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Fest Festival welcomes 35,000 for Poland’s biggest event

Fest Festival welcomed 35,000 festivalgoers over four days for this year’s edition, making it the biggest event in Poland in 2021.

After a two-year break due to the pandemic, the festival returned at full capacity with its second edition, boasting a slate of domestic and international artists.

Kygo, James Bay, Alan Walker, Aurora, Paul Kalkbrenner, Princess Nokia, Tommy Cash, Kensington, Sohn and over 200 others performed across the festival’s 11 stages.

According to promoters, Follow the Step, attendees also came from all over the world to attend the multi-genre festival in Park Śląski, Chorzów, between 11–14 August.

“It was the most difficult two years in our career so far”

This year, according to government regulations, only people vaccinated against Covid-19 were permitted to attend the festival, despite Follow the Step’s efforts to open the gates for others.

“It was the most difficult two years in our career so far but thanks to the hard work of our team and cooperation with agents, managers and media we were able to make this incredible event,” says Maciej Korczak, co-owner of the Fest Festival.

“We would like to thank all the festival attendees for their presence and trust. We are happy and deeply touched by the fact that despite the prevailing situation, we managed to organise the largest festival in Poland. We can’t wait for next year when we will be able to meet again in Park Śląski and experience the third edition of the Fest Festival together. See you on August 10–13, 2022.”

Major international festival, Pol’and’Rock, also returned with an in-person event this summer, heralding a new normal for Poland’s live music industry.

 


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10k people attend Poland’s biggest show since 2020

Last weekend, German DJ Boris Brejcha played the biggest concert Poland has seen since the outbreak of Covid at the beginning of 2020.

Ten thousand fans gathered in Poland’s largest and best-preserved fortress, in Modlin, located northwest of Warsaw, last Friday (25 June) to enjoy Brejcha’s set.

According to the promoters, Follow the Step, the enormous structure (pictured) was created by specialists especially for the event and was months in the making.

“This was the first production of this type in this part of Europe and thanks to the huge amount of technology, lights and the latest generation sound system, provided an amazing experience,” according to a press release.

Entry was restricted to doubly vaccinated residents, as per government guidelines, all of whom were required to show proof of vaccination.

“Finally after one and a half years we could put our plans into action and get back to organising events on the big scale,” Follow the Step’s Tamara Przystasz tells IQ.

“Not only was it quite a challenge organising it in such a way that will comply with all the new rules and restrictions, but it was also the first event that we could organise for vaccinated people only. However, it was amazing to see 10,000 people celebrating the comeback of music events.”

Maciej Korczak, owner of FTS, added: “The Boris Brejcha show was a huge step forward not only for our company but also for the whole event and music industry in our country. We like to pave the way here as we believe that nothing is impossible.”

“It quite a challenge organising it in such a way that will comply with all the new rules and restrictions”

“The show was just a warm-up for us before Fest Festival this summer which will take place on the 11-14 of August in Chorzów. But after what we managed to do with Boris show we are now sure that we are able to organise Fest Festival this summer for 40,000 people safely.”

Earlier this month, Follow the Step was given permission to hold multi-genre event Fest Festival without any capacity limits, provided that attendees have had their Covid-19 vaccinations.

During a press conference, the Polish minister of health confirmed the information that people vaccinated against Covid-19 do not count towards the established limits applicable during mass events.

The event is scheduled to happen 11–14 August in Chorzów and organisers have so far confirmed acts such as Kygo, James Bay, Rag’n’Bone Man and Alan Walker on the bill.

Alongside Poland, mega concerts with 10,000 people or more have recently returned to China, the US and Israel, while France, Belgiumthe Netherlands, DenmarkAustria and the UK have set a date this summer for the resumption of large, non-socially distanced shows.

 


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Fest gets green light for full-capacity festival

Poland’s Fest Festival has been given permission to go ahead as planned, without any capacity limits, provided that attendees have had their Covid-19 vaccinations.

The event, which is scheduled to happen 11–14 August in Chorzów, has been told it can go ahead after the Polish government announced an easing of certain pandemic restrictions.

During a press conference last week, the Polish minister of health confirmed the information that people vaccinated against Covid-19 do not count towards the established limits applicable during mass events.

“We are leading conversations to extend the current restrictions so that festivalgoers who own a European certificate can also enjoy this year’s edition”

Fest Festival launched in 2019 as a multi-genre event and enjoyed a successful debut when more than 30,000 people attended the gathering. The 2021 edition has been extended to four days and organisers have so far confirmed acts such as Kygo, James Bay, Rag’n’Bone Man and Alan Walker on the bill.

However, Follow the Step Agency has pledged to try to open the gates for others. “As per today, the festival can only be held for vaccinated people,” says Fest’s promoter.

“Considering the fact that it’s not a perfect solution, [we] are leading conversations […] to extend the current restrictions so that festivalgoers who own a valid European certificate – available for free for [Covid] convalescents, people tested and vaccinated with the first dose – can also enjoy this year’s edition of Fest Festival.”

