WOW , amazing how fast the time flys in Pula and Ive been bereft ever since coming back and have only just got past my sadness of not being back there in magick Pula to be able to write this
It was my second year at the festival after working promoting in vienna last year and this year djing at the festival whilst other crews got on with slogging it to the spoilt children of vienna
so quick run down of highs and lows and things to watch out for as its bound to be back next year in 2015 and bigger and better than ever and you dont want to miss it ( im not saying this as a paid up lackey as I dont get paid ! I do genuinely think its one of the best festivals of its kind out there )
The Site itself is amazing and is a real gem , a hapsburg era fort makes for a wonderful setting and the stone walls more than provide as sound conductors and projection screens , traversing the site you need to be corpus mentis as its quite large , craggy and challenging , my favorite arena is definetly the Void , however I didnt spend that much time there this year and spent a fair bit in Mungos Hi Fi arena and the ballroom and skulking around the top of the fortress buzzing of the view, it really feels exciting to look out over the fort and moat and you can feel great energy all around the site with very little branding or commercialism , the sound systems are Funktion 1 and everything sounds punchy on the main stages …
The Town of Pula
I love Pula , theres loads to see , its a nice size , fish , bream and sea bass in decent restaurants for 60 – 80 kuna thats only near a tenner , in bars drinks are 15 – 25 kuna , hire a boat go on an excursion swim in clear unpolutted waters , go snorkelling , croatia !! BOK!! buy a snorkel mask and look creepy!
The Line Up
If you were take all of the names on the bill and stick them in peddalos they would pretty much stretch all round the bay of rovinji more than likely , there are so many interesting artists and luckily none of the boring and tired and old hacks who keep blocking up line ups the world over , one thing I like is the booking team book people again who smashed it last year , case in point Moodymann , smashed it last year in the void and this year he was wedged in between Omar ( ba doobe weee ooo theres nothing like this … strange choice along with kwabs can see a tedency for bad jazz funk creeping in .. hmm ) and Daphni on the clearing stage which can contain the largest crowd , seeing over 3000 people dance to B52s Mesopotamia and My Mine Hypnotic Tango will stay with me for a long time ,
shame kenny filtered a bit and maybe a couple of sloppy mixes but that shit aint traktored and selection always trumps the mix and the selection was faultless even dropping a Ulterior Motive track on metalheadz at half speed so that sounded like a breaks track – respect a
Mala bussing out v DMZ classics new and old to a rammed mungos hi fi yard was outstanding he was loving it , I was loving it and the crowd a real mix of young and old were really reactive , so much flicking of lighter . so much fyaaah literly on the stage too from the lighting set up , I think this was one of the best sets ever regardless of genre it was punchy and dramatic BOOOOMM
Calibre and MC GQ were a real reminder of the power of rolling D&B , Ive been coming back to Drum and Bass – realising that its not all Camo And Crooked twisted out bullshit for skinheads in trackies, (I spent my youth in cocoshebeen at the opera house and the manor in bournemouth but got pissed off with D&B around 2001 when it went fully mental scary and lost its funk ) , was gutted to not see Goldie on sunday but more on that later , Calibre played a smooth liquid style with plenty of funky influences and MC GQ hyped the packed floor , HEY HEY HEY , GQ is in fine voice after 20 years , there really is no better buzz than skanking out with GQ barling orders at you , somebody scream reeeeeeelllooooooooooad! , I really hope in future years theres more crossover from Outlook and Dimensions as the crowds grow up together , some classic sets would be really appreciated , for example DJ Die Bryan G back to back full cycle and V classics ??
