The end of the summer is coming and one of its highlights is close to us. The Dimensions Festival in Pula, Croatia, is celebrating its 5th anniversary with the same formula that has placed this venue on the top list of Europe’s festivals. We will explore the five main reasons why this festival has become so beloved by the international music crowd.
1. The eclectic mix of music and the live performances
This is one of the most attractive things in our point of view. It is not only that the line-up is immense and without doubt based on quality and underground music – what we like most is that the festival is offering much more than just clubby sounds, embracing an incredible range of genres.
As a sample, there is the advanced jazz of the likes of United Vibrations and the Yussef Kamaal Trioplaying on the beach, the Afrobeat band Dele Sosimi’s Afrobeat Orchestra or the African influenced performances of Mim Suleiman and the Highlife team. Furthermore, there will be the disco, brazilian and all in between mixes of our beloved Rush Hour artists Antal and Hunee.
Apart from that, we got the amazing live performances of the nu jazz band Hiatus Kaiyote, the acid house legend Larry Heards aka Mr. Fingers (which will make his first appearance after 20 years of musical absence), the abstract and improvised techno and African patterns of Moritz Von Oswald Trio feat. Tony Allen and Max Loderbauer, the Panorama Bar sound from Steffi and Dexter teaming up asVirginia, or the 90’s house legends Mood II Swing.
Then again, we got some of the finest house music that you can find nowadays, to name some: Mike Huckaby, Ron Trent, Gene Hunt, Soichi Terada, Jeremy Underground, Marcellus Pittman, K15, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Kyle Hall, Byron The Aquarius or Octave One.
If you are searching for harder sounds you have all the techno that your mind will be able to absorb… The Berghain sound is totally represented with a big part of the crew, but also there are other big names such as the legendary Daniel Bell aka DBX or Richie Hawtin.
If you want something else, there is a great selection from people who play on the edge between raw electro and industrial or space techno, with Dj Stingray, Helena Hauff or Space Dimension Controller.
To finish, if you are into the reggae and dub sound system culture, the UK scene that goes from raw, meditative to early dubstep, or the frenetic footwork & grime, there is a lot of this as well. There will be the Deep Medi creators Mala and Loefah, the Teklife crew Dj Spinn and Om Unit or the UK soundsystem legend Mungo’s Hifi.
Have you seen something like this before any time in your life? We promise that you will only be able to experience this in this fairy tale microcosm which is Dimensions Festival.
2. The Location
One of the most attractive things of the Dimensions festival is its unique location: the Pula Arena, one of the largest surviving Roman amphitheatres in the world built in 27BC, and the Fort Punta Christo, a 18th century fortress located just next to the turquoise Adriatic sea. This natural and historical setting makes it a unique musical event that you won’t forget that easy.
The main festival takes place at the abandoned Fort Punta Christo. There are 7 stages: the Void, the Garden, Noah’s Ballroom, the Stables, Mungo’s Arena, the Clearing and the Moat, plus the Beach Parties outside the walls of the fort.
At the Clearing, the area between the harbour, the campsite and the fort, you will find a sound system big enough to make you and 3000 more people dance in the shadowy forest. Highlights at the most popular stage are this year Moodyman, Hiatus Kaiyote or Motor City Drum Ensemble. An every-year favourite.
At the 100m long Moat Stage, you fill find 7m high walls around you that will make the bass reverberate in your head. Here you will get Techno and dark sounds until your mind is blown away with artist like Ben UFO, Rødhåd or Helena Hauff.
The Void is a spectacular stage that hosts the bass music range, with Kyle Hall, Massimilano Pagliara, Soichi Terada or Mood II Swing heading the list.
Mungo’s Arena hosts the well-known Mungo’s Hifi Soundsystem that the festival brings every year from Scotland over to Croatia. You will find finest dub-step and Reggae influenced music and all its new variants such as footwork or grime, headed by Mala or Loefah.
Noah’s Ballroom is a circular pit that creates a unique atmosphere where you easily will forget the outside world dancing among only 75 people. The line-up for this stage is not published yet, but we guarantee that it’s a very special place you should check out!
The Garden is a place where you can relax from the crowds of the fort in a magical forest area. Here you find a wide spectrum of sounds from jazz, house and more dreamy stuff (Byron The Aquarius, Chaos in the CDB) over to the nu-disco from Ilija Rudman and the surely eclectic set of Bradley Zero.
The Stables with its 20ft walls and incredible light shows hosts this year an eclectic mix of artists going from funk and disco to raw house, with Moritz Von Oswald, Marcellus Pittmann or the new talent Henry Wu on stage.
Finally, the Beach Parties are located between the fort and the campsite, perfect to hang out and relax from the night before from midday till sunset. It’s known for its downbeat, chill and often eclectic sounds with e.g. the Highlife crew (Auntie Flow, Esa and Andrew), Awesome tapes from Africa, or the Yussef Kamaal Trio as our favourites.
3. The Opening concert
To start the festival, there will be an opening concert on Wednesday 24th where the Detroit house legend Moodymann, the spiritual jazz revolutionary Mr. Kamasi Washington and the Trip Hop key founders Massive Attack will be exciting the lucky assistants. Three of our top heroes reunited during the same night, it looks unbelievable. But surprises don’t end here. What is more, the concert will take place in a huge 2000 years old Amphitheatre of the ancient town Pula, eFew times in your live you will be able to enjoy a concert of this magnitude. This is what will happen just the first night – and we can’t be more excited about that.
4. The off-activities
Another great thing about the Dimensions is the amount of off-site activities that you can experience, such as the exclusive Boat Parties sailing the Adriatic with selected Dj sets such as Matias Aguayo and the Highlife crew. The boats are packed with incredible sound systems and a bar that never leaves you dry while you are dancing to your favourite artists with a small crowd. You’re only able to access one of the 19 boat parties if you already have purchased a festival ticket, but you can book them if you follow this link. The boats leave at the Dimensions Festival Harbour at the Fort Punta Christo and the tickets are about 20 British Pounds.
Furthermore, you can do all sorts of activities on the Beach during daytime: snorkelling in the clear Adriatic water or other water-activities, get some BBQ food and a chilled Cocktail while you relax and get rid of the hangover from last night.
5. Dip into a different world
We think that Dimensions is just the best place to forget about all the hustles and stress of your everyday life and to experience during 5 days an ambience of relax, sunshine, beach, incredible stages and finest music. With the international popularity that the festival has gained over the last years, Dimensions is host to people from all over the world and this cultural melting pot creates a unique place to meet up interesting people or just hang and enjoy the fantastic moments of the week. People don’t seem to care about the outside world and you can see all sorts of glittery, fancy coloured and dreamlike outfits that are an eye catcher – it becomes very easy to feel part of the crowd and just letting you go with the flow.
Plus, at the beautiful beaches of the Adriatic you will have plenty of time between 12PM and 8PM to chill with a cold drink in your hand on an inflatable mattress in the sea listening to relaxed downbeat, disco or jazz tunes and let your mind flow away.
As every year by now the Dimensions festival seems to be one of the most promising venues of the year, it has just been rated the top of the festival list in Europe by Resident Advisor. Don’t miss out on it and grab on of the remaining tickets here.
Photo credit: diverse photographers at Dimension 2015.