Off to Off in August

If you really want to go to some music festival, but Fezen didn’t impress you, go to Poland! Off festival in Katowice will be held August 1-4.

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Off festival started in 2006, and it was originally in Mysłowice but it moved to Katowice in 2010. It won the European Festival Award for Best Medium-Sized Festival in January 2012. It’s got a pretty interesting line-up.

For example I was surprised to see Patrick Wolf in a festival line-up, but the organizers know what they are doing: he won’t be playing a regular festival stage but at the Katowice Centre of Culture on the first of August. That venue will certainly work very well for him as he will most likely play his latest Sundark and Riverlight album, a kind of “Greatest Hits” album with acoustic arrangements.

Patrick Wolf performing one of his childhood favorites, Szomorú Vasárnap in Budapest.

The biggest bands at Off festival will be My Bloody Valentine and The Smashing Pumpkins – I don’t think they need introductions. Somewhat lesser names are Deerhunter and Godspeed you! Black emperor. If you wanted to find what’s common in Off performers, you’d have to use vague words like indie, experimental or alternative. And there would still be odd ones out like Brutal Truth:

The only thing that connects all these performers is the man behind Off festival, Artur Rojek. According to its manifesto, Off festival goes against the grain of trends, boredom, and mediocrity and it is determined to support new, challenging, and ambitious music. This includes new and intriguing faces on the Polish scene: artists that no other festival would dare to invite. This makes Off festival truly unique and likeable among the usually very similar music festivals. Such an approach of course could still result in a disastrous festival with a terrible line-up. But Artur Rojek’s eclectic taste is shared by many: Off festival was nominated for best lineup in the European Festival Awards and named among the world’s 20 essential summer festivals in 2012 by Pitchfork.

Are you interested? You can buy passes, book accommodation here:

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About the author

János Gömöri

János lives in Budapest. He is interested in music, history, coding and linguistics.

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