other highlights Kode 9 busting out alot of Grime to an appreciative crowd making a lot of people skank out and despite it being really agressive ( and him looking like a mad head not looking once at the crowd ) no one got aggy in the dance , testimony to the people who come here , mostly sound and from all over europe, met austrians swedes , norwegians , italians and spanish , definetly getting more mixed ,
of course campari safari was a major highlight for all and thanks to all the dancers who came out and those who stayed in their festering pits well poo bags to you -heres a pic of me mashing mans down
shout to dready brogy working with me for second year running ( he was at the pacinos beach bar ) we had a little blaze – touch ,
Caribou Live set on the opening night was incredible the arena was rammed and full of happy people and Dan Snaith looked like he was having the time of his life , his band really work hard and they are so tight , his music is something I find a little bland on record but live and on a big system all the subtleties come out &; his meticulously worked out Daphni DJ set didnt disapoint at the Clearing after Moodymann, Aphex Twin into Rip Groove 99 and then somewhere down the Line Nathan Fake’s the Sky was Pink were stand out tracks
Its a bit expensive !! for the opening concert it was 48 euros !! Nils Frahm and Kwabs are not adequte supports for a concert this size , all due respect to Nils Frahm but people are expecting something a bit more exciting and Kwabs ,,, pssshhh sorry but that guy is bland , sub neo soul
the main ticket is best part of 200 euros , for people to do the whole festival not be too extravagant thats nearly going to come near 800 euro including the travel (250 -400) food booze sightseeing or whatever and whatnots ( 200 -400) if people get lazy and dont leave the camp or festivsl site and then choose to eat the not so great food available its pretty expensive , avoid the appartments offered on the website have had it on good authority from locals that the prices are inflated , look on air bnb and other sites for private rental , dont rent any where further than 10 k from the festival site otherwise you will pay more in taxis , campsite , hmm not for me best avoided if you like more than 3 hours sleep a night however great if you are 20
food on site – 50 kuna for nearly everything and my mate bought some fish and chips that he found to be fish fishgers and soggy chips – nasty !! food they need to get the Pingvin sandwich guys from zagreb no disrespect to the organizers as so much of the festival is great but if they pick a few better stall holders
crowding and the terrain , sometimes it gets super crowded at the mungoes arena and at the void , the que system gets a little long at points and maybe just maybe it would help to level some of the walk in sections as its quite craggy , rubber flooring might save a few sprained ankles for wobbly people , I saw a few sore looking people , plus the security are a little over zealous. Its quite a big site! prepare to walk which is good for you anyway ! however its not for jelly legs or anyone hindered
cops and security , the security were a bit rude this year and got rowdy with some people especially overzealous at the check points to get in of which i counted 3 seperate checks for wristbands which was excessive , this caused large bottlenecks at time , again more stuff to wrangle out with the security firms , stewards not working for any security firms were courteous and friendly … the boys in dark blue where out in force , not much the organizers can do about this except have a sit down and maybe some special croatian arrangement , croatian friends have said its getting worse with the police with big events , I heard more horror stories again about intrapment and snaring youngsters who then have to pay a hefty fee at 400 as they dont want to go down the police station , if this does happen to someone and they have been snared or set up with pills laid on the ground or something similar they should insist to go to the police station and ask for a lawyer , croatia is part of the EU and the police have to give you the chance to speak to a lawyer , if people take the easy way out its going to keep happening as a fast way for cops to make a quick kuna , rumours of undercover policae abounded , the local police force need to have a sit down
tokens , hmmm annoying, coming back with usless bits of plastic we all over bought and ended up doing rank shots
Brits bloody brits , or more to the point uni lads or wavey garms guys ( officianados of streetwear) and drunk girls mostly people under 25 so annoying for anyone who is not a Brit , Uni lads are basicly bros douches they take everything on the first night, sleaze about then their zombie bodies clog up the dancefloors for the rest of the festival , drunk 19 year old girls end up crying as they are lost or they are having a bad one , wavey garms types are too scared to get down and ruin their clothes and the amount of palace tshirts huf an whatnot jeeezzz I sound old but there were quite a few poseurs there , too many brits there , but less than 2013 so I think dimensions is aiming for a more international crowd if it could be 30 % brits and then 70% international that would be perfect , one way would be to encourage more italian , spanish and central european bookings
bit erronous but alot of the big people I wanted to see were on sunday and I bet a fair few people (like me ) had to be back at work on moday and had to leave sunday , however those that could stay were drenched by a storm and almost frazzled by lightning !! Thats a terrible thing to happen to any event and quite alot of the lineup had to be moved around and some cancelled due to electrical issues because of the storm , it was a monster storm and a huge risk , perhaps something could of been salvedged from it , I would say to the programers err on the side of caution and put on the big thing that lots of people will be coming too see ( lots of techno fans wanting to see the UR timeline ) and have it at a covered stage , however thats by the by as you cant just errect something but maybe a covered tent could be possible for next time ?
last gripe I played on the arija stage which felt a bit tacked on at the side , if it had been off in the garden it would of felt better , there was a lot of bleed from the other sound systems also felt a bit sorry for the garden as it looked under apprecieted and the NTS djs and jocks who played therewere great
perhaps the beach bar ideas need expanding ??
its still the best event of its size for care and effort put into it and in the sunniest best place in the world and a few niggles that will get smoothed over , cant fault Dimensions crew just if they tighten up on some of the liberty takers like the security and cops and get a few better food places in and look at the layout a bit better and the beach bar bring back pacinos! lol and get more croatian crews involved !