An unbeatable festival experience

Clean beaches, un-spoilt countryside and a penchant for fresh Thai cuisine is not usually the sort of mise-en-scene that you would associate with Poland. Once part of the iron tight Communist states of Eastern Europe, the monumental event of joining an ever contemporary and changing Europe is clear on every corner in modern day, networked continent, held together by a unified mother state.

Situated near the Baltic coast lies the area of Gydansk, one that lies next to the beautiful Baltic ocean and a stones throw away from Russia. Aside from a worthwhile trip in search of an expanding economy and new found sociological freedoms, Poland's glorious expansion has branched out into the worlds of music and culture. Perhaps this is why the Heineken Open'er festival was voted the best European festival by fathoms. Jam-packed with fevering, friendly and music hungry Poles descending for the most jaw dropping line up of the Summer, the Open'er is surely the young jewel in Eastern Europe's crown.

Situated just a ten minute drive away from the beautiful city of Gydnia, the main site of the festival was once a dis-used airfield and base in the form of Kosakowo Airport. Reflecting the not so distant cold-war era of days gone by, the festival's luscious, rolling green landscape is flanked by cold war bunkers, and occasional twisted monuments of a time that most Polish residents are glad to have seen come to an end.

Maybe it’s the new found freedoms. Maybe it’s the sense of happiness and contentment as the sun rages and oodles of Heineken are guzzled in raucous joy. Or perhaps, simply, it’s the most amazing line up I’ve seen in years. And that’s no understatement.

Granted, the focus of the artists present is leaning towards the acoustic, but with a line up as grand as the likes of Skunk Annansie, Pavement, Hot Chip and grunge staples Pearl Jam, you really feel the sense of something very special indeed.

The major highlights from the festival were many, but Pearl Jam live, Kasabian waving the British flag and Seasick Steve filled the vast plains of the airbase in crowds of epic proportions. After the main furor of the main acts, and people tucked into their smoked sausage and chipped potato combo’s, Clash ventured into the depths of those untouched Bunkers, all offering the late night anecdote for the hoards of happy, blissful revelers with the likes of Diskjokke, Brondinski and many more beat excavators plugging their wares unashamedly.

So if you want to follow this humble reviewers advice, then book up a ticket to Poland next year for an unbeatable festival experience that will leave you smiling from ear to ear. A cheap as chips entry price, friendly, wide-eyed punters hanging off every note and bar played, and a 33 degree heat toasting your pale English skin, the vast plains of Poland are set to fill up in the forthcoming years. Make sure you get there before it turns into a new Reading festival.

Words by Joe Gamp

Follow Clash: