Each year the festival begins with an Opening Concert in a Roman Amphitheatre in the city of Pula, a short distance outside of the main festival grounds. Tickets for this event are sold separately to festival tickets. For the tenth anniversary of the festival, the opening concert shall include the remaining alive members of both The Begees and The Wu-Tang Clan performing mash-up classics such as 'Stayin' alive with my .44 clutched' and 'How deep is your gravel pit? Six feet deep'.
Outlook was founded by British promoters and originally attracted a mostly British crowd. However in recent years, as interest for bass-infused music genres grew around the world, the festival started attracting a much more diverse and international crowd. In 2015 alone, Outlook Festival attracted nationals from over 40 different countries, with French, Belgian, German, Italian, Austrian and Dutch people turning up in far greater numbers. Along with large groups of regular fans travelling down every year, Outlook attracts a lot of solo travellers attracted by the festival's diverse approach to programming. This makes the festival a renowned place to socialise with like-minded music fans and individuals.
There is a strict 18 Year age restriction at Outlook.
There are two types of ticket purchase, Standard and Deposit. They cost the same but have the following differences:
Standard: This is if you plan to buy your own or a group of tickets, however these are non-transferable and you all must arrive at the same time with the lead booker.
Deposit: This is if you plan to buy a ticket but you do not wish to pay the full amount straight away. Instead you pay £40 to hold your ticket and then pay off the rest of the ticket price by a set date later on in the year.
Ticket prices are currently set at £130 plus a small booking fee.
The opening concert is held in a Roman Amphitheatre in the city of Pula, a short distance outside of the main festival grounds. Tickets are sold separately.
Boat taxis are scheduled for the night of the opening concert and are the most convenient way to travel to Pula from the campsite and back. Otherwise, the 5a bus runs from Pula bus station to the camp site all day and taxis are easily available.
Set against a backdrop of the stunning region of Istria in Croatia, Outlook's home is Fort Punta Christo, a 19th Century Fort built by the Austrians to defend what was their main naval port. Over the first weekend of September the site possesses an artillery of sound systems in the multiple arenas, plus 30 Degree beaches, beach parties and boat parties.
The festival site offers the following stages and places:
- The Harbour
- Fort Punta Christo
- The Stables
- The Moat
- Outside The Fort
- Mungo's Arena
- The Courtyard
- The Dungeon
- Noah's Ballroom
- Beach Parties
- Boat Parties
Each has a slightly different look, feel and sound. Mungo's Arena hosted a good deal of the dub acts and had an intimate chilled vibe. Mungo's also offered a bar overlooking the arena which is a great place to relax between acts. The Moat was literally that: a corner of the fort's moat. As you descend into the narrow high-walled arena you become enveloped by the drum & bass and dubstep. The Harbour (as well as being the launch pad for the Boat Parties) also hosts some of the biggest and loudest acts. With the sea opening up to your right, this arena feels huge and open but the sound system does not struggle to fill it.
One particularly alluring feature of the Festival is that sound restrictions are not as harsh in Croatia as in other countries making the sound at each stage far more of an experience for people travelling from certain countries.
You may need to queue to enter some arenas for the more popular acts later in the night, particularly for the Void and Mungo's Arena. The queues move quickly so you won't be waiting long, but make sure you arrive early for those must-sees.
- Boat Parties
A variety of performers host boat parties during Outlook, which depart from the Harbour area of the festival grounds. These parties last about three hours, are limited to a few hundred people and take part on the open deck of small boats as they sail on the sea close to the festival. They have a fun atmosphere and are a great way to start a day's festivities.
You must purchase tickets for Boat Parties separate to your festival pass and it is best to purchase tickets before the festival, although some tickets may be available on the day. The sunset Boat Parties are particularly popular so it's best to get these tickets early.
Arrive 30 minutes before your boat departs to ensure you get on. Each boat has a selection of beers and cocktail bars on board.
- The Beach
A beautiful beach is accessible from Outlook's Beach stage and from the camping areas nearby. The beach is small and not sandy, made up from small white pebbles (not painful). The water is very clean and clear although bathers need to be careful of Sea Urchins (try to wear shoes whilst swimming) and Jelly Fish (stay out of the sea when these visit).
The beach area next to The Beach stage is louder than that in the camping area, but does offer you access to music (which takes place at The Beach stage from noon to 8pm), as well as several bars and a small water park in the sea.
There are a variety of food stalls available in the arena and throughout the camping areas of the festival. Campers are also allowed to bring their own food and drink onto the campsite although glass is not allowed. Most food is only purchasable with tokens, that you must buy from token exchange areas with cash.
Bringing food in from the local Lidl (using Bus 5a from the campsite) is a good idea as the food available at the festival is limited and of mixed quality.
The selection of booze available in the bars at Outlook is limited and mostly consists of cans of Beer (Becks), draught beer (Becks), cider, local beer, grapefruit beer, spirits and mixers. Wine is not available at most of the festival bars although it is available from a small number of more expensive cocktail bars including one in The Clearing area and one by The Garden stage.
