Is there on the world any other festival, where a definite rock star, Red Hot Chili Peppers chant a football song together with thousands of audience, and what’s more they do it in flawless, practically clean Polish language? We feel like there isn’t. The possibility of experiencing such an amazing moments have drawn to Gdynia over 120 thousand people for the jubilee, 15-th festival edition.
Florence & The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pharrell Williams, Kygo – not only in writing this line-up looks impressive. It did great on stage. Florence, the queen of a baroque pop, Red Hot Chili Peppers in excellent shape and happy, amazingly optimistic Pharrell Williams. Each of them with a solid set of their top hits, but also with surprises. Red Hot Chili Peppers playing David Bowie’s “Warszawa”, and Florence specially for the Polish audience the “Third Eye” anticipated by the fans. Wiz Khalifa has also marked his presence. The American rapper would have a wide spectrum of candidates to so-called Tylor Gang.
Great comebacks after years of absence were also highly impressive – LCD Soundsystem concert and moving, full of emotions and dark concert of Sigur Ros. Phenomenal concerts at Tent Stage played by PJ Harvey and Californian band At The Drive In and Grimes. And finally The Last Shadow Puppets and Tame Impala, as well as The 1975 or Bastille at Open’er made a big step towards becoming headliners of the biggest festivals, which may happen soon.
Open'er 2015 brought us unforgettable musical sensations and a four-day adventure, that is being recollected for the next 12 months. The festival lasted from 1st till 4th July and was headlined by: Drake, The Libertines, Mumford & Sons and Kasabian. These were the first concerts ever in Poland for the two first artists. Modest Mouse, D'Angelo and Alabama Shakes have also scored their debut in Gdynia. Traditionally the local music scene has provided a strong representation. We can mention some great concerst like the one of Natalia Przybysz, Fisz Emade Tworzywo and a true sensation of the festival - raper Taco Hemingway, who performed at Open'er at crowded Tent Stage, although it was one of his first concerts ever.
An exhibition organised in cooperation with the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw was also very succesfull. "NO ONE CAN TAKE OUR YOUTH AWAY!” was a story about the art and music of the 80's that constituted to a part of the alternative Thri-city, for fourteen years a home place of Open'er. Open'er participants had the occasion to watch two legendary spectacles of Warsaw TR in Open’er theatres - "4.48 Psychosis" and "Whatever Happens, I Love You", that were performed for the last time. The curtain in ALTERKINO also didn't go down, mainly because of film spectacles that have been followed by hundreds of spectators, watching as well music documentaries as those, which have important social purpose to fulfill. There were also difficult topics undertaken in discussions with writers such as: Magdalena Grzebałkowska, Ziemowit Szczerk and Zygmunt Miłoszewski.
From legends Pearl Jam and recently reunited Faith No More, throughout the highlights of recent years: The Black Keys or Jack White, to bands still writing their musical history: Haim, Bastille, Banks or Royal Blood – that was the sound of this Open’er Festival.
As The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach quipped from stage during their first Polish set, "a quarter of the size of Glastonbury, but ten times the energy." The festival kept its trademark blend of music and arts. The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and the Open’er gallery were present with their mind-broadening exhibitions, and the audience’s emotions were pushed to the limits with both large-scale concerts and theatrical performances. Film premieres in ALTERKINO, cabaret performances and meetings with renowned Polish writers in ALTERCAFE, Silent Disco, the Kids Zone, campsite yoga and other activities were also within reach. Once again, Open’er provided a full spectrum of entertainment, and kept its status as one of Europe's key festivals.
