Wow! I could sum up Outlook Festival 2011 in 2 words – absolutely mindblowing – but I’ll try and be a bit more descriptive!
In last year’s review we called Outlook Festival ‘life affirming’. I might have to go further this year. Outlook Festival is bass music Mecca – an essential pilgrimage for any self respecting bass music fan be that dubstep, drum & bass, techno or house.
Not only did we love Outlook 2011 but we also spent a week travelling through Croatia before the festival & I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it in this review. Hvar Island is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen, with hands down the best looking people I’ve ever come across. Head up North on the mainland to Plitvice National Park & you are treated to some of the clearest water I’ve seen anywhere in the world. Absolutely stunning. Croatia is a gorgeous country & if you’re thinking of spending time there before next year’s Outlook festival then I’d definitely recommend it!
On to the festival itself. We were told that the queues were bad getting in to the festival on the 31st but in fairness it took us only about 15 minutes to get in, get our passes and get set up. The new stages were very impressive, the basketball court with it’s oldschool ghettoblaster styled DJ-box was great fun.
The beach stage was as good as ever but it had to be said that the beach was extremely busy (simply with the larger capacity crowd this year).
Head into the Fort arena’s at night time & the impressiveness continues. The air is boiling with bass frequencies that sound like you’re stuck in a thunderstorm of bass.
We have heard reports of people being robbed or getting in fights & in fact one of our group did get a bag stolen. I really believe that wasn’t the norm though, the vast majority of people we met had the same chilled out, friendly vibe as last year. It’s a simple fact that if you stick 12-13,000 people in one place there will always be some bad apples.
The new stages were a great addition & although they didn’t feel part of the same festival as last year (they were more akin to something found at Global Gathering, Rockness or any other large festival) … can you imagine if they didn’t have those stages? No-one would have got in anywhere – it would have been way too busy. Besides, if you want a niche festival then Outlook (this year) wasn’t the place for it … but we expected that because dubstep & bass music has garnered such mainstream popularity over the last 12 months.
A special mention must go out to the visual effects & lighting people – the visuals were some of the best I’ve seen at any festival with a combination of HD projectors, great material & world class lighting rigs.
This review would be impartial if we failed to mention some of the bad points of the festival:
- Toilets / Showers – The toilets this year (although we often saw them emptying / cleaning the portaloos) were large & the showers (unless you showered at 5AM) were freezing & that was after a 45 minute wait. Many people opted to shower in the dog baths.
- The Dust – Although it was undoubtedly better than last year, the dust was still a problem although I fear that there isn’t much more the organisers can do apart from concrete the whole place.
- Passport Retrieval – Shambolic is frankly the only way I can describe the passport retrieval queue at the end of the festival. 2 people to sort out & give 12,000 people their passports back? Come on! Also, why did they need our passports in the first place? Take a photocopy & job done.
I don’t want to end this review on a bad note because in no way was it anywhere near the worst organised or run festival I’ve been to (Global Gathering still holds that accolade). The people were brilliant, the stages, soundsystems, visuals, lighting & sets were incredible. But, please Outlook – no more people next year OK? Keep it at this capacity or shrink it again.
Lazy Records Rating: 4/5