 


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Polish festivals go ‘full steam ahead’ for 2021

Polish festivals Fest Festival and Pol’and’Rock are determined to do whatever it takes to pull off their respective 2021 events – each of which is slated to feature a raft of international artists.

Follow The Step-promoted Fest Festival has revealed the first wave of artists for its August event, which is almost exclusively non-domestic acts such as Norwegian DJ Kygo, Australian act Fisher and French duo Ofenbach.

The event, which made its debut in 2019, is set to take place in Silesian Park, Chorzów, between 11–14 August, after the organisers added an extra day.

“During this year’s edition, we will develop solutions that will allow the festival to be organised in safe conditions. We plan, among other things, to significantly enlarge the festival area and reduce the number of tickets available for sale. We observe the situation and we will adapt our plans to the current sanitary restrictions on an ongoing basis,” says a representative from Fest Festival.

“We will adapt our plans to the current sanitary restrictions on an ongoing basis”

Tickets for Fest Festival start at PLN 229 for a one-day pass. All 2020 ticket holders will be automatically upgraded to a four-day pass for the 2021 event.

Elsewhere, Pol’and’Rock – also known as the ‘Woodstock of Poland’ – recently announced a number of international artists for the July 2021 event including US heavy metal band Static-X, British metalcore outfit While She Sleeps and Ukrainian act Jinjer.

The annual festival is slated for 29–31 July this year in Kostrzyn nad Odrą, western Poland, and is free to attend.

According to organisers, Pol’and’Rock typically attracts an audience of almost half a million people each year and is the biggest non-commercial festival in Europe.

“Just like last year, we are powering on, full steam ahead,” says Jurek Owsiak, promoter of Pol’and’Rock Festival. “We’re wiser, more experienced now, so we are doing our best to prepare for these three days when we can meet at the festival.

“We are faced with an enormous logistical challenge, but even the grandest undertaking can be successful despite the current global situation. We are working off different scenarios, which we tweak to suit the pandemics’ global developments and progress.

“We are working off different scenarios, which we tweak to suit the pandemics’ global developments”

“Vaccination and the fact that we all agree to follow restrictions, which are there to protect us and limit the spread of the virus, taught us to be disciplined and responsible for ourselves and others. A huge group of people will do whatever it takes to be a part of our festival, agreeing to follow all rules and regulations, which are meant to make it a safe space for everyone.”

In January, Poland confirmed it will issue its citizens with a vaccine certificate, or ‘passport’, when they have been immunised against Covid-19, which could eventually be used to facilitate Covid-safe events.

According to the Reuters Covid-19 tracker, Poland has administered at least 4,605,929 doses of Covid vaccines so far (assuming every person needs two doses), which is about 6.1% of the country’s population.

However, Covid-19 infections are increasing in Poland, with 18,380 new infections reported on average each day, which is 72% of the peak — the highest daily average reported on November 11.

While venues have been permitted to open at 50% capacity, live performances will now be suspended from 20 March until 9 April, according to Pearle.

 


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Festival Fever: latest wave of line-up announcements

In the most recent edition in a series of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ rounds up the festival billings from Rolling Loud Portugal, Jazzopen Stuttgart, Nos Primavera Sound Porto, Balaton Sound, Mallorca Live and Fest Festival.

(See the previous edition of Festival Fever here.)

 


Rolling Loud Portugal

When: 8 to 10 July
Where: Praia da Rocha, Portimão, Portugal

The Rolling Loud festival brand is making its European debut this summer in the Algarve region of Portugal.

The beachside festival is headlined by ASAP Rocky, Future and Wiz Khalifa, with performances from artists including AJ Tracey, Roddy Ricch, Dababy, Young Thug, Tyga, Playboi Carti, D-Block Europe and Giggs.

In an Instagram post, Rolling Loud co-founder Tariq Cherif warned that capacity is “limited” for the festival due to the beach setting, and advised fans to act quickly to purchase tickets.

Founded in 2015 by Cherif and Matt Zingler, Rolling Loud has expanded from its flagship Miami festival to take place in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York and Sydney, Australia. An inaugural Rolling Loud Hong Kong was called off earlier this year.

The pre-sale for Rolling Loud Portugal starts on Thursday 6 February at 8 a.m. Remaining tickets go on sale at 8 a.m. the following day here.

The Rolling Loud festival brand is making its European debut this summer

Jazzopen Stuttgart

When: 9 to 19 July
Where: Stuttgart, Germany
How many: 50,000 (whole festival)

Founded in 1994, the Jazzopen Stuttgart has hosted the likes of Quincy Jones, Bob Dylan, Lauryn Hill, Jamiroquai, BB King, Herbie Hancock, James Brown and Joss Stone over the years.

The 2020 edition will see artists including Sting, Lenny Kravitz, Van Morrison, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, John Legend, Jessie J, Jamie Cullum and Corinne Bailey Rae grace the main stage.

Staged in multiple venues ranging from 250- to 7,000-capacity, fans will be able to see acts such as Nils Frahm, Herbie Hancock, Arturo Sandoval, James Carter Organ Trio, Emmet Cohen and Rymden over the course of ten days.