2013 was the year of "Kings and Queens”. It's the audience that made Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme drop the security and party with the fans backstage. Kings of Leon played for 60,000 fans, including Rihanna and her crew, who spent the entire concert dancing in the pit. The Open'er stages also included the magnetic Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Arctic Monkeys, The National and Tame Impala. The audience could watch as many as four theatre plays: a premiere of Nowy Teatr's "Kabaret Warszawski", directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, "Nancy. Interview" from the same "Courtney Love" by Teatr Polski in Wrocław, as well as "Paw Królowej" from Teatr Stary in Krakow. The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw also had its place at the festival with the "Projection Propaganda Machine" and the plane-inspired installation "Antek" by Paweł Althamer and Grupa Nowolipie. In addition, Open’er fans could enjoy all activities Open'er offered to date: Fashion Stage, Silent Disco, Kids Zone, Signing Tent, the Ferris Wheel and many more. The festival audience counted over 85,000 festival goers.
In 2012, the Main Stage featured what could have been the most eclectic line-up in the Open’er history: penderecki//greenwood, The Kills, Björk, New Order, Bon Iver, Justice. For the first time, arts became a part of the festival on such a large scale with the extremely popular theatre play "Angels in America" by Nowy Teatr in Warsaw, directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, an exhibition by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and the large-format installation "Totem" by Maury Gomulicki.
During the tenth festival edition in 2011, over 85,000 festival goers have enjoyed the festival in Babie Doły. The event was reviewed by about 500 journalists. Aside from concerts, new possibilities of spending time, such as the Ferris Wheel and Silent Disco, were created that year. Thousands of fans have enjoyed themselves watching the performance from Prince and the anniversary fireworks show that closed it. Music lovers could also see Coldplay, The Strokes, Pulp, M.I.A. or Primus.
2010 witnessed the performances from, among others, Pearl Jam, Kasabian, The Dead Weather and Pavement, and the appearance of even more new activities, e.g. Kids Zone and the environmentally friendly action.
In 2009, the festival was extended to four days. The Open'er stages featured Arctic Monkeys, Basement Jaxx, Gossip, Sex Pistols, Faith No More and plenty others.
In 2008, as many as seven stages: Main Stage, Tent Stage, World Stage, Young Talent Stage, Alter Space and two electronic spaces were created to accommodate the artists. The 50,000-strong audience witnessed performances from, among others, The Chemical Brothers, Jay – Z, Róisin Murphy and Editors.
2007 brought an even more impressive line-up, with concerts from Sonic Youth, Groove Armada, Beastie Boys, Muse and Björk. The festival also featured a fashion-dedicated space: Fashion’er/Fashion Stage.
The Kościuszko Square became too small for the crowd, so in 2006, the festival moved to Gdynia, Babie Doły – Kosakowo airfield. The festival was also extended to three days. Placebo, Pharrell Williams, Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Rós, Scissor Sisters, The Streets, Kanye West and Basement Jaxx all came to Gdynia.
In 2005, 25,000 festival goers got their chance to watch Snoop Dogg, Faithless, Fatboy Slim, Lauryn Hill, The White Stripes and Underworld. On Day One, all day tickets sold out.
In 2004, all music lovers could enjoy the festival for as long as two days, to the music of Cypress Hill, Pink, Goldfrapp or Massive Attack, and filled all the Square to its brims.
In 2003, the festival moved to the Kościuszko Square in Gdynia. There, the fans could watch performances from Cassius, Kosheen, Layo & Bushwacka!
It all began in 2002 r. The one-day event featured, for the first time in Poland, The Chemical Brothers.
The festival always features important artists who never visited Poland before, and often played there just once: Blur, Prince, Coldplay, The Strokes, Snoop Dogg, The White Stripes, Sigur Ros, Franz Ferdinand, Kanye West, Muse, Kings Of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Justice, Mumford & Sons or Interpol.
The Open'er audience could also witness exceptional concerts, such as Faith No More, reunited after years of silence, punk's greatest legends - Sex Pistols or alternative giants Sonic Youth, also marking their first and only time in Poland.
The festival also showcases Polish artists, giving them a unique opportunity to perform in front of an audience of dozen thousands, often for the first time. There is no better place for publicity for local acts.
