“Having long been skeptical about the majority of UK festivals and their lineups stuffed with indie-pop bands that were popular 7 years ago, questionable crowds, unappetising burger vans and of course the unpredictable weather, and further convinced by a great experience at Sonar Festival in Barcelona last year, the highlight of my summer musical calendar this year was the Dimensions festival which took place in Fort Punta Christo a few miles from Pula, Croatia. The announcement of the lineup exhorted in equal measures excited gasps amongst those who keenly follow and enjoy the current electronic and dance music scene, and confused looks from those who donâ€™t and probably wondered why anyone would make the slightly inconvenient trip to an obscure location when Snow Patrol arenâ€™t even on the bill. Headliners included Carl Craig, Nicolas Jaar, Little Dragon and Four Tet, although well over a hundred acts in total graced the nine stages, with many also committing to one of the numerous daytime boat parties which took place through the weekend. These were overwhelmingly DJs or electronic live acts – the festival was pulling no punches with its musical aims. Unlike notable dance music events such as Sonar, Exit or just about any club in Ibiza these days, the organisers of Dimensions had opted against compromising the underground, forward-thinking musical ethic by booking dubious big-name acts to headline, instead choosing to simply stuff the bill with even more quality music.
The Mungo’s Hi Fi stage, with the Mungo’s Hi Fi DJs and MC Soom T
First things first – the location. Pula is an historic city in the Istria peninsula, and a short bus trip from Fort Punta Christo where the festival took place. Itâ€™s not the first time someone has thought of rigging up large speakers in the stone ruins – sister festival Outlook, now in its fifth year, took place the weekend before at the same site bringing a more dubstep, reggae and drum n bass flavour compared to Dimensionsâ€™ house and techno leanings. Not that either of these stylings were mutually exclusive to each festival, with Glasgowâ€™s own Mungoâ€™s Hi Fi keeping their infamous array of speakers on site post-Outlook to curate one of the best stages at Dimensions. Although punters did not get a chance to see the fort in daylight, it was undeniably an impressive location, with walls surrounding many of the stages and several interesting arenas being fashioned into the former military outpostâ€™s various rooms.
Illuminated entrance to Fort Punto Cristo