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Top Pick: Topvar Pohoda 2001International Music Festival

The second half of July has become an important time for Slovak music lovers, time to pack their sleeping bags and hit the road to the western Slovak town of Trenčín. This year Slovakia's largest music festival Topvar Pohoda (meaning 'well-being' or 'comfort') runs July 20 to July 22 in the northern part of the city in a large open-air zone with camping grounds.
The New York trio Fun Lovin' Criminals will headline Pohoda 2001, which brings together the best of Slovak music and a roster of celebrated international guests. Festival-goers may enjoy a break from the music by taking in a movie, jumping from a plane, flying in a balloon, or sipping Topvar beer at a reduced rate.
Now in its fifth year, Pohoda has grown so popular that organisers have had to add two extra stages, for a total of six with different music genres: rock, hip hop, techno, tech-house and experimental.


The Serbian Boban Markovič Orkestar brass band will perform at the 2001 Pohoda Festival.
photo: Ján Svrček

The second half of July has become an important time for Slovak music lovers, time to pack their sleeping bags and hit the road to the western Slovak town of Trenčín. This year Slovakia's largest music festival Topvar Pohoda (meaning 'well-being' or 'comfort') runs July 20 to July 22 in the northern part of the city in a large open-air zone with camping grounds.

The New York trio Fun Lovin' Criminals will headline Pohoda 2001, which brings together the best of Slovak music and a roster of celebrated international guests. Festival-goers may enjoy a break from the music by taking in a movie, jumping from a plane, flying in a balloon, or sipping Topvar beer at a reduced rate.

Now in its fifth year, Pohoda has grown so popular that organisers have had to add two extra stages, for a total of six with different music genres: rock, hip hop, techno, tech-house and experimental. More than 400 musicians from 19 countries will participate in the musical marathon. Internationally-renowned Czech Roma diva Věra Bílá will perform with Czech groups Buty, Tata Bojs and Šum Svistu. Slovakia's Hex, Polemic Zóna A, Para, Chiki-liki tu-a, legendary rock band Vidiek (Countryside), and humorist Milan Lasica and the Bratislava Hot Serenaders will represent Slovakia's music scene.

Twelve (mostly American) movies with Slovak or Czech subtitles, including About Adam, Don's Plum, the British film Filth and the Fury, and Luzhin Defence, will play at an indoor theatre Friday and Saturday, each day from 18:00 in the evening to 8:00 the following morning.

Organisers of Topvar Pohoda promise a "a calm summer weekend" with no large deviations from the festival's programme. Refreshment booths - including those for vegetarians - should keep the crowds well fed. The festival will also provide supervised areas for children. Out-of-towners can make reservations at local hotels, or join the camping free-for-all in a field by the festival. Don't forget to pack a sleeping bag.

Pohoda festival, Areál pod Sokolicami (10 minutes from the train station). Tickets: 590 Sk (whole festival), 490 (Friday) and 390 (Saturday) purchased in advance and 690 (whole festival) and 590 (Friday) and 490 (Saturday) purchased the day of. Booking in Bratislava at Dr. Horák, tel: 5443 5667. For more information, including a detailed performance schedule, visit the website www.pohoda.kiwwi.sk.

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