Once a year, in an old fort situated on a peninsula on a rather serene stretch of the Adriatic, something a little special happens. For two weeks at the end of August the crumbling ruins of the once impenetrable Fort Punta Christo play host to two monolithic parties: Dimensions and Outlook. They’re set apart primarily by the music offered, with Outlook catering for the more bass heavy realms of the dance music world and Dimensions welcoming those who like their music tinged with Disco, Techno and House (albeit with smatterings of other flavours).
The top of the bill for this year’s edition of Dimensions will have those who hold Disco close to their heart tingling with excitement. The hula hooping legend that is Grace Jones will be injecting the 2000-year-old Ampitheatre in Pula’s centre with her particular brand of infectious energy. The venue itself is really something to behold; its high, imposing arches surround the crowd and the organisers never fail to bring a stellar system.
The rest of the lineup for the opening concert is as eclectic as we’ve come to expect from Dimensions. Moderat will be bringing their deep, Berlin inspired genre fusion while Moses Boyd with his Solo X show is sure to stun with his intricate Jazz.
The Thursday night this year presents us with one of the most challenging schedule clashes we’ve ever faced. The main stage, otherwise known as the Clearing, is aesthetically nothing short of spectacular. An enormous triangle of gantries and lighting looms over the crowd, and as the first stage after the walk up from the beach, it’s hard not to be drawn into its dazzling light shows and thumping system. Gracing it with their presence on the Thursday this year is a collection of incredibly accomplished artists. The headliner is none other than Floating Points, whose solo live show is sure to captivate and dazzle. The bill doesn’t get any weaker as we move down it, with Dâm Funk, Horse Meat Disco, Romare and Mafalda & Donna Leake all plying their trade. It’s hard to see a reason to leave.
The rest of Thursday is where our problem lies. The small but incredibly fun Garden stage sees Mr Saturday Night at the controls alongside Mr Ties and Josey Rebelle, a lineup that in itself is tantalising. The Void sees the likes of Joy Orbison step up for one of his now legendary sets for the Resident Advisor takeover.
For those that like their music with an added vein of bass, the choices get even tougher. Mungo’s Arena, predictably powered by the Mungo’s Hifi sound system, plays host to some legends of the scene. As well as Mungo’s themselves, Equinoxx will be stepping up with Shanique Marie over the top, and Hyperdub label boss Kode9 is set to stretch the system, with Deep Medi's head honcho and host of the night Mala topping the bill. Meanwhile,The Moat sees the Hessle Audio boys appear alongside Helena Hauff and A Made Up Sound.
The Moat continues along this decidedly techno route on Friday, where Serge, Conforce and Randomer will be taking control. On the same day, the Clearing hosts one of the most revered party starters around in Dan Shake, appearing on the same bill as Shuggie Otis.
Bodytonic takes over The Void, with Maurice Fulton, Bradley Zero and Romare all cracking open their considerable record bags on the Incubus sound system.
The Garden has only two sets on the Friday from Marcel Dettman and Craig Richards, and one can only assume they will both be mammoth in length. Saturday at the Garden is set to be a serious party, with Theo Parrish plying his trade all night long. Mungo’s Arena sees Goldie, Randall and Doc Scott appear on a Metalheadz lineup flooded with legends of the faster scene.
The Void has another cracker of a lineup scheduled, with both Levon Vincent and Billy Nasty stepping up, but the real crown jewel is surely a live set from London Modular Alliance. Amsterdam’s legendary Rush Hour Records celebrate their 20th birthday in style with a takeover at The Stables. Sadar Bahar, Antal and Sassy J are sure to bring the heat alongside Interstellar Funk.
Dimensions is always a true test of festival stamina, but Sunday’s line-up this year cranks it up a notch. The Clearing hosts a monumental lineup, legend of the scene Jeff Mills headlines, and is backed up by Nina Kraviz and a special live set from Aux 88. The Garden is just as special, with Danny Krivit and Gilles Peterson joining Telefon Tel Aviv for a belter of a night. The Void promises something a little different, with headliners Tama Sumo & Lakuti going back to back, and Willow supporting.
Mungo’s Arena stays true to its bass driven roots with a live set from powerhouse Adrian Sherwood, backed up by none other than Tectonic label boss Pinch and the Mungo’s boys themselves. The impending darkness of The Moat is the cherry on top of an already killer night; Goldie will be rolling through with a rare Techno set, joined by Silent Servant and a very, very special guest.
That’s about all folks – see you in the fort.