Between the 6th and 10th September 2017, Outlook Festival celebrates its 10th birthday. That’s 10 years of celebrating soundsystem culture, 10 years of showcasing a vast variety of artists from across the globe and 10 years of enjoying all the beats, bars and baselines that their stages have to offer. The opening concert will feature the Outlook Orchestra (accompanied by some incredible vocalists), DJ Shadow and an exclusive set from Dizzee Rascal. The rest of the festival will feature rap royalty Ghostface Killah, reggae legend Horace Andy, Loyle Carner, Wiley, Shy FX, Jorja Smith, Goldie, Giggs, P Money… honestly this could go on for a very long time because there are way too many to mention so have a look at the full lineup here.
Born out of the SubDub nights in Leeds, Outlook Festival has grown to become one of the most talked about festivals in Europe. The festival is held at the beginning of September every year and for the last few years it has been based in the ruins of the coastal Fort Punta Christo just outside the port city of Pula in Croatia.
Unfortunately we’ve not attended Outlook Festival for all their birthdays mainly because our financial clout wasn’t what it is now 10 years ago but we have been to quite a few and have got some incredible memories. Memories such as meeting Yasiin Bey (f.k.a Mos Def) outside the toilets by the main stage, one of our crew drinking a glass of straight vodka thinking it was water and seeing the High Focus Records takeover the main stage. We’ve compiled a gallery of our favourite memories, in no particular order, to give you an idea of what we’ve experienced along with a playlist of a selection of artists that have performed at the festival or will perform this year. If after reading this you want to make some of your own Outlook memories then head over to outlookfestival.com and grab a ticket before they sell out (they will). If you’re between 18 and 25 years old you can grab yourself a discounted ticket if you register to vote (more details here).
- Jay Electronica inviting the whole audience on stage for the Deviation takeover. As it later transpired when we saw Jay Electronica live in London he’s actually got form when it comes to crowd engagement. This photo was taken in 2013 (our review) at one of the most memorable performances we’ve seen at Outlook Festival. It was the night of Benji B‘s Deviation takeover at the stage formerly known as Outside The Fort. Although we didn’t get what one would refer to as a full set, the performance itself was incredible because of the energy levels from Jay himself and the crowd. Before this photo was taken, Jay actually invited everyone in the crowd onto the stage immediately surprising the security and the stage management. As fun as it was, it wasn’t safe and security quickly got everyone off stage in an orderly manner and Jay continued the rest of his performance in the crowd like in the above photo. He even gave the microphone to a member of the crowd to spit some bars.
— Benji B (@TheRealBenjiB) 3 September 2013
2. High Focus Records taking over the main stage at the harbour stage in 2013. The HF gang have been releasing rap music from our shores for a number of years but pretty much the whole crew having a headline slot on the main stage at Outlook Festival was a watershed moment in their meteoric rise. Their roster of artists at the time even included the now very famous Rag’n’Bone Man who also put on an incredible performance during the showcase alongside Jam Baxter (above), Dirty Dike, Four Owls, Edward Scissor and HF boss Fliptrix. Ain’t no party like a High Focus party.
3. The Hot Wuk boat parties every year. Yes, every year. The Heatwave certainly know how to put on parties celebrating the musical culture of the caribbean and their Hot Wuk boat parties at Outlook Festival are no different. The sunshine and the sea are already there on the Adriatic coast and the guys bring the sounds of carnival too. The energy levels of these boat parties are incredible and there are always smiles all round. The boat parties will be released for Outlook Festival 2017 shortly so keep an eye out for them, whether you get on the Hot Wuk one or not it’s definitely worth going on one of the tens of boat parties that feature in the festival every year.
4. Run The Jewels at Outlook Festival 2015. The pair of Killer Mike and El-P with DJ Trackstar on the decks blew our minds on the main stage. The duo gave rap music a shot of adrenaline when they released their debut self-titled project and we had been itching to see them live as we missed them in London. The same energy they had recorded for the sounds was amplified multiple times over on the main stage at Outlook. They played all their bangers and we’re certain they left the stage that night with a lot more fans than they started with. If you get an opportunity to see them live then do it. You can download Run The Jewels, Run The Jewels 2 and Run The Jewels 3 free of charge. Oh and don’t forget Meow The Jewels if you’re a cat person.
5.The Moat stage (above) every year. Yes, every year. Again. We’re not just saying that because our photograph of The Moat inadvertently made it on to one of the Outlook Festival t-shirts for the following year. The Moat is a real moat for the Fort which the organisers excavated to use as one of the most iconic music stages in the world. The walls on each side of it are 5 metres high and 100 metres long, the DJ and the tall visuals go at the far end and have three pairs of speaker stacks stretching to the back of the arena. The final result is that ravers get the optimum sound and bass wherever they are on the dancefloor, no having to move around to get the best audio experience and thus this is where a lot of the drum and bass is hosted every year. When you’re partying in The Moat listening to some of the best DJs in the world after dark it feels like you’re in a bass bin. A truly unique experience that you should definitely not miss out on.
That’s some of our great memories from Outlook Festival and that’s without even talking about the incredible beach, the free shuttle bus to the local budget supermarket and the incredible campsite pizza that is the ultimate hangover cure. You’ll see us there again this September so keep an eye out on our website and social media channels for more updates. In the meantime enjoy some of the sounds of Outlook Festival below.