Earlier last month we sent Bron (that’s me, hihi!) to Pula, Croatia for a final summer fling of sun, beaches, boats and sweet beats at Dimensions Festival – a 5 day affair of ideal underground electronic music. Given an impressive debut in 2012 and a pretty nuts line up (this was one of those ‘who isn’t playing’ rather than ‘who is’ kinda scenarios) expectations were hiiiiigh.
Now, as we’re nearing the midpoint of Autumn and I spend most days longing for the Istrian Peninsula and alfresco techno, it’s safe to say expectations were exceeded.
While we’re not in the business of writing reviews over here at Lucy vs. the Globe (it’s no secret we deal in positive nonsense over music criticisms), Dimensions was such a treat, we thought we’d attempt to share a few highlights.
So, read on internet friends, for a handful of reasons why Dimensions was my festival of the year.
A fort makes for a great party: Croatia’s coastline is a highly instagrammable scene, however on top of Dimensions drawcard waterfront lies Fort Punta Christo – an old, semi-crumbling, bloody wonderful Fort, and the setting for the festival’s evening program. We’d NEVER get the chance to see a festival site like this in countries like Australia & the UK (for both heritage and Occupational Health & Safety reasons – hiya red tape). This unique playground is one special special thang.
As does a 2,000 year old amphitheatre: Beyond the main festival program, this year the Dimensions crew threw in an additional opening day with a concert held at Pula’s ancient amphitheatre in the centre of town. What was formerly a gladiator’s battlefield (a casual 2,000 years ago) hosted two of my faves – Bonobo and Mount Kimbie. Bonobo with full band (including vocalists Andreya Triana, Szjerdene and Cornelia) was a pretty magical highlight.
The Moat – made for raving: From the stupidly banging opening set from Ron ‘Ravey’ Morelli to Surgeon’s relentless pounding on Fri (and well, the RA and Hessle takeovers as a whole), this dramatic narrow arena with speakers positioned along the length of it’s 5m high walls, was an impressive festival experience and did the heavier hitting stuff justice.
Boat Parties and sunsets: A match made in heaven – I was fortunate enough to find myself on the RA boat party which on top of the delicious smorgasbord of Roman Flügel, Funkineven, Kode 9 and xxxy, also happened to cruise over sunset. The whole scenario was very uplifting, surreal, and (first count) vibey.
The Clearing – a welcome (boogie) addition to 2013: a new and more open stage (away from the Fort), this one gets my vote for hosting the best dance floor overall of the festival. Juan Atkin’s Model 500 (live) was one of the festival’s bigger names and took things to a wonderfully danceable and funky place on opening night. Friday’s treat was a 2.5 hour happy scene thanks to Dan Snaith as Daphni and his encompassing hit of disco feel good. Saturday – Jets getting hectic, commanding you to drop it low. The Clearing was the most spacious of stages and while because of this a few crowds seemed a little light on, this resulted in far more freedom of movement for throwing shapes and just generally having a damn good time.
3 Chairs, 8 hours: What a closing ceremony. With a complete takeover of Outside the Fort (a stage, well, outside the walls of the Fort), not even a 1 hour burst of rain could halt Moodymann, Theo Parrish, Rick Wilhite and Marcellus Pittman, who hot-potatoed duties through their 8 hour reign. The tunes felt mostly celebratory (with a little Lil Louis on the sexy side) – this was a special genre hopping marathon and ideal last summer dance for 2013.
Going with the flow: Must-sees are a thing, sure (my program was a mess of green highlighter), however if Dimensions taught me anything it was giving in to the time and the place. I missed Dopplereffekt however instead found myself in the Ballroom (the smallest and hardest to get into stage) for a pretty epic and bassy hour c/o of Tessela. I said yes to more techno in the Moat and experienced a highlight set thanks to Surgeon, however missed the joys of Mala in Cuba. I’d hoped to catch at least half of Tony Allen, however went on a mission to find jerk chicken and floated into Mungo’s where I found a new favourite in Tikiman with Scion (who were exceptionally well matched to Mungo’s HiFi). And well, on the final night I just stayed with 3 Chairs, until 6am.
The crowd: Happy, sexy and there for the love of house music. These are people who really like their electronic music, sans fist pump. And this made for a really pleasant and friendly festival vibe.
All in all – shit was fantastic and i’ll be using my Dimensions memories to help carry me through the harsh Berlin winter. I’m bloody excited to see who they score for next year. Keep at it, you happy, sexy, people.