“In the last 10 years we expanded the jazzopen from a regional event to one of the leading international jazz festivals with 50.000 ticket sales annually,” comments festival director Juergen Schlensog.

“This was only possible by means of a strong sponsoring. Daimler, Mastercard and Allianz accompany the festival alongside other valuable partners and brands. The UK market is of vital importance for us, as we book all major acts in direct exchange with local agents in the UK and USA.”

Tickets for Jazzopen Stuttgart 2020 are available here, with full festival passes priced from €700. Tickets for individual shows are also available for a range of prices, with some free-to-access concerts.

The 2020 edition will see artists including Sting, Lenny Kravitz and Van Morrison

Nos Primavera Sound Porto

When: 11 to 13 June
Where: Parque da Cidade, Porto, Portugal
How many: 30,000

The Portuguese sister event of Barcelona festival Primavera Sound has released the line-up for its ninth edition.

Tyler the Creator, Lana Del Rey, Pavement, FKA Twigs, Beck, Bad Bunny and King Krule are among those headlining the festival, which also features Chromatics, Earl Sweatshirt, Cigarettes After Sex and Kim Gordon.

Primavera Sound’s flagship Spanish event, which sold over 10,000 tickets in a day after announcing its line-up last month, will feature performances from the Stokes, Iggy Pop, Massive Attack, Lana Del Rey and Brittany Howard.

Tickets for Nos Primavera Sound Porto are available here, with a full festival pass priced at €120 (£102) and a day ticket at €60 (£51). Tickets for Primavera Sound Barcelona are still available here for €195 (£165).

The Portuguese sister event of Barcelona festival Primavera Sound has released the line-up for its ninth edition

Balaton Sound

When: 8 to 12 July
Where: Lake Balaton, Hungary
How many: 40,000

Balaton Sound, one of Europe’s largest open-air electronic music festivals, is back in 2020 following a record-breaking outing last year.

Over 170,000 fans attended the five-day event in 2019 to see artists including Tiesto, Marshmello, the Chainsmokers and Armin van Buuren.

The 2020 edition brings performances from the likes of Martin Garrix, DJ Snake, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, Kygo, Steve Aoki, Don Diablo, Sigala and Jonas Blue.

A special, Hollywood-themed VIP area will provide guests with a massage parlour, makeup lounge, exclusive pool parties and surprise shows.

Tickets for Balaton Sound 2020 are on sale now, with multi-day passes starting from €169 and going up to €325 for a five-day VIP ticket. Prices will increase on 14 February.

Over 170,000 fans attended the five-day event in 2019

Mallorca Live

When: 14 to 16 May
Where: Old Aquapark of Calvià, Mallorca, Spain
How many: 11,000

Mallorca Live festival is back in 2020 for its fifth year, with a headline performance from British electronic pop band Pet Shop Boys.

Crystal Fighters, Michael Kiwanuka, Miles Kane, Kate Tempest and Temples are among other acts performing at the festival.

Last year’s festival saw a record attendance of 33,500 people over three days, thanks to a festival site extension. A new fourth stage – Tròpic Stage – has been added for 2020, dedicated to electronic acts, featuring DJs including Marcel Dettman, dOP, Or:La and Red Axes.

Tickets for Mallorca Live festival can be purchased for €75 (£64) plus fees for the two-day pass (Friday and Saturday) and for €90 (£76) plus fees for the three-day pass here.

Crystal Fighters, Michael Kiwanuka and Kate Tempest are among other acts performing at the festival

Fest Festival

When: 13 to 15 August
Where: Silesia Park, Chorzów, Poland

Poland’s Fest Festival, one of the fastest-growing music festivals in eastern Europe, has announced the second wave of acts for its 2020 edition.

The festival’s second outing will be headlined by Mark Ronson, with performances from James Bay, Nothing But Thieves, Denzel Curry, Sigrid, Alice Glass, Sohn and Daughter.

Polish rappers Taco Hemingway and Mata have also been added to the line-up, along with local indie-rock band Sonbird.

Fest Festival was nominated for best new festival at the European Festival Awards 2019 and is up for the New Gig on the Block prize at the 2020 Arthur Awards, taking place at the International Live Music Conference in March.

Tickets for Fest Festival are available here for PLN 349 (£70), with prices set to increase on 14 February.

The festival’s second outing will be headlined by Mark Ronson

Forbidden Fruit Festival

When: 30 to 31 May
Where: Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin, Ireland
How many: 10,000

Pod’s Forbidden Fruit Festival is celebrating its tenth anniversary edition in 2020 at its home in the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin.

The line-up for this year’s festival includes headliners Jorja Smith and Underworld, along with Peggy Gou, Loyle Carner, Hot Chip and the Avalanches.
The festival is returning to its roots this year, taking place over two days, rather than the three-day format preferred in previous editions. Organisers promise plenty of “birthday surprises” for their tenth year.

Weekend tickets are available here, priced at €124.50, with day tickets available for €69.50.

 


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