Outlook Festival day two had another unfortunate start. Perhaps you recall in my last tale from Thursday I mentioned that my phone was dying, and I didn’t know where I lived … you may also remember that my wife for life pushed her way through the crowd on the arm of a buff security guard to come and save the day with a charged phone and my address.
WELL IF YOU DON’T HAVE GOOGLE MAPS BUT ONLY THE SUBPAR APPLE MAPS THAT SHIT IS USELESS.
At six o’clock Thursday morning I went to attempt to get home and realized I didn’t have my address. Again! It didn’t save! Or show up on that terrible Apple map. My two incredibly kind Croatian friends were chumming me, and kept trying convincing me to roll with them to their apartment in Stinjan rather than braving the taxi queue alone (which was Lord of the Flies by the way, complete with brawling English chicks ripping queue jumpers out of taxis). After a few short seconds in the queue I knew there would be none of that. I left the festival with my two kind-hearted Croatian friends and ended up staying what was left of the night in their apartment.
But here was the problem: I had to start my Friday on a boat party – an early one. The SubDub boat party. For those keeping track the SubDub Crew are the guys that started Outlook Festival, so this one was of great importance to me. My camera was not charged. My phone was not charged. I still didn’t know where I was.
After three hours of restless sleep I got up to find my Croatian friends were gone. I pieced my address together off some wine soiled papers and started hoofing it. It was already boiling hot and reaaaalllllly humid. Everything was sore and I was a sweaty mess. Walking past a security checkpoint the guards asked me “Long night?” Clearly I looked terrible. There was no way I was making it home and onto that boat party from this point without a little help from someone. Like any world traveled event photographer I started to cry and asked the security guards if they could call me a taxi. They immediately unfolded a lawn chair for me and got to work on the phone. Within 30 minutes I was in a taxi with the most amazing driver, Vanessa, who would prove to be an invaluable resource as the festival continued.
I made it. I got home and begged, borrowed and stole every adapter I laid eyes on. I charged all my gear and managed to shower the “long night” off myself. Luckily my homegirl from Neid Studio had already preplanned my outfits, so I had an adorable, effortless outfit ready to bedazzle my tired, decrepit body.
It’s a fact that boat parties fix everything. As soon as we set sail and the tunes were blasting life was amazing again. SubDub handpicked a group of the finest reggae selectas and vocalists in the biz including some of my personal favourites like O.B.F. Sound System out of France, Iration Steppas, and the greatest vocalist I saw on the entire trip, Senior Wilson. That SubDub boat was nothing but vibes! The music was absolutely perfect. At the end of the party, my Croatian friend Ivica urged me to stay on board for some photo opps. It led to one of the single greatest moments I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of at any festival. As all the artists were crowded together to get their photo taken as a group, someone started singing “We Are Family”, and everyone joined in. It went on for ages! That moment was just so incredible, Mark from Iration Steppas just clapping his hands and leading the charge. It really did feel like family: Outlook family, reggae family.
I knew that the first thing I wanted to see that night was Fracture at Mungo’s Arena. His style of the future sounds of dnb and bass music are right up my alley. For those keeping track that tune last year “Loving Touch” is in my opinion one of the best songs to come out in all of 2014. His set was second of the night, which gave us time to wander around a bit. We stumbled into Noah’s Ballroom into some super sick dnb. I had never heard of any of the artists playing, but these guys were fucking killing it. Noah’s Ballroom is the tiniest stage, but the energy gets wild in there. Mota, Kirbstomp and Screwy were laying down a clinic in there, and the most amazing part was we eneded up knowing several people in there throwing down! We had bumped into Biome wandering the fort, so him and the New York crew he was rolling with mobbed in with us, and then we saw our homies from Switzerland we’d met earlier that week. We are family!
Those dnb kids had primed me at this point. I was ready to go. Heading into Fracture I was just like YES! Charlie Fracture, you’re an animal. That 90 minutes goes down in history for me as one of the top ten sets I’ve ever seen at Outlook. Definitely top five for 2015. During Fracture my homie Doug from Mungo’s Hi Fi stopped to say what’s up with some sobering news. There was a huge storm in the forecast for that night. That just would not do. I was carrying a white parasol and $2500 worth of camera gear. I was wearing a tiny yellow onesie, and this just would not do damn it! I immediately started wracking my brain for good shelter spots eventually ending with the conclusion, ah fuck it. Will deal when the time comes. Let’s party!
We moved on to see Chris Lorenzo at the Void. I would normally never condone choosing a house set when there’s so much amazing reggae and low-end bass music on the menu, but Chris Lorenzo is a boss man. Now, I don’t know what it is about white parasols that make grown men degrade into giggling schoolgirls, but the night quickly dissolved into me getting bombarded by men trying to be Mary Poppins. From 40 something Croatian metal guys to 20 something English househeads, I was getting beat down by aspiring lady boys that just wanted a turn with the parasol. It was a pretty hilarious way to spend a set. Or should I say, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. However, it was time to move.
Up until this point the lineup at the Harbour Stage (which is the main stage) had been lacking for my tastes. Don’t get me wrong, it was ok, but at a festival of this magnitude I’m not going for the sounds that are just ok. I want the good stuff. I’ve been on a bit of a grime tip as of late, and Boy Better Know was about to take the stage. Boy Better Know is pretty much the household name of grime in the UK. Led by Skepta and his brother JME, Boy Better Know is the Kraft Ranch dressing of grime rap. Everyone has dabbled. They go with everything. Actually, a quick aside, there’s been a strange occurrence of late regarding white fan boys getting Skepta tattoos. Yikes. Regardless, Boy Better Know is a must see for anyone that has any inkling towards grime music in any facet. They hit the stage, and things were getting grimy. “I used to wear Gucci, I put it all in the bin cause that’s not me.” Brap brap brap! I was getting LOW. And then, just like that the skies opened up, and it started pissing rain. Nooooo! We had to call it. Getting soaked and muddy just wasn’t worth it for me at that point. In all honesty I was exhausted, and Saturday’s lineup was crazy. I needed to save myself. We called our cab driver, and busted out of there with dreams of Run the Jewels in our heads.