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Friday, October 2, 2009

Looking back: OFF Festival 2009

When: August 6 - 9
Where: Myslowice, Poland
OFF was a big unknown for us, we really had no idea what to expect. It wasn't only a new festival for us but a new COUNTRY. Anyway, we spent the week before the festival in Krakow and loved it. Loved it so much in fact we ended up returning to the city after the festival.

As for OFF:   

- The campsite. Yes, this surely is how all festival campsites should be. Trees, grass, quiet, SPACE. Perfect. The actual festival area was equally beautiful.
- Cheap beer
- Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
- The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. They went on in the late afternoon, playing to quite a small crowd (apparently this 'whole indie thing' is pretty new in Poland).
- The National (yep, there's a reason Eliza picked Matt Berninger as one of 'The top 5 people I would marry if they asked me today' on a recent Facebook quiz.)
- Karl Blau (Staged one of the best crowd sing-alongs of my summer)
- The Thermals
- crossing the train tracks on the way to the festival area
- Price of the festival tickets (approx €40.00 for two days)
- Just BEING in Poland!

- The campsite was located at a good 20-25 minute walk from the festival site. We (and a few hundred other people) quickly discovered a rather amazing short-cut over some train tracks though.
- The woman selling sandwiches. She was mean. Possibly. Our Polish wasn't good enough to be entirely sure.
- The fact that you couldn't take a beer (or any type of food for that matter) from the bar and food area to the stages. Apparently this is quite normal in Poland as nobody seemed to care/notice all that much. Surely one of the best things at a festival (or any gig for that matter) is to stand and watch your favourite bands with a beer in your hand?
- The ridiculous rule they had for cameras: cameras over 3.2 MP (do they still exist?) weren't allowed to be taken onto the festival grounds... I managed to devise a clever deceptive strategy to bypass this one, involving my belt and groin area, and the pictures you see here are proof of that.
 All in all I think the organizers have done an incredible job, setting up this truly special festival and bringing bands to OFF that had never even played in Poland before (notable exception: Handsome Furs, who told us it was something like their 14th time in the country this year), bands with barely (if any) a fan base in Poland. The entire project takes guts, and the festival is clearly a labour of love for the organizers. For this we salute them!

The Thermals

Handsome Furs

 The National
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone


The Pains of Being Pure at Heart


Karl Blau

on the train to OFF

Myslowice town

  Myslowice town

  Myslowice train station

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - New Year's Kiss (Daytrotter session)
The Thermals - I can't let go (Daytrotter session)
HEALTH - We are Water (Daytrotter session)
And finally, a song from a band that didn't actually play at OFF, but whose song Karl Blau rather wonderfully covered.

Your Heart Breaks - Bad Company