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Fatboy Slim takes back seat to Havel at Pohoda festival

SLOVAKIA's biggest open-air music festival, Pohoda, lived up to its reputation as more than 30,000 people jammed a military airport in Trenčín on July 18 and 19 for two days of easy-listening music and stimulating discussions, the Sme daily wrote.

Joan Baez and Václav Havel enjoyed the Pohoda festival.Joan Baez and Václav Havel enjoyed the Pohoda festival. (Source: ČTK)

SLOVAKIA's biggest open-air music festival, Pohoda, lived up to its reputation as more than 30,000 people jammed a military airport in Trenčín on July 18 and 19 for two days of easy-listening music and stimulating discussions, the Sme daily wrote.

British DJ Fatboy Slim was supposed to be the headliner of the 12th edition of the festival, but he was overshadowed by an appearance by Václav Havel. The former Czechoslovak president showed up to promote his play, Audience, which was performed on one of the festival stages. Havel also led several discussions about politics and society.

Apart from Fatboy Slim, artists performing at a total of 150 events included folksinger Joan Baez, King Solomon Burke and the Gossip, from the United States, Tinariwen from Mali, and Slovaks Jana Kirshner and Richard Müller.

One of festival highlights was the performance by the Royal Choral Society from London along with the Opera of the Slovak National Theatre singing Aká si mi krásna (How beautiful you are), which according to the daily was “touching and powerful”.

The Pohoda festival mixes various music genres with accompanying events such as film screenings, theatre performances, programmes for children, as well as discussions on politics and health.

This year’s audience surpassed last year’s attendance by 10 percent, confirming Pohoda’s standing as the largest open-air festival in Slovakia.

Festival organiser Michal Kaščák hopes to maintain that position. However, the contract with the Defence Ministry to use the Trenčín military airport runs for only one more year.
“We will solve this later,” Kaščák said, adding that Pohoda has already “survived” five defence ministers.

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