Festival Woodstock is a music festival (the biggest open-air festival in Poland) organized by the Foundation of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. It is a form of thanks to the volunteers and organizers of the Great Finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity event. (Note: it does not not involve money collected in the Great Finale!)
Location: Kostrzyn at the Oder
Jerzy Owsiak – Orchestra Man
Polish name “Przystanek Woodstock” refers to the two phenomena of the world culture: the famous Woodstock Festival and the popular television series “Northern Exposure” (in Polish: “Przystanek Alaska”). Every year Woodstock Festival features a few dozen bands from Poland and other countries.
Among them were so far such bands like Guano Apes, Die Toten Hosen, Kiling Joke, The Stranglers, Zion Train, Twinkle Brothers, Zebrahead, H-Blockx, Skindred, Jahcoustix Dog Eat Dog, Airbourne and The Prodigy. But the scenes (there are actually 2: big and small) are opened for everybody. Any group interested in performing there (well-known or quite new) can send its demo CD to Fabryka Zespołów (Bands Factory), which recruits performers.
Special performance: president Lech Wałęsa
A specific feature of this festival is the lack of barriers separating stage from the audience but it is one of the safest places in Poland. The order is guaranteed by the so called Peace Patrol (composed of volunteers, how not!) and Polish and German police.
Peace Patrol – paramedics
One of the festival traditions is a collective giant mud bath.
Bath in a mud
To events not associated with music belongs The Academy of the Most Beautiful Arts – meetings with journalists, television celebrities and other authorities of the Polish and world fame. Woodstock Festival has been visited so far by, among others, President Lech Walesa and former President of the Federal Republic of Germany Joachim Gauck.
On the stage: president of Germany Joachim Gauck, president RP Bronisław Komorowski and Jerzy Owsiak
Impression of Przystanek Woodstock 2013
Website of the organisation
Website of the next Woodstock
The spiritus movens of the whole event is of course a tireless Jurek Owsiak, who not only controls everything but also leads concerts – up to losing his voice.
Jerzy Owsiak (born 6 October 1953 in Gdańsk) is a Polish radio and TV journalist (specialty: music) and social campaigner. He is a founder and President of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, one of the larges non-governmental, non-profit charity organizations in Poland. He is also the creator of the Woodstock Festival, a large rock music festival that takes place in Kostrzyn, to thank all the volunteers and supporters who take part in the Grand Finale each year. His specific feature is hoarseness (and stuttering sometimes). He also introduced to Polish language a saying: “do what you want” (róbta co chceta), for which he is disliked by the Polish Church, considering him as somewhat demoralizator of a Polish youth.
Photo: WOŚP, sources: www.wosp.org.pl, Wikipedia