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Outlook Festival 2016 Review

Outlook Festival 2016 Review Photo Credit: Dan Medhurst

Well, it’s official – Outlook Festival has given me festival plague. A lot like rave plague, except it’s worse, by about three times as much. I’m currently sitting in an airport sitting on a sleeping bag, looking like some kind of disheveled gypsy.

Outlook lived up to it’s reputation as one of the best festivals for sound systems, as it always does. The opening act in the amphitheater was awesome, with ASM being a personal favorite, as anything with live instruments and fun stage presence makes me happy. Slum Village was another great act, their beats are always on point and sounded great in the amphitheatre. Damian Marley was amazing, with a really good light show and amazing sound. I did feel a bit bad though, as I think the whole crowd was exhausted from just getting there and was fairly low energy, and try as he might, no matter how excited everyone was to see him, it was hard to get the energy levels up to where they should have been.

Ongoing, the festivities were in full effect. As I cannot tell a lie, I’m going to go on record here as saying it’s all a bit of a blur in terms of who was on what night. I can however, tell you who had excellent sets. Congo Natty’s set on Thursday was on point, with the whole clearing dancing like the flailing lunatics they were.

Kano’s set was great, he got the crowd going, and with Goldie and Andy C following suit, you couldn’t see through all the dust in the air. Sidenote: Croatia fields of rocks and dust are NO joke. If you’d like to not be blowing out black snot for the next week and a half, I suggest bandanas. At all times. Not to be gross about it, but really.  

The Croatian coast is really beautiful though, and as far as location goes, you couldn’t ask for a better place to hold a festival. It’s serene and lovely and great for both day and night. It is pretty dusty though, and you are going to get dirty. I don’t recommend wearing white.

The beach parties during the day were chill and relaxed as they’re meant to be. On Saturday went to see First Degree Burns play at the Beach Party and go skank out a bit. It was a lot of fun, if you haven’t heard of them, you should look them up. They brought a really chilled out vibe with them. The whole beach area was great, even with the rocky beach. Funniest moment of Outlook 2016: When all the people swimming saw the jellyfish and scurried out of the water. Thirty plus people in bathing suits all running out of the water trying not to hurt themselves on rocks equals the beach rendition of the walking dead. It was probably one of the most enjoyable moments I got to witness.

The Hospitality stage was also one of my favorites, with Nu:Tone B2B Logistics, Metrik, High Contrast and Reso being there. High Contrast brought the most energy to the stage, with Metrik in a close second right behind him. SP:MC is an amazing MC as well, if you get a chance to check him out, you should.

Then there were the boat parties – I went to the Levelz and Deep Medi boat party. Both were a lot of fun. The Levelz party was mental, as was expected – and the sound was amazing. They were high energy as always, and the crowd was going insane the entire time. Also, shout out to the sound guy for that one, because I would imagine it would be insane trying to keep up with all the different voices. Deep Medi was chilled and relaxed with the vibe being super low key.

While the Outlook sound was amazing, one of the gripes I did have, was with the organization. Staff were pretty friendly and helped out when they could, but there was a little bit of a lack of organization as far as time slots went (in the beginning at least), and generally with directing people on how to get to places. Some of the stages had been switched around and hadn’t been noted as being changed, which meant that people were missing some of the acts they came there to see.

All staff were pretty friendly, though I do think security was a bit tough towards the end – I was sleeping in a tent and kept hearing a security dude outside the tent (I nicknamed him Ivan the terrible, though I honestly haven’t a clue what his real name was) who kept asking people where they were sleeping and if this was their tent. It hardly seems relevant if you have a camping bracelet. Also, the guard dogs prowling the area seemed a bit much. Though I didn’t camp last year, so I don’t know if they had had problems with people stealing stuff in tents, which could very well have been cause for this.

Security at the gates though were always really nice, and all the stewards and various other people working around the clock were super friendly if not super tired by the end of it. Considering the amount of people they had to deal with, I felt like congratulating them and giving them all hugs on the last day. The ones I spoke to all were working 12 hour shifts. I cannot imagine the restraint it takes to deal with wrecked twenty somethings for 12 hours in one day. They deserve medals, perhaps a monument even.

The drinks and food were a little bit overpriced, but it’s general festival standard to overprice things a bit, so it wasn’t unexpected. With tokens being the currency, it’s definitely easy to think you’re playing a game of monopoly and run out in no time flat though.

The crowd was a bit on the younger side – ranged from 18 to 24 for the most part, and I most likely won’t camp again if I go. Not because camping is really awful, but just because I really like having an escape plan in those scenarios. The overall vibe of the festival was chill during the day, but definitely got a bit chaotic at night, as the drinks increased in volume. Overall though, like I’ve said before – if you’re a basshead, Outlook is a festival you won’t want to miss. It truly does celebrate the love of bass and the love of sound.

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