Yungblud and other Brits to bid farewell to Grape Festival in Piešťany

Grape Festival will have to relocate elsewhere in 2021.

The 2019 Grape Festival at Piešťany airport in the west of Slovakia.The 2019 Grape Festival at Piešťany airport in the west of Slovakia. (Source: TASR)

This year’s Grape Festival will say goodbye to the spa town of Piešťany, where it has been held for the last ten years.

“We want the last year at the airport to not only be a goodbye but also a bit of a carnival and celebration of life,” Ján Trstenský of the Grape Festival told The Slovak Spectator.

Initially, the popular music festival was planned to be held at a location other than Piešťany airport in 2020 due to a rising number of charter flights in the summer, but organisers found a compromise with travel agency Happy Travel and the Trnava Self-Governing Region (TTSK).

In 10 years, almost 160 musicians from 22 countries played Grape Festival. Several, mostly British, artists have already been announced for the 11th edition, namely YUNGBLUD, Foals, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Nothing but Thieves, and Daughter, to name a few.

Latin American goodbye

Grape Festival is known for strong line-ups and its themes; a spa theme took over the festival in 2018. Since the festival is also known for rainfalls and storms, last year’s topic was all about protection against rain. The 2019 festival was more red than usual, which was a part of photographer Lousy Auber’s special project.

The 2020 edition has been flowers-themed given the visuals of confirmed bands posted on Instagram. Yet, there has recently been a move forward in regards to graphics; the Instagram visual of another performer, Foster the People, is different.

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“An altar with mementos will be dominating,” Trstenský said. He added this should partially resemble the celebration of loved ones who have passed away in Latin America.

For instance, when Mexico celebrates the Day of the Dead in early November, they put up altars to honour the deceased. These altars, which are to show souls the way back home, are decorated with pictures, flowers, confections, food, candles, personal objects and the like. This is the vibe Grape Festival organisers are trying to achieve.

Brits dominate the 2020 line-up

British artists are dominating the incomplete line-up right now.

A young rising star Yungblud came third on the BBC’s Sound of 2020 and hit global charts with his single hope for the underrated youth last year.

Wales-formed indie rock band Catfish and the Bottlemen released its third album, The Balance, in 2019. The band won a Brit award in 2016.

One of the highlights will be a performance by Foals from Oxford, who has won several awards for their live performances. In 2019, the band released two albums, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 1 and Part 2. The band will release a new video for their song Neptune on February 6.

Grape to stay in the region

Piešťany as a town has benefited from the presence of the Grape Festival for a decade. Although it will have to move out from its airport after 2020, organisers would prefer to stay in or near Piešťany.

About 25,000 people enjoyed the music at Grape last year. Hence, options where to hold such a big event are limited. The biggest music festival Pohoda takes place a stone’s throw away from the spa town, at the Trenčín airport.

“We definitely want to stay in the Trnava Region,” said Trstenský. He added a decision will have to be made this spring in order to get the future festival site ready for Grape 2021.

There are no big airports in the Trnava Region, but one that could come into consideration is Boleráz airport near Trnava.

This year's Grape Festival takes place August 7-8, 2020.

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