Europe’s largest Dubstep and base culture festival. It all started with a 30 hour bus trip, destination Fort Punta Christo, Croatia, and it all went uphill, downhill and sideways from there…

After stepping off the bus, along with hundreds of other bleary eyed travelers I realised this was gonna be a pretty special festival. The outlook team had not only commandeered a beautiful wooded campsite lining the Croatian coast but also the ruins of a two hundred year old fort on the headland!

After setting up camp about 20 yards from the sea we took a stroll around, got our bearings and got a beer. That evening we were offered free wine and cheese at the press briefing, and it was at this point our reporting started getting a little vague. The short of it was that our photographer lost her camera and our cultural co-ordinator fell over, hit his head, fell asleep in a bush not to me found till dawn.

Miles of smiles...

But in between some incredible stuff happened. As dusk dawned on us the vibe changed from a chilled out campsite with nice bars and carnival style sounds systems to something else. In the distance you could hear the  the almighty base roaring, we started strolling through the forest towards it. On approach as crowds gathered, we first saw the fort, lit up in multi-colours like a fairy tail castle on acid.

Walking through the entrance was like stumbling into another world, suddenly you were in this crazy castle with base and magic coming from every direction. The sound systems were booming as you strolled through the grounds. It was there where you could adventure into all kinds of mad places like courtyards, dungeons or pits remnissant of a coliseum.

The vibe and music was real warm, around you thousands of people dancing to some of the best basey music in the world, with everyone from Roots Manuva to The Gentlemans Dub Club, from Dub Asante to Mungo’s Hifi. You looked around and all you could see were miles of smiles, with everyone sharing smokes, drinks, helping hands, and good times… with base so thick you could swim through it!

The castle

The music was one big rootsy melting pot of base, with fusions of skanky drum and base, souly glitch, carnivally breaks, basey electro, raggary ska, trancing dub, swingy dancehall and skanky techno. It was then that it all made sense, Outlook was about peoples outlook, sharing good times, changing a place of war into a place of one love.

Strolling down the beach the next morning were a mixture of yesterdays people still going, and todays people swimming and grabbing breakfast. As the sun hit noon the base began once again, at this point yesterdays and todays people all hooked back up to dance to the upbeat sunny sounds of Mungo’s Hifi.

As days went by people synced into the festival rhythm, daytime upbeat sun-fun, and crazy castle magic. With such a friendly vibe, within a few days it felt like one big happy messy family, all strolling round sharing stories of falling through forests.

Boat partyIt was friday night when we headed to the boat party… sitting at the doc of the bay people started to gather, sun laying low in the sky. Our ship came in and we started to board to the chilled beats of Iration Steppas. We grabbed some tins as the boat sailed out through one of Croatia’s infinite islands. Again, after another beautiful sunset, darkness unveils and the music cranks up. The party gets heavy and the craziness begins again.

Days kinda rolled and blended into each other, before you knew it the festival was over. A friend and I sat at a little coffee shop the night before we were heading back, a few people milling around. Then some local guy rocks up with a laptop and some big old 80’s looking subs, and starts to play some chilled dubby techno. People start to gather, his set gets heavier, more people gather, and before you know it the whole place is going off to some heavy soulful drum and base and the party continues…

This festival was and will continue to be something very special, so make sure you’re a part of it next summer!