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Dimensions Festival - Bido Lito!'s Joshua Nevett looks ahead to a Croatian adventure
Summers end: a sombre notion that’s often fraught with feelings of anxiety and sobering realisations of seasonal change. As the cruel autumn winds draw ever closer the relished festival season consequently dwindles out as loutish summertime monkeyshines are debased. The once languid process of traipsing through another muddy field littered with over exuberant frolics is no more than a fond memory to mull over with retrospective glee. Maybe that is a decidedly gloomy and pessimistic account of seasonal transition but one that shouldn’t necessarily be taken too gravely as our unrequited lust for music festivals evidentially knows no bounds.
So before you’re totally consumed by unwavering discontent there’s still time to don your shades for one last bout of carefree escapism. So pack your flashy hi-top trainers and mentally prepare yourself for repetitive, bass-driven palpitations because believe it or not, the unyielding intrigue of summer lives on in Croatia. Introducing a highly anticipated newcomer to the European festival circuit for 2012 - DIMENSIONS FESTIVAL.
It all started in a lesser known nightclub on the remote island of Pag, in a ramshackle if not feeble attempt to pioneer the movement of bass music culture within a place that’s been offhandedly dubbed as ‘the new Ibiza’. It was here that Outlook Festival was tentatively conceived, where around 2,000 attended for a partially wet weekend of unknown quantities to witness its inaugural showcase. Since Outlook Festival’s modest inception in 2009 they’ve been an originating force behind the underground electronic music-themed festival and it would be somewhat of an understatement to say things have escalated quite dramatically. After deciding to relocate to the picturesque Mediterranean landscapes of Pula in 2010 they now undertake permanent residency at the awe inspiring Fort Punta Christo, a mid-19th century dilapidated structure situated on an idyllic coastline peninsular. Now approaching the fifth year of its existence the introduction of the main stage arena last year bolstered the capacity crowd to around 8,000 strong. Recently this increased influx of jetsetters has had adverse effects on the congenital intimacy Outlook has become affectionately renowned for, thus Dimensions Festival was born out of this spatial conundrum in order to reconnect with a more exclusive selection of bohemian pathfinders.
In a suitably paradoxical attempt to progress their Croatian brainchild the Leeds based organisers are striving to bring traditional electronic sounds back into fruition for Dimensions. This will include an amalgamation of habitual house, high intensity techno, rootsy dub and soulful electronica projected through a high spec culmination of tumultuous sound systems hidden deep within the historic fort. The line-up itself is a diverse and worldly selection of distinctive but obtuse representatives of the deeper side of the electronic music spectrum, some even uncategorical in definition. Legendary Detroit producer CARL CRAIG exemplifies the eclectic roster of artists set to invade the decrepit walls of Fort Punta Christo. Currently touring his 69 guise for the first time his veracious appetite for jazz and funk-stricken interludes beckons a metaphysical stimulation impossible to deter. LITTLE DRAGON is another act that shies away from conventional band archetypes with ungainly elegance initiating a patchwork of lo-fi electro pop; the understated Swedes are a rare creature to dissect indeed. Just the proposition of ruminative spin master NICOLAS JAAR pumping transcendent frequencies in and around the catacombs of Dimensions Festival is enough to muster a benign, idiotic grin. Performances of this personal ilk don’t come around very often, they can surely only mean the instigation of an impromptu séance.
Though it would be easy to gush about headline acts all day frivolously documenting their regal successes and seminal works, if you really want to discover Dimensions Festival then the real enlightenment resides in your curiosity and inquisitiveness. These assumptions are made without holding any prior knowledge of the stage allocations but go and see LOXY in the moat, explore Noah’s ballroom and catch DARK SKY play a blinder or head down to Mungo’s arena to witness D BRIGDE render a small congregation totally speechless. Find that moment that’s truly elusive within the vacant underbelly of the fort and reclaim an untapped resource that has lay dormant and untouched for decades.
Dimensions Festival doesn’t just expose the already established mass crowd pullers, it provides a platform for the inglorious acts to bolster their profiles and give their audience a taste of something different. For instance Liverpool promoter and aspiring DJ Andrew Hill will get the chance to take to the decks after hosting a Dimensions Festival launch party at his esteemed club night ABANDON SILENCE earlier this year. After attending Outlook Festival as a patron last year, he was instantly besotted with the brand which spurred his endeavour to affiliate himself with Dimensions as a billed participant: “I don’t think there are many brands anywhere in the world that retain as much credibility as Outlook does. The huge over-riding success of Outlook Festival, and the annual demand for tickets, has almost forced the organisers to look at options such as Dimensions. Outlook Festival was one of the best festivals I have been to; the fort is an amazing location. The combination of historic castle ruins, world class DJs and 3-floor high sound systems is just unique. Dimensions is going to be just as special. Me and debatably new Abandon Silence resident Harry Sheehan will be playing as well if he is able to sort some travel over there! I think it will be interesting to experience the festival from a different perspective.”
Whichever perspective you take, Dimensions Festival qualifies as a festival to end all summers, a beach party to end all beach parties and an experience that will you leave you anaesthetised as if by some gratified, narcosis-inducing drug. Not forgetting boat parties and beach jams, it doesn’t come across as one of those ten-a-penny profit led European festival getaways. It’s a vessel of culture, a community for the like-minded to blossom which exemplifies the affable ethos of the entire brand. Summer might just be over, but at Dimensions Festival, as with any paradise, time and the seasons are both relative and typically irrelevant.
Dimensions Festival takes place at Fort Punta Christo, Pula, Croatia between 6th and 9th September. Tickets are still available from the Dimensions website now, where you can also find full information on the line-up, plus accomodation and travel.