MISJA 21: Podróż dookoła Polski w 21 dni Euro

Nasi wysłannicy z Londynu i Łodzi - Petter Larsson z City University i Maciej Stańczyk z Gazety Wyborczej - przemierzają kraj w poszukiwaniu największego sukcesu i porażki Mistrzostw Europy w Piłce Nożnej UEFA - Euro 2012.

Katowice - Petter Larsson

  • niedziela, 03 lipca 2011
    • New names and celebrated stars on stage

      Pulp, Coldplay and Prince delivered and were great to finally get to see but I have also discovered new bands such as Abraham inc, Two Door Cinema Club and Crystal Fighters. The concert that I actually ended up enjoying most was the one-and-a-half-hour-delayed Big Boi who mixed his own stuff with classics from my favourite groups of all times - Outkast.

      When I saw that Big Boi was the only Hip-Hop act in this year’s festival that I recognized, I was perhaps a bit naive and thought I was going to see Outkast but without Andre 3000. When he showed up on Saturday night, it turned out to be exactly like that.

      His sidekick did Andre’s verses and what I got to see was way better than I expected. I have always wanted to see Outkast live and this might be as close as I will ever get to do that. It is amazing how many great songs the Atlanta duo have produced since I first heard “Ms Jackson”. Big Boi topped this up with own creations like “Shutterbugg” - a great live song. I was happy to see someone live that I, unlike Prince or Coldplay, actually have on my iPod. 

      I was quite satisfied with the line-up but every Pole I met was complaining (something that I have been told have more with the Poles than with the line-up to do but still). When we heard that it after Prince was going to be a surprise, we started to guess which band that was going to show up. When we full of excitement stood there after Prince’s show, waiting for the surprise act, we found out that the surprise act was… fireworks! I said it when I praised Katowice for arranging a light show instead and I am saying it again; fireworks are not exciting anymore. They always look the same. Of course it was a nice thing but comparing for the great artists that we hoped would enter the main stage and try to beat Prince, it was a slight disappointment.

      

      I am really happy for having seen Open’er Festival and if the weather and line-up is good I might be back in Tricity next year.

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      niedziela, 03 lipca 2011 14:21
    • Polish party people

      Since I stayed in a flat instead of in a tent I am sure I missed out on many crazy events on the camping but I also escaped the rain and that matters more to me.

      ·      For me, the idea of having the day’s first bands playing around 5pm has been ideal this time. Since we stay in a flat and the weather has been a bit…unfriendly, there has been time to chill at home and get ready without missing out on any bands. This scheduling however also contributes to the fact that people in the festival area mostly run around between concerts. Because there only is a short amount of time per day when there are bands playing, people do not really get time to sit down and mix with the visitors from all over the world. The weather might have been another reason for this too.

      ·      Even though the festival has gotten good attention lately there are still a great majority of Polish people here and that makes it different from other major festivals in England and Scandinavia. Other major festivals do not have as many Poles visiting, but most of all, one can hear any language spoken all the time. The world, especially Sweden that is so near, must discover Open’er soon.

      ·      I am having a hard time understanding why people in London are so obsessed with fancy dress parties. Why would things be more fun just because you are dressed up as Superman? But at the Open’er Festival I have realized that fancy dresses and crazy people is something it is really missing. I am not going to dress up as a polar bear and break the ice, I just think that the lack of people looking funny might be significant for the Polish way to party. It might also suit me quite good.

      ·      I do not expect people to walk up to me and ask if they can buy me a beer (although I am not going to stop those who do) but I still have not seen a lot of the sheer joy and happiness between strangers that I have experienced in other festivals I have been to. People here are more reserved and I get the feeling that Open’er still is more of a local party where you go to meet your friends rather than meeting new friends. In big crowds people are bad at letting others interrupt their “private space” and many are protecting their square meter with violence. What if someone stood really near you in a concert – so near that you almost touched each other? That would be awkward, wouldn’t it.

       

      In general I like the way people party in Poland. In the UK and in Scandinavia we tend to turn into someone we really are not when we are drinking but here people are more chilled out and that is the way I like it. I do not feel a need of dressing up as a fairy with a dildo in my forehead to prove to people that I am having a good time. But on the other hand, watching people leaving their organized, sober selves at home and go completely crazy has been one of the charms with other festivals I have visited.

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      niedziela, 03 lipca 2011 13:56
    • Open'er organization

      I have had a great time in Gdynia and now it is time to cross the ocean and say cześć to Sweden. My expectations for the Open’er Festival were high because of all good things I had heard about it and even though my experience did not quite match them, it was just the kind of festival experience I wanted after an intense but sweet week in Katowice.

       

      ·      The infrastructure was not too bad. Even though it is located 50 miles beyond the middle of nowhere and we got some good exercise walking to and from the area at least the free shuttle buses to the city centre never let us down or kept us waiting.

      ·      The arrangers had responded to the big amount of visitors with a massive amount of toilets. They were, for a young male festival visitor, pretty clean and there were never any queues. This prevented the area from the traditional festival smell of… festival!

      ·      The place did not turn into a mud party because of the rain and I did not suffer that much from the bad weather but there are still ways in which the rain could have been made an even smaller obstacle. How could, for example, wellies be sold out in the entire area and why did not the festival have people walking around selling cheap/free ponchos? In Roskilde, when it started rain, an enormous rubber market opens and there should be a lot of money to be made on bad weather too.

