Pohoda means peace, ease, contentment

In the last ten years Europe has experienced significant explosion in the number, popularity and quality of summer festivals. European festivals grew from small, intimate events in countryside, tiny villages or castles, to huge, headline affairs. The trend have expanded from a one genre focus to multi-media content, the audience had grew in its numbers and also became multicultural. Europe now has a huge amount of festivals which young Europeans literally cross their continent for. 

Censorship, oppression of culture and civil society pronouncement have inhibited open, organized gatherings of people that have blocked any attempts for open air cultural activities beyond the scope of the socialist regime. Eastern and Central European countries have been left behind the late 20th century boom of summer music festivals.

The first summer festivals in the Eastern part of Europe have popped up in shy family atmospheres of enthusiastic organizers and their fellows circuits. In contrary, the Pinkpop Festival is known as the oldest annual dedicated pop Music Festival in Western countries, starting in 1970 in Netherlands. Though, in other genres there are much older ones — the Three Choirs Festival in UK runs annually since 1719. Also the huge and famous Glastonbury Festival has a tradition in 20th century.

What are the festival stars of Eastern European counterpart? One of the first big-scale events in CEE region is Woodstock Festival in Poland  that takes place since 1995 and in 2009 gathered above 400,000 people. Even an earlier bird is the VOLT Festival, an annual four day music festival held in Sopron, Hungary in early July. Established in 1993, VOLT attracts over 100,000 music fans every year. Few years later have appeared younger and smaller scale festivals of Balkan countries. In The Mountains, a new three day music, arts and literature festival. Croatian Hideout is a three day Electro, Dubstep and Drum and Bass Festival set on Zrce Beach. Since 2000 runs Exit Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia. Exit (also referred to as State of Exit) has strong social and political messages and also does not stick to one genre, showcasing every genre from hip-hop to metal. In the stunning Rhodopian Mountains of Bulgaria is held Meadows.

In Slovakia, Pohoda festival started as almost the first summer festival in a young post-communist country and was held at the small castle in 1997. Among all great festivals of CEE region is Pohoda still outstanding by its multi-genre and multi-media character, almost a family atmosphere of 30.000 people and the great energy all over the place full four days. The first growth in visitors came in 1999 when formerly music festival has introduced theatre, cinema and literature. When it comes to the „big names“, Pohoda impresses the audience every year, however, specific ambient is what do they appreciate the most. Arch magazine has referred to Pohoda festival as to an „Absolutely contemporary, urban program and festival activities – from music, theatre, readings and book launchings to art gallery, together with the profile of a typical Pohoda festival goer ..“ 

Pohoda is a music and arts festival where alternative, indie, electronica, world music & punk meet classical; alongside literature, dance, visual art, film theatre, active civil society people in sector of NGO´s, discussions or political debates. Already on four days of 9th to 11th of July Pohoda festival will again create a unique space where the beautiful and varied cultures of the world meet, communicate and share ideas. Pohoda in Slavic language means peace, ease, contentment and this is exactly what a nowadays European multi-genre and multicultural festivals of summer are, reaching out far beyond the state borders merging people of nationalities in a common idea of having and sharing simply a good time together. 

Written by Veronika Strelcova (Slovakia)


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