Saturday At Open'er Festival 2012

Fourth and final day
The xx - Saturday At Open'er Festival 2012
The fourth day of Open’er Festival 2012 gets off to a glowing start. The sweltering heat envelopes us as we prepare ourselves for the final day of music, but it’s not long before the weather starts beating down. Rain quickly escalates into an inconvenient but beautiful thunderstorm delaying Mumford & Sons’ set by twenty-five minutes, and sending thousands of people running for cover.

Unprepared festival goers squelch through the mud; some of the more enthusiastic revellers literally jump straight in, others fashion clothing out of bin liners, but most people just make a beeline to the nearest bar to sit the storm out and gaze at the intense fork lightening.

The disused airfield where Open’er is held is littered with air hangers which the festival have used to its advantage. One houses a silent disco and in another there’s a not-so-silent-disco, these fill up quickly in the rain, while some punters prefer a more cultural shelter in the Fashion Stage or the on-site art gallery, curated by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.

The delay in Mumford & Sons’ set can be overlooked, however, as the timings across the rest of the festival have been impressively regimented. There is hardly anyone there to watch the show anyway, with only a handful of dedicated fans loitering in front of the main stage. Predictably, Mumford put on a show to brighten many people’s day. Their album ‘Sigh No More’ holds their slot together with about 80% of the set coming from the much-celebrated debut. But they also take the chance to roll out some new tracks from their second album, due out in September. The icing on the cake for the Polish audience is keyboardist Ben Lovett addressing them in their mother tongue. We’ve no idea what he says or if he’s got it right, but the effort is clearly appreciated.

Playing the weekend out, The xx take to the stage on time despite the earlier scheduling interruptions. Avoiding all dramatic stage clichés, they ease into their set so serenely it’s almost a cappella. Dressed all in black and hidden behind a wall of smoke and moody lights, the threesome are anything but domineering, but they don’t need assertiveness to win the festival over. “This is our first time playing in Poland, ever. Sorry it’s taken so long,” says Oliver Sim. This sentiment has appeared a few times throughout the festival with New Order and The Kills also announcing that Open’er 2012 is their first Polish gig. This might contribute to the crowd lapping them up with such enthusiasm.

And so the festival comes to a close for another year. A little crazy weather is all part of the fun, and with such a stellar line up Open’er 2012 has ticked all our boxes with aplomb.

Words by Emily Anderton
Photo by Elinor Jones

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