Outlook and Dimensions in Pula: How Do Music Festivals Affect the Host City?

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Outlook and Dimensions, music festivals held at the fort Punta Christo in Pula, bring tens of thousands of visitors to the city

Outlook Festival in Pula celebrated its 10th birthday this year. Along with Dimensions Festival, held at the same location (fort Punta Christo), it’s one of the most popular music manifestations in Europe; both events bring tens of thousands of young people to Pula each year. The two festivals are followed and visited by a couple of hundreds of foreign reporters who make Pula known to millions of people worldwide. The only question that remains is whether the city and the residents of Štinjan [where the manifestations are held] have any use of the festivals; who benefits, and is there anyone who isn’t happy with the way things are organised?

“The City of Pula has been supporting such manifestations since they were first launched, as it recognised their immense potential and benefits they could bring to the entire community. That’s why Pula positioned itself as a leading city in Croatia when it comes to the number of festivals and their visitors. Outlook has become a recognisable manifestation, which is why this year the organisers have been acknowledged with the City’s award for outstanding contribution to promotion and development of Pula”, says a statement issued by the City. They added that apart from the extraordinary promotional value, the festivals generate financial profit as a result of numerous hospitality and commercial activities, reports Glas Istre

Mayor of Pula Boris Miletić said that music festivals are of major interest for the city. “We primarily aim to host manifestations of great quality, ones that will generate profit and work opportunities to a large number of our citizens. Part of the revenue ends up in the city budget, either through an income tax or consumption tax, which in the end enables us to build and manage urban infrastructure and finance public programmes”, said the mayor. He also drew attention to the fact that substantial funds have been invested in development of Štinjan neighbourhood: the City initiated renovations of multiple streets, construction of a new playground, and invested in other various parts of public infrastructure.

Apart from the Tourist Board Pula, the significance of these manifestations is recognised by trade associations like the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts, and various associations related to hospitality or transport that all support the local festivals. It’s estimated that the visitors of Outlook and Dimensions – and there have been 20.000 this year alone – spent at least 120 million kuna during the two weeks they stayed in Istria. This is a considerable contribution to the total revenue generated in commerce, hospitality, transport, tourism and other sectors that profit the most in late summer. In the time span in which both festivals took place, Pula recorded 185.000 overnight stays, 100.000 of those generated by festival guests. It’s also worth noting that festivals create job opportunities for many citizens, especially the younger population, most of them being Štinjan residents.

Apart from a rare few who complain about the loud music, people are mostly supportive of the festivals. In the last couple of years, two hostels and two hotels opened in Štinjan. Accommodation prices temporarily spike, and for those who didn’t book their rooms in advance, there isn’t a single available bed to be found in the area. A lot of pros and not many cons – as locals themselves excitedly state, ‘the Brits are coming’.


Translation of excerpts from Glas Istre.


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