Dimensions Festival flight EI0478 landed in Pula to an almighty uproar of cheer (their drinks trolley runneth over) – the buzz had officially begun. Outside one festival rep commented, “Oh you lot were on that mental flight from Dublin”. We must have been heard the second we entered Croatian airspace #startaswemeantogoon.
The commotion surrounding Dimensions can be explained by its popularity (a full flight from Dublin, with a few hilarious middle-aged outsiders), it’s location (an ancient abandoned fort – some stages are housed on an old moat, another a turret that’s accessed via an underground tunnel), a festival that’s seamlessly organised to Oompa Loompa standards (seriously – it’s like it runs itself), turbo craic crowds and somewhat day-cent weather (although more of that later).
As with every festival there are decisions to me made – do you stick with your posse or with your festival pick? It’s hard to strike the balance of antics vs. artists, mixing calimocho catch ups with Clashfinder, lorra laughs with lineups and divilment while catching DJs. It’s an endurance test to mixing monster headliners while not falling for The Curse of The Blitz.
So my mix of memories?
Tamo Sumo dropping Mark Sevens edit of ‘The Boss’ Thursday night – serving a valuable reminder that no matter where you are in the world a bittersweet memory can be pulled from a record bag.
The aforementioned Fort Punta Christo was built in the mid 1800’s to protect the city of Pula. On the Comm.une hosted Moat stage there were hammering sets from Valuka, Fred P and the momentous Marquis Hawkes. (He was not life changing, but deffo night changing). While a moats function might be to defend – no one, and I mean no one was safe at the moat that night. There is not an emoji in the world that could describe Fred P throwing down Makam – What Ya Doin Lex Luger style or Mr. Hawks sound tracking the sky morphing from dark to dawn with Teule – Drink On Me.
The Bodytonic boat party Friday evening became our banter barometer for the rest of the week. It was a time lapse of recovery to rejuvenation – Thursday’s excess morphed into Friday’s success. From cast off to taps aff, there were 300 bouncing, smiling, mingling, sun kissed faces. From opening with the Crocodile Dundee theme tune (so kitsch it hurts) and witnessing every single limb on board (staff in hi-viz vests included) freaking out to KC & The Sunshine Band (courtesy of Space Dimension Controller) ….nanannananananana Baby give it up, give it up. BAAAAABBBYYY GIIVVVEEE ITTT UPPPP – you just knew you were at the right party.
Night number three I forfeited Special Request for Moodyman to boogie down with our brethren. Probably my best decision of the festival, and we were rewarded with a MEGA form Moodyman and his two Afro haired sidekick Queens. (Side note: I have a new bucket list entry)
Saturday was palms down the best night for music and it continued with Belgium’s San Soda. He is a musical combination of the Easter Bunny, Enid Blyton and Santa Claus – does he ever disappoint? Emotions ran high, as we romped our way through Robbie Tronco ‘Runway’ (As A House) and our lungs got a workout to Sylvester ‘Over & Over’.
On our final Punta Christo night there were threatening thunder and lightning bolts that turned into biblical squalls and intermittent torrential downpours. (Dang you Croatian weather). It resembled a mini version of that twister scene from the Wizard of Oz – except with added techno, cans of Becks and statement t-shirts.
Three stages had to close (resulting in a timetable re-shuffle) and clearly the gods are not Underground Resistance and Aux 88 fans as both live shows had to be canned. We had little choice but to man up or man out – dance it out and disco ourselves dry in between showers.
Floating Points at The Void stage was the backdrop to us rebelling against the hardened weather – nature went head to head with musical nurture. Hell, no tropical storm was going to keep me from losing it to Mary Clarke.
We had damp clothes but not damp spirits. The real heroes of the night / early morning became those who could turn on, tune in and (not) drop out.
On Monday as the Outlook heads were weaving their way in (it literally started the next day) the festival site was in recovery mode (weren’t we all). Making our way to the beach bar for our last musical get down of the holiday we faced sporadic puddles and muddy paths. We were the festival in-betweeners: many of our Dimensions colleagues were on route home, and the fresh-faced Outlook crowds were just checking in. We had one last Bodytonic beach bar boogie – going from a mud to a disco bloodbath.
A week of Adriatic antics at Dimensions Festival can never be summed up in a 1000 word review – the same way you can never ever predict, explain or even recreate it. It’s all down to a wonderful mix of people, programming and party times.
Much like a jug of spritzer, a priceless YouTube clip (my poor phone bill) or a blood orange Croatian sunset – something’s are most certainly better shared.