open'er 2012

Right. Long-ass post coming your way.

It’s Poland-related, of course. I don’t even know where to begin, the amount of craic and banter that was had during and after the festival with so many different people, gah. Already planning next year lads, we’ll be even more prepared, learning Polish now and everything! .. Or at least, trying to.

So Leah, Emma and Anto all came down to mine the Monday before last, just ‘cause it made more sense I s'pose since I’m closer to the auld airport and we got all excited and listened to some festival music and it was graand.

Tuesday we woke up obscenely early to catch the bus to the airport and passed 4 odd hours eating crummy McDonald’s breakfast food (never again, tasted like paste) and met Rachel before she bopped off to London on her sixth year holiday. Discovered and played the wonderfulness that is mad libs, totally mature versions may I add, to pass the two and a half hours in the air. Arrived in Poland then and met some American couple also going to the festival, he was jolly and made fun of himself which was cool, she was kinda quiet but seemed nice enough. Managed to conquer the task of buying a bus ticket from the airport to Gdynia and met Zosia before grabbing the shuttle bus out to the airfield where the festival was held. The first night there was just fantastic, everyone was just setting up tents and getting their bearings and we bought a few cans and sat down outside the airfield and yelled 'cześć!’ at anyone who passed and chatted to our surrounding tent neighbours and drank some more and laughed and hardly slept and just had the craic, passed out quite a few Irish flags too.

'Fraid the photos kinda stop after that until after the festival, since you were only allowed a camera with a certain amount of megapixels into the festival area and my camera had too many.

Wednesday was spent somewhat recovering from the antics of the first night, had planned on going to see Bjork but we ended up all splitting up instead and I ended up spending a bit of the night just having a wander 'round the airfield. Did some food shopping too, exciting stuff. All healthy things of course, such as crisps, cookies and copious bars of Milka chocolate, y'know, the necessities. 

Thursday was amazing, we went to see Dry the River who put on a great great show in the tent stage; they were so so humble and grateful and it was so lovely. Pegged it down to the signing stage then to say hello and tell them how amazing they were and they signed our Irish flags, total fan girl moments were had.

Saw Bon Iver followed by Justice that evening, Bon Iver was simply fabulous, wasn’t entirely sure how his chilled-out sort of music would go down at the festival but it was dark at that stage and he had all these beautiful green lights dotted around the stage and it was all so chill and he sang beautifully of course.

Hadn’t listened to Justice that much before the festival, hadn’t really know of them at all truth be told but it seemed like everyone was going to them and Leah really wanted to see them too so I tagged along. Glad I did, they were such a contrast to Bon Iver but it was good to have such upbeat choons and vibes and I can’t stop listening to them now.

Friday’s highlight was Franz Ferdinand, my god. They were the one act that I hadn’t really been expecting much from, since I only knew the few songs but jesus they put on a show. The lights, the stage, the whole set-up, they seriously got the crowd going, belted along as loud as I physically could.

Saturday consisted of Mumford and Sons and Friendly Fires, great way to finish it all off. There’d been thunder and lightning storms that day and the electricity went out momentarily and Mumford and Sons was delayed by like 15 minutes. It was fantastic though, during them the sun was setting but you could still see the odd forks of lightning overhead, it was just absolutely beautiful. Their combo of slow, meaningful songs with upbeat, foot-thumping chooons was so perfect.

Sorta missed Friendly Fires, but according to Emma they were great. :P

The campsite was such a sorry sight on Sunday then, everyone was packing up and there was rubbish as far as the eye could see and we had to say our final goodbyes to our newly-made Polish companions, who we all vowed to see same time next year. 
The festival on a whole was just so well organized, out of the thousands of people there I’d only seen one person stumbling around uncontrollably, everyone else drank and was merry but nothing violent or threatening happened, you just felt really safe even on the campsite; you weren’t afraid to leave anything in your tent and just wander off for a bit like. The weather was crazy, during the day it’d reach almost 30 degrees and then at night you’d be woken up by lightning and thunderstorms, the campsite was a mucky mess and you’d feel icky all the time but the showers were surprisingly good and you really didn’t give a shite after a while. Having said that, the hostel in Sopot was an absolute god-send after it all; mattresses and properly functioning showers? Bliss.

We headed over to Sopot once the festival had finished, early on Sunday that is, and just relaxed the entire day. We wandered around for a bit, took much needed naps, and then headed down to the beach with a few cans. Had some serious DMCs beside the Baltic Sea about everything and nothing. Sopot’s such a pretty place, it’s such a holiday destination or something, there’s loads of little bistros and restaurants and stalls with your typical trinkets and souvenirs. 

Monday was rather hilarious, we looked around more stalls and decided we’d sample the nightlife. Ended up on the beach, having more DMCs and making friends with some Belgian fellows who we hope to never see again. :L

I know that I’m completely gushing over the whole trip, but it really just was such a great time. The festival was so chill, Poland in general was just so chill, it was such a lovely change from Ireland. The weather was fantastic, everything was so cheap, our festival neighbours were all so lovely and funny and more than willing to teach us the odd Polish phrase, Gdynia and Sopot were fab spots and I really enjoyed every minute over there, couldn’t have picked better people to go with.

Będziemy zobaczenia w przyszłym roku, Polska!


Pots & Pans through the eyes of a fan watching one of the big screens at the festival.

Still a good enough video to drive you crazy.