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Pol’and’Rock triumphs over “huge logistical undertaking”

Pol’and’Rock says it has “introduced a blueprint for holding events in the new normal,” following the successful 27th edition of the Polish festival.

The festival, which took place exclusively online last year, made its in-person return between 29–31 July at a brand new location, Makowice airfield.

Typically, Pol’and’Rock attracts an audience of almost half a million people each year but this year organisers were forced to whittle down the attendance to 20,000 domestic and international visitors.

Despite the festival’s reduced size, organisers said this year’s edition required a “massive logistical undertaking” due to on-site testing procedures for staff, artists and participants.

According to organisers, Pol’and’Rock were the only event in Poland that introduced the additional Covid-19 safety measure of rapid testing in addition to the requirement of vaccination certificates, which Poland has been quick to implement.

“It seems that our festival played an important role in promoting vaccination among the young people”

Tests were charged to participants at a cost of 49 Polish zlotys, the equivalent of a little more than €10. Otherwise, the festival remained free.

“We have not yet witnessed any increase in infections following the event,” says Pol’and’Rock’s Olga Zawada. “Even though we were faced with a wave of criticism from organized groups of anti-vaxxer trolls, it seems that our festival played an important role in promoting vaccination among the young people, who otherwise were reluctant to look into it.”

Other Covid-19 safety measures included the requirement of masks during concerts and, for the first time, the event was ticketed in order to control the flow of visitors.

Fans who couldn’t attend in person were able to watch the festival online for free.

The festival – also known as the ‘Woodstock of Poland’ – featured performances from international artists, as well as talks and workshops from social activists, artists, media personalities, sportspeople and NGOs.

 


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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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