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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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Poland’s National Stadium to become Covid hospital

Poland’s National Stadium, PGE Narodowy in Warsaw, is being converted into a temporary hospital to accommodate more Covid-19 patients.

The 58,500-capacity stadium will initially have room for 500 beds and will be equipped with oxygen therapy, said head of the chancellery for the prime minister, Michał Dworczyk, during a press conference yesterday (19 October).

The hospital will provide care for the residents of Warsaw and also Mazovia. According to Dworczyk, the hospital, which will be a branch of the Central Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, will be the first in a series of such facilities in Poland.

“We can see that the pandemic is dangerous and progressive. We want to transfer the experience gained by the Central Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of Interior and Administration to the already designed temporary hospital. In the hospital, patients will have access to all the most important tests,” said Dworczyk.

“We want to transfer the experience gained by the Central Clinical Hospital to the already designed temporary hospital”

PGE Narodowy is the largest association football arena in the country and is the home of Poland’s national football team.

The stadium will close to visitors from 19 October when preparations for the temporary hospital will begin.

Poland has experienced relatively low rates of infection throughout the pandemic but is now dealing with an exponential surge of cases. Last weekend, the country reached its highest daily rate for new cases, recording 9,622 on Saturday (17 October).

The government has responded to the surge last week, announcing a series of measures in Warsaw and other major cities now considered “red zones” where it’s mandatory to wear masks in the street.

Restaurants have been forced to close at 9 pm local time, wedding ceremonies are banned, and the number of people allowed in shops, public transport and religious services is limited. All high schools and faculties located in these zones are closed and are conducting remote teaching.

PGE Narodowy is one of the many venues across the world which have been repurposed as a field hospital or Covid-19 test centre during the pandemic.

 


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Solidarity with Belarus: Thousands attend Poland concert

A line-up of popular Polish and Belarusian artists performed at Poland’s National Stadium last week as part of a concert in support of the protest movement against Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko.

Solidarity with Belarus (Solidarni z Białorusią) took place at the 58,580-seat PGE Narodowy in Warsaw – bedecked for the occasion in white-red-white of the pre-1995 Belarusian flag, used as a symbol by pro-democracy protestors – on 26 September. Performers included many musical veterans of Poland’s own struggle for democracy, such Chłopcy z Placu Broni, who performed ‘I Love Freedom’ in both Polish and Belarusian.

A total of 11,000 free tickets were available for the show, which was broadcast live on Belsat, a Polish government-owned channel aimed at Belarus, and Polsat, a private Polish TV station.

“Today the Belarusian people are fighting for their freedom”

Providing the visual the experience was Polish production company ARAM, which delivered almost 1,000m² of new Infiled AR-series LED screens, which were installed on layer construction.

To meet local Covid-19 regulations, attendees were obliged to sanitise their hands on entry and wear face coverings until they took their seats, with the requirements enforced by police.

Speaking at Solidarni z Białorusią, Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki told concertgoers: “We are here to be with Belarusians on their bumpy road to freedom,” adding that it was 40 years ago that the anti-communist Solidarity movement emerged in Poland.

“Back then, Poles had the courage to say ‘no’ to those who violated human rights and trampled on freedom. Today the Belarusian people are fighting for their freedom… Long live sovereign and free Belarus, and long live Poland.”

 


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Outdoor concerts return to Poland

Live music is returning to Poland this summer, following a government announcement that outdoor events of up to 150 people are now permitted.

Poland, where events of over 100 people have been banned since early March, entered its fourth phase of lockdown easing on 30 May, giving the green light for public gatherings of up to 150 people – with a specific reference to outdoor concerts – as long as participants keep two metres apart, or cover their faces.



From Saturday (6 June), cultural institutions in Poland such as theatres and venues will be allowed to reopen with reduced capacities. Night clubs are to remain closed.

Capitalising on the new regulations, promoter Follow the Step has announced an outdoor concert series, which is taking place in the Praga area of the Polish capital of Warsaw in July, in conjunction with venue Praga Centrum.

Live music is returning to Poland this summer, following a government announcement that outdoor events of up to 150 people are now permitted

The Lato na Pradze (Summer in Praga) series is kicking off on 1 July with a show by electronic-pop trio Kamp!, followed by concerts by Polish artists Nosowska, Krzysztof Zalewski, Natalia Nykiel, Natalia Przybysz, Jabłoni Flower and Sonbird.

Green relaxation zones, food trucks and bars will also be set up in the garden of the Praga Centrum complex.

Tickets go on sale on 4 June at 12 p.m. (CET) here. The number of tickets available may increase as restrictions are lifted.

Poland’s Open’er Festival, among those forced to cancel its 2020 edition due to the Covid-19 crisis, recently confirmed that Twenty One Pilots, the Chemical Brothers, Thom Yorke Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes and FKA Twigs will appear at its 2021 festival, from 30 June to 2 July.

Photo: Tim Adams/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)


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