For one of the last events of the season, The Waveform Transmitter’s Léa Ben Saïd is heading back to Fort Punta Christo for the sixth edition of Dimensions. With a line up stronger than ever and one of the most magical locations, the event promises to be the best yet.
Once again, summer is coming to an end. Most festivals have been and gone, leaving truly special memories for thousands of festivallers to cherish until next summer, when it all starts over. That being said, some of the best events of the summer season are still upon us: the famous bank holiday weekend promises to be as celebratory as ever, Notting Hill Carnival as colourful as ever, and of course, Dimensions and Outlook will close the season in style.
Now, this year will not be my first year at Dimensions. I actually went and worked at both Dimensions and Outlook last year and had an amazing time in spite of the torrential rain and electric thunderstorms 24/7. The location, the music, and the people, made it all the more magical, and I am so excited to head back.
When looking at going to a festival, the location is definitely something I personally take into account, and I must not be the only one as more and more promoters go above and beyond to find the perfect places to host their parties: bunkers, quarries, abandoned prisons, and other unique locations where you would not expect to party anytime soon, but make you want to go at any price. Dimensions definitely adds to this list by being organised at the heart of Fort Punta Christo for the past six years, while the fort had already been the home of Outlook for some time. Situated on a small peninsula just over the sea, Fort Punta Christo was built in the nineteenth century by the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and offers an amazing view of the bay of Pula and the Brijuni Islands. Only a ten-minute cab drive away is the city of Pula. With a three-thousand-year-old history, the city has many cultural and historical monuments linked to Roman history: The Temple of Augustus, the Twin Gates, or the Roman Amphitheatre.
There are a few options to choose from when it comes to accommodation. The easier one must be choosing to camp: right onsite, campers have easy access to the stages, the boat and tunnel parties, the beach, and a range of food stalls and supermarket. Another option would be to get an airbnb in Stinjan, Valbandon, or Pula. By now, anyone reading this will probably be sorted, but unless it’s in Stinjan, which is walking distance from the festival, I would not recommend staying off site. Just bare in mind you will have to walk at least half an hour at 6am on a road with no pavement or anything to get home. It can get long and annoying, especially if the weather is bad. Moreover, taxis in Croatia are not particularly cheap ! Let’s just hope our tents do not get flooded and our air beds do not go flat.
Every year, the festival kicks off with the opening concert which takes place in the 2000-year-old Roman Amphitheatre, one of the largest still in existence. While last year saw a golden line up perform there, which included Moderat, Grace Jones, Yussef Kamaal and Moses Boyd: Solo X, this year is more extraordinary than ever. As headliner, the legendary Kraftwerk will be taking their very special 3D show to Pula. They will be joined by Nils Frahm, Josey Rebelle, Moodymann, Nubya Garcia, and Deborah Ipekel. Combining this stellar line up with the mind-blowing location makes the opening concert a must-see for anyone coming along this year.
The day after the opening concert, the main festivities begin. On the menu, four nights of the best of the underground scene split between ten stages. The line up is definitely one of the elements which truly separated Dimensions from the rest of the festivals this year. For one, the bookers are some of the only ones of the season which consciously made an effort to book many women, especially as headliners. Secondly, they focused their efforts on booking both established artists such as Paula Temple, Nina Kraviz, Underground Resistance and DJ Stingray, and up and coming artists such as Umfang, DJ Python, Volruptus, and Imogen. Moreover, some of the best unsigned artists of the scene will be present under DJ Directory, including Alex T, Kiara Scuro, and more. You can find more about the day and stage breakdown here, but I will give you my unmissables of this year’s event. For me, the Trip and Zeezout takeovers of the Moat present some of the best line ups of the weekend, and so does the Electrix x CPU takeover of the Void stage. Performances by Underground Resistance, DJ Python, Skee Mask, Lee Gamble, Volvox, Umfang, Paula Temple, Anastasia Kristensen, rRoxymore, Il Bosco, The Comet Is Coming, Willikens & Ivkovic, promise to be absolute standouts along with the ones by the collectives invited.
The main nights are far from being the only events worth attending during your week at Fort Punta Christo. For the first time ever, Resident Advisor is coming to Dimensions and hosting ticketed parties with some of the artists playing the festival. Ravers will have the opportunity to dance in Zerostrasse, an underground tunnel network built during the First World War connecting Pula to the city’s fortresses and military grounds, which has never been used by Dimensions before. There will be two opportunities to party in the tunnels. The first time will be on the Thursday night, from 7pm to 12am, and then again on the Saturday night. On Thursday, Volvox, The Exaltics, Saoirse and Josh Cheon from Dark Entries will lead the dance before their appearance later on the main stages of the festival. On Saturday, it will be Paula Temple, dBridge, Anastasia Kristensen and Batu who will play.
Finally, the perks of organising a festival so close to the beach and the sea, is the opportunity to host a number of boat parties. From Thursday to Sunday, there will be three boat parties a day, catering for everyone’s tastes. Each boat party will run for three hours and comprise some of the best artists performing the main festival. After doing one last year, I would recommend not to attend one that takes place in the evening. After all, you want to be able to see the beautiful scenery and enjoy the sun ! According to me, you definitely do not want to miss the collaboration between Tribe Records, the record shop based in Leeds, and Dimensions, bringing you Alex T, Saoirse, Courtesy and Mike BC on the Thursday. The boat party co-organised by The Pickle Factory, the famous club in London, little sister of Oval Space, is also a must, with DJ sets from Underground Resistance’s Mark Flash, Detroit in Effect, and Hamish & Toby, who most recently made a great impression during their set at Houghton Festival. On the Sunday, the Make Me boat party looks the most special, with DJ Stingray, Anastasia Kristensen, and Make Me residents sailing away in the late afternoon. You can find the rest of the boat party line-ups here.