      ·      One of my favourite things with the festival was the card paying systems that was used in the food and drink stalls. After two weeks in the country, of which a few days have been spent waiting for a person behind a till, I am running out of patience for slow cashiers and this was a great solution also because the beer-servers will not get robbed (on money, perhaps on beer).

      ·      It was strange to see that a festival sponsored by a beer brand did not allow people to buy beer and see concerts at the same time. It is like if Adidas, that is sponsoring Euro 2012, only would allow the Adidas balls to be used for the warm-up.

      ·      The festival never ends or, at least, it lasts as long as I manage to keep my eyes open which gives me the feeling that it never ends. There is nothing worse than walking through an empty festival area around 1-2am, looking for a party but here are clubs inside the festival area that are open until the morning.


      ·      A big beer brand is sponsoring the festival. Why? To make people start buying their beer. But when people finally buy their beer in the festival (because there is no option), it is so weak that a mineral water has more flavour and character. In what way are they trying to make people want their beer in the future? Are we supposed to walk into a shop and buy a Heiniken and think: “This tastes even better than I remembered”?

      ·      Finally, the best thing with Open’er; the price. For this price I don’t expect anything and that is why the festival is a success no matter how it turns out. Entrance, food and drinks for four days costs me about the same amount that it would cost me to see Prince live in London. As long as the price stays on this level, I will not hesitate to come back.

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      niedziela, 03 lipca 2011 13:25
    • Crowd complications

      I have discovered that many Poles do not know how to behave in big crowds. In a concert it is normal that it is packed in the front and more space for everyone in the back. That is giving people the choice to stand in the packed front or in the comfortable back but the Poles are trying to revolt against this by simply protecting their space and not letting anyone pass.

      It might have something to do with the Polish never-let-anyone-too-close-mentality but to me it looks more like a I-have-never-been-to-a-concert-mentality and I think a sign saying "if you want space around you, stand in the back" would be more useful than the signs that are informing us to not bring any gun. In England, even in a group of football hooligans, if I tap someone on the shoulder and say "excuse me", they would answer by politely apologize for standing in my way and letting me pass. Here they spit some Polish in my ear and I get to struggle with elbows for getting somewhere.

      I am not a giant and I will not stop and stand just in front of you so just letting me pass you without first having to wrestle down your firm elbow would save us both some energy.

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      niedziela, 03 lipca 2011 12:12
  • sobota, 02 lipca 2011
    • Pulp live - my wet dream

      The second day was good. Pulp was great and I got to know the English/Spanish electro band Crystal Fighters that full of energy kept their audience in the tent stage amazed into the early hours this morning. And... what? The weather? Oh, yes, it was a bit rainy too...

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      sobota, 02 lipca 2011 15:49
    • Wellies? Well, yes!

      The second day of the Open'er festival reminded me of the only time I had been to the Roskilde Festival in Denmark, because of the many great British acts that we got to see. And yes, of course, the weather.

      I managed to go there on the rainiest of the festival's 40 years. One rainy day put most of the tents under water - sometimes half a meter and luckily in my case just like a comfy water bed. Two people passed out and drowned and many thousands had to give up and go home.

      I had been warned about the rain and made some shopping that was going to be even more important than the festival ring I had bought. When we left the house we were expecting rain, cold, wind and mud but when entering the festival area we realized that it was actually even worse. Many of the visitors stayed at home watching their favourite bands on Youtube and those who came hated their lives for a while but I had a great night and saw some good bands like Pulp, British Sea Power and Crystal Fighters.

      There are quite a few good things with a festival evening when there is tropical weather, but in the bad way:

      • In the big acts such as Pulp, it was really easy to come a bit late and walk straight to the front of the crowd. People were either to cold to care or it was not crowded enough.
      • Bands like British Sea Power that are good bands but with a lack of a real charachter, now suddenly had that extra attractive feature - they played in a tent - and their audience was huge.
      • All normal dress codes are erased and one is suddenly cool if one wears a 39 zl poncho and 50 zl wellies. Suddenly it is not the expensive and crazy but the functional and cheap that makes the festival girls want to stay near you.
      • Suddenly we all got a "let's do this together"-feeling that I had missed on the festival earlier.
      • The beer-drinking-area was easily expanded since wearing a poncho turned out to be a way to carry out as many beers as possible to the people on the other side.

      So yes, it was a bit rainy but there were plenty of good things coming with it. The sky looks grey today too but I hope it will stay like this. I can always bring my poncho just for the beer smuggling in case it will not rain.

       

       

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      sobota, 02 lipca 2011 11:39
  • piątek, 01 lipca 2011
    • A touch of the future

      The beer (I will not mention which one) served in the Heiniken Open'er Festival tastes like beer flavored soda water but the food stands have plenty of different food from all over the world to satisfy hungry festival visitors with. The best with buying food and drinks in the area is however not what you get - but how it is payed. I have had enough of slow Poles behind tills in shops and ticket offices and in Open'er you only get to meet them once. The payment is simply made by touching a card to a reader like I do when entering the tube in London. The card can be topped up online and makes the queues disappear very quickly. One only have to remember to top the card up at home or one will have to buy a new card or coupons as there are no place in the area where one can top up a the beer-card with cash. I will order more of this beer-flavored soda water during the stay only because I get the feeling that every time I touch my card I go for a short journey to the future.

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      piątek, 01 lipca 2011 15:46

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