It’s time to give some love to Poland’s unsung festival heroes. From international big-hitters like Orange Warsaw, Przystanek Woodstock and OFF Festival to the more intimate atmospheres of Tauron Nowa Muzyka and Halfway Festival, here are 10 that are well worth putting on your list.
#10 Halfway Festival
Headliners: William Fitzsimmons, Maggie Björklund, Moddi
Run out of the European Centre for the Arts in Białystok, Halfway Festival showcases Poland's diverse culture of traditional music. Folk, alternative music and local songwriters perform side-by-side with orchestras and classical music in various forms, making for an expertly curated, small-medium sized festival.
When and where: 26 - 28 June 2015, Białystok
#9 Rawa Blues Festival
Headliners: (2014) Eric Bibb Trio, Irek Dudek & NosPR, Blind Boys of Alabama
The world's biggest indoor blues festival celebrates its 35th year this autumn, with acts making their way to Katowice's Spotek venue from all over the world. Modern electric blues is a bit of a niche culture, but if it's your thing then Rawa Blues is well worth the trip.
When and where: 3 October 2015, Katowice
#8 90 Festival
Headliners: Haddaway, 2 Unlimited, Coolio
Single-handedly keeping 90s pop and electro alive sure is an ambitious task, but 90 Festival seem to be fulfilling their brief perfectly. Its very first edition, in 2014, was a raving success and this year sees Coolio, 2 Unlimited and Beatrix Delgado travel to southern Poland.
When and where: 18 - 19 July 2015, Bielsko-Biała
#7 Sunrise Festival
Headliners: (2014) Nicky Romero, Fedde le Grand, Showtek
Easily one of the biggest electronic dance events in Central and Eastern Europe, Sunrise Festival boasts a very impressive lineup year after year. Past appearances from Axwell & Ingrosso, Alesso, R3hab and Paul van Dyk have done the Sunrise reputation no harm at all.
When and where: 24 - 26 July 2015, Kolobrzeg
#6 Audioriver Festival
Headliners: Róisín Murphy, Marcel Dettmann, Tale of Us
An enduringly independent festival packed full of charm and character, Audioriver has a strong flow of techno and electro music with the odd drop of pop in there for good measure. The stages are split between the local beach and Plock's Old Market Square.
When and where: 24 - 26 July 2015, Plock
#5 Open’er Festival
Having started a small, one-day event in 2002, Open'er has since swapped Warsaw for Gdynia and grown to one of the biggest in the country. The focus is generally on rock/alt-rock music, though wildcards like A$AP Rocky this year keep things varied.
When and where: 1 - 4 July 2015, Lotnisko Gdynia-Kosakowo
#4 Przystanek Woodstock (Woodstock Festival Poland)
Headliners: Within Temptation, (HED) PE, Black Label Society
Ticket-free and attended by a ludicrous 750,000 people in 2014, Woodstock Poland keeps the hippie flame burning bright. "Love, Friendship and Music" is the motto that spurs on the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity to thank their army of volunteers each year in the best way that we can imagine.
When and where: 30 July - 1 August 2015, Kostrzyn Nad Odrą
#3 Tauron Nowa Muzyka
Passionately intent on bringing new, unfound music to the public arena, Tauron Nowa Muzyka has won more awards in the last few years than most of its European peers put together. Such a clear focus on fresh talent gives TNM a unique character that continues to grow its audience and appeal.
When and where: 20 - 23 August 2015, Katowice
#2 OFF Festival
OFF may well be the one Polish festival you've heard of before. It's a grand-scale, outdoor event that revels in the breathtaking landscape south of Katowice – and it's a sure fire place to see some of the festival circuits biggest names each summer.
When and where: 7 - 9 August 2015, Katowice
#1 Orange Warsaw Festival
Helped along by its location in the capital, Orange Warsaw's ascent on the European scene has been swift. Since 2008, its city-centre stages have been graced by the Pixies, Kings of Leon, The Prodigy, Martin Garrix and Snoop Dogg.
When and where: 12 - 14 June 2015, Sluzewiec Racing Track, Warsaw