A utopia. That is how the Gigwise website described the Pohoda festival when they added it to the list of the 37 best festivals in Europe. The German portal Tonspion went even further when it ranked Pohoda sixth in its ranking of the top 10 European festivals.
The festival, which attracts thousands to the Trenčín airport will celebrate its 21st birthday this year. Starting as a one-day festival with a few concerts, it has become the biggest festival in Slovakia, with international visitors and popular performers from Europe and the US. But this year’s festival proves that Pohoda is not only about music.
“The food is flavoursome, diverse, huge in portion size and massively cheap, and this level of dignity applies to just about every aspect of life at Pohoda. The people are friendly, and yobbish behaviour ceases to exist; free sunscreen there and tankers of drinking water everywhere,” Gigwise wrote.
Everyone still comes to Pohoda for the music. This year’s main headliners are alt-J, M.I.A., Solange, Birdy and Ylvis, but together more than 120 acts from around the world will perform on 19 stages and tents.
Here are just five things you can do at the festival between gigs:
1. Health insight
Dr. Stan (”Dr. Tent” in English) is an addition to Pohoda this year. At the ARO unit (the Slovak acronym for the resuscitation unit) visitors can discuss topics like vaccinations, infections, HIV and contraception with doctors. A pharmacy will also be available for ordering drugs that can be brought to the festival within two hours.
In the JIS unit (intensive care) visitors can work with medical professions to learn life-saving skills and gain tips on checking their own health. The tent will be open on Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 19:00. There will also be a tent where visitors can receive instructions on how best to brush teeth with a regular or electric toothbrush. Complimentary toothpaste will be available at every sink during the festival.
2. A green conscience
Pohoda organisers want to increase the quality of the festival while lowering the event’s impact on the environment. In cooperation with Slovak railway company, four extra trains will be dispatched to travel to and from the festival from Bratislava and Košice. One carriage of the train from Košice will even have a DJ.
Moreover, commuter bus service will connect the airport with towns and villages in the Trenčín region. Buses will travel to Považská Bystrica, Trenčianske Teplice, Piešťany and, new this year, from Bánovce nad Bebravou. Each day of the festival, buses will take visitors to the pedestrian entrance and will be waiting for festival-goers at the main stages at the end of the performances.
Food will be served in decomposable packages, which will be combined with bio-waste to make a compost substrate to improve the soil quality of the area. ”Green guards” around the festival will help visitors recycle waste, and the festival will collect used toothbrushes to be recycled into trash bins for schools. In the Živica tent, visitors can learn how to make their own ecological cosmetics and enjoy a presentation dedicated to the environment.
3. Unique family time
Pohoda has prepared a rich programme for the smallest visitors. The Family Park will offer several plays and games, drama and circus workshops, dancing and music activities and a bubble parade. Pregnant women can also participate in specially-designed yoga workshops. The favourite miniature festival train offers rides in the mornings.
Moreover, parents do not have to worry about bringing enough changing pads or baby wipes. Sponsors have equipped Family Park with free changing tables and supplies, with nappies and baby beds also available for use.
4. A twist on traditional drinks
Dozens of food corners will feed visitors, with chicken soup offered on Friday and Saturday morning, as well as Slovak grilled chicken, spreads, porridges and breakfast items available throughout the festival.
Drinks have their own place at a festival. The main beer sponsor, in its second year with Pohoda, is providing small breweries the chance to present their specialities.
The festival will also feature a tent that mixes traditional syrups with lemonades and wine drinks. Here, guests can enjoy a relaxing zone and a shisha bar or sample coffee and waffles. The tent will also showcase an herbal workshop, offering festival-goers the chance to adopt an herb and care for the plant during the festival.
5. A chance to read and listen
The Martinus bookstore is holding a literature tent that will host conversations with authors, book readings and slam poetry performances. The main contributors to the programme are the Russian journalist Michail Zygar and the Israeli writer Etgar Keret.
During the Café Europe debate, visitors can participate in discussions on current European topics like populism in European and hatred on the internet. A tent hosted by the .týždeň magazine will hold discussions with Globsec on various contemporary topics.
30. Jun 2017 at 8:25 | Nina Hrabovská Francelová