WE WERE THE FIRST
• Open’er Festival is not only a benchmark of scale, but also a pioneer of festival solutions, imitated by other events.
• We were the first to introduce the system of festival wristbands.
• In 2006, when the festival was moved to Babie Doły (Kosakowo) airfield, special free shuttle buses were provided to transport the festival goers from the main railway station to the festival area.
• Open’er was the first to introduce the festival coupons and Mastercard® PayPass™contactless ALTER kART, which are still used at the festival.
The already habitual announcements of artists in Polish Radio 3 are always greeted by the audiencewith strong emotions.
The festival’s reputation made it the single event to begin the ticket sale for the current edition before even announcing the first artist.
FACTS & FIGURES
During 10 years, we spent 210 days at the festival site. It is just as if Alter Art crew prepared the festival non-stop from January until end of July one year.
The festival site has grown from 3 hectares in 2002 to 75 ha in 2013. During all these years combined, we took up approximately 463 ha , a surface of a small airport.
During that time, we built a total of 42 stages of 319 meters (ca. 349 yards) of height, outnumbering the Eiffel Tower.
The total energy consumption of Open’er Festival in ten years accounted to 40,062,222 watts – enough to power 130.541 laptops
WE WERE AWARDED
•Sztorm Roku (Gazeta Wyborcza)
•Nocne Marki (Aktivist)
•Sztorm Roku (Gazeta Wyborcza)
•Nocne Marki (Aktivist)
•Machinery 2006 (Machina)
•Effie Awards 2006
• 2006's As Empiku 2006 for Event of the Year
•Sztorm Roku (Gazeta Wyborcza)
•Effie Awards 2007
• Cultural Event of 2007 - by Trójkowy Dom Kultury listeners
•Miazga 2007 (PULP)
• First place in Event category in the competition for best promotion of tourism in Pomerania region in 2007
• Event of the Year (Press - Top Eventy 2007)
•Sztorm Sztormów (Gazeta Wyborcza)
•Sztorm Roku (Gazeta Wyborcza)
• Cultural Event of 2008 - by Trójkowy Dom Kultury listeners
• Skrzydła Trójmiasta 2008 in Muzyczne Trójmiasto awards, granted by trojmiasto.pl readers
• BizTrendy 2008 in Events/places category
• Best Major Festival - European Festival Awards
• Musical event of 2009 (ONET.PL)
• Cultural Event of 2009 - by Trójkowy Dom Kultury listeners
• One of European Top 20 festivals (The Times)
• OOH! AWARDS 2009 for COMPANY OF THE YEAR – Events
• BizTrendy 2008 Award for Events/Places
• Festival of the year (mmtrojmiasto.pl)
• Most important action/event that has built a positive image of cities and regions (20yearsofRP.PL –LET’S BE PROUD)
• Elle Magazine’s plebiscite for the ”reason to be proud of Poland”
•The international Green’n’Clean Award, only granted to environmentally conscious festivals. The initiative includes the management of transport, production, energy and power, catering, and other important elements of festival life.
• Best Major Festival - European Festival Awards (won by Open'er two years in a row).
• Open’er Festival elected one of the 100 symbols of Poland by Kocham Polskę (I Love Poland) foundation among Poland’s most important places, people, historical events and achievements (including, among others, the Solidarity movement, Copernicus, the relief of Vienna in 1683 or the Baltic Sea) collected in the album ”Polskie Symbole” (“The Polish Symbols”).
•PROJECT ALBUM’s Poland Style + Design Awards: SHOW, EVENT & PRODUCTION.
•Nominated to European Festival Awards as Best Major Festival.
• NIPTEL Award for Art at Open'er.
•Nominated to European Festival Awards as Best Major Festival
•Superbrands 2013/2014 - "Leisure" category leader, Created in Poland Superbrands
•„25/25 years: Brands for Poland” Brief magazine award
•Created in Poland Superbrands 2014/15