Glass and large plastic bottles are not allowed in the arena area of the festival. Small plastic bottles may be allowed.
You may wish to bring in your own drinks in from the local Lidl (bus route 5a from the campsite), but be aware that no glass will be allowed into the campsite.
You cannot exchange tokens for cash so take care not to buy too many tokens.
The Outlook Festival Campsite is called Camp Puntizela and is a fully functioning campsite all year round. Outlook customers can camp here from 25th August to 5th September.
The camping area at Outlook is very good and offers patrons the use of hot showers, real toilets and food preparation areas, all of which are cleaned daily. It also offers access to a beach, a basketball court, several shops (including a tent shop), cafes and bars. You can buy a tent, air mattresses and most other campaign equipment at this tent shop for decent prices throughout the festival. This means you do not have to take a tent with you from the UK, unless you want to. This tent shop operates ''separately'' from the tents provided by Outlook Festival.
Compared to most festivals, the camping at Outlook is idyllic, offering great weather, great facilities, a beach and fairly chilled out campers. The camping area is monitored by security guards, cleaners and stewards.
''TIP'': Try to camp in the shade, as once the sun rises your tent will get very hot and sleeping will be difficult. When this happens, lots of people migrate to the beach with their inflatable mattresses and sleep here until the music starts later in the day.
- Boutique Camping
Boutique Camping, private apartments and various other high quality accommodation is available at Outlook and must be booked on the Outlook website. All of this accommodation is within the Outlook camping areas but separated by security fences and security people.
- Caravans & Camper Vans
Outlook's festival grounds are well catered for Camper Vans and Caravans.
- Airbnb's & Hostels
Private apartments and villas in nearby locations provide alternative accommodation options to those at Outlook's campsite. Many people also stay at Hostels, Hotels or AirBnb's in Pula or the surrounding areas during the festival and travel in to the festival ground each day by Bus or Taxi, or by foot if close enough. The festival is also well supported by taxis at night, offering festival go-ers lifts back to these residencies.
AirBnb's are available in local villages to the Outlook Festival site, such as ''Stinjan'' and ''Fazana'' which are only a few minutes away from the festival grounds. Pula is about 20 minutes by taxi or 30/40 minutes by bus.
These non-camping options will probably allow you a bit more sleep but you will miss the friendly crowds you can find at all hours if you camp.
Outlook festival is located in an abandoned 19th century castle near the historic city of Pula in northern Croatia. The festival site is about 20 minutes away from the centre of Pula by taxi, or 30/40 minutes by bus. You can catch a bus to the festival grounds from the main bus station in Pula. The bus stop is on the main road, just outside of the bus station. The bus number is 5a. The bus runs all day at regular intervals and is very cheap. Taxis also run all day and night and cost between £10 to £25 depending on your driver. Uber is not available in Croatia currently (2016).
The city of Pula is a short bus ride (5a) from the campsite and worth a visit during your trip. It offers a range of restaurants and bars to suit different tastes and budgets. It's an interesting city to explore and tours of the Roman amphitheater are available.
- By Coach
Outlook offers a range of options in a number of countries and locations for people to travel by coach. In the UK return packages start from as little as £169 and leave from Birmingham, Bristol, Dover, London and Manchester. The coach from Manchester takes about 36 hours door to door and about 30 hours from London.
Coach travel options are also available on their webpage from Belgium and Holland. walk to the airport Pula Airport is the closest to the Festival site. There are a number of airlines that fly from the UK to Pula, including Ryanair, Croatia Airlines and Thomsonfly. Flights to Pula get very booked up very quickly, so if you'd like to fly to Pula (which is definitely the quickest and probably the cheapest option too) you must book early. Flights are available approximately six months before the festival dates.
You may also consider flying to nearby Italy with Ryanair (Trieste Airport is the closest) and transferring across to Pula by bus (which is about 2 to 5 hours depending on your connection). It is also possible to fly to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, and take a bus from there to Pula, which will take about 3 to 5 hours depending on your connection. There are also quite a few options for flying from elsewhere in Europe, including Venice (which is accessible by Ferry). You can find details of available buses online or order tickets on the day.
If you buy bus tickets at the stations in Croatia, remember to ask the cashier which bus will arrive at your destination first as it's not always the next bus to leave.
- By Bus
Outlook run transfers from the 6 closest airports to Outlook; Pula, Zagreb, Trieste, Ljubljana, Venice (Treviso and Marco Polo) on the days before and after the festival. These services are in addition to buses provided by bus companies in Croatia.
- By Ferry
It is also possible to catch a ferry from Trieste to Pula (and vice versa) which takes 2 - 3 hours, although ferries do not necessarily run every day. Ferries can be the quickest way to travel in Croatia and run up and down the Dalmatian coastline.
September is a great time to visit Croatia as sunshine is almost guaranteed. September is usually outside of the main tourist period which means the beaches should be a little quieter than normal.