Nothing new to offer - but so what!?

Unable to make it to the Jarocin festival this year? No need to worry, we have another plan for you. Without ever leaving Poznań, you will indulge in the rock hits of many Polish stars over two weekend days.

Photo of Kazik Staszewski - frontman of the Kult band - who is singing to a microphone. - grafika artykułu
Kult / Rockowizna Festival 2022. Photograph from the press

The Poznań edition of the Rockowizna Festival guarantees boundless outdoor fun for fans of such bands as Kult, T. Love, Happysad, Nocny Kochanek or Ørganek. And yet, this is but a beginning of an extensive line-up that will grace the Ławica airport stage. While some may regard such events as reheated fare, there is no denying the genuine appeal that many of these performances command.

What does today's Polish rock scene have to offer? There are as many answers to this question as there are points of view. On the one hand, a vibrant underground scene teems with life presenting scores of genuinely compelling novelties. On the other, there is the old guard that can be accused of a lot, including relying solely on past accomplishments. Consequently, Polish rock stars find themselves targeted with jokes and memes, as best summarised by the Polish song lyric lines that translate into "This is nothing new" and "You have to know when to leave the stage" taken straight out of some classic hits. Undeniably, the Polish "golden rock" scene has seen its share of missteps and self-plagiarism. And yet, many people look beyond this, which is perfectly fine.

After all, nobody promised that every piece of music would deliver constant surprises, trailblazing creativity, and ground-breaking inventiveness. At the end of the day, entertainment value always takes precedence, which brings us to such holiday events as the Rockowizna Festival. Not unlike last year, the programme of this year's edition is easily predictable, which is perfectly okay. The crowds that graced the green spaces of Poznań Ławica in July 2022 will undoubtedly be back for more...

"The festival offers superb rock music that transcends generations, a welcoming ambience, and the most enthusiastic audience. From nostalgic travels down the memory lane to contemporary rock sounds, Rockowizna has it all", proclaim the festival's organisers. While this might prompt a yawn from some, it is a promise of great fun for others who revel in the timeless rock anthems that refuse to age. After all, the extensive repertoire of hits in the arsenal of bands such as Kult, T. Love, and Big Cyc - which are among the stars of this year's Rockowizna - is nothing short of impressive. Moreover, while the new albums of Krzysztof Skiba and his ensemble are perhaps best left unspoken of, Kazik's and Muniek's bands continue to thrive. Case in point: their recent albums "Ostatnia płyta" (2021) and "Hau! Hau!" (2022).

However, the celebrated Baranek, Warszawa and Facet to świnia bands are not the only reasons to attend the festival. There is more in store, including a concert by Happysad, a cornerstone of the Polish alternative rock scene celebrating its 22nd anniversary this year. Their songs "Zanim pójdę", "Taką wodą być", and "W piwnicy u dziadka" are simply captivating and demand to be experienced live. Also gracing the stage will be Ørganek, a concert powerhouse that, reminiscing on their performances as part of the Męskie Granie project, can unleash true mayhem. The same can be said for the masters of heavy metal parodies from Nocny Kochanek, who make their presence felt, as well as Sztywny Pal Azji and the Blenders.

As if this weren't enough, the festival line-up features a touch of "the concert joke", as the gentlemen from the comedy rock ensemble Łydki Grubasa humorously call themselves. Additionally, the pop-rock and perhaps the most alternative Mery Spolsky will make an appearance, along with the charismatic Zenek Kupatasa, renowned from the band Kabanos, whose solo act promises to be one of the most intriguing performances of the festival. Yet, the dark horse of the event might just be Pull The Wire, whose album "Życie to western" (2021) is undeniably one of the finest Polish rock offerings of recent years, though it may still be a hidden gem for some. With their punk rebellion, primal energy, and well-written songs brimming with irony, Marszał brings another standout band worth discovering.

Rockowizna Festival 2023 promises to be an exceptional event, which - unlike its previous edition - will deliver the ideal timeless summer vibe, and a selection of new releases that are sure to appease even the pickiest of audience members. With a perfect fusion of beloved familiar old hits and fresh and perhaps even more exhilarating rock tunes, this year's Rockowizna line-up appears utterly irresistible. So, see you at the airport!

Sebastian Gabryel

translation: Krzysztof Kotkowski

  • Rockowizna Festival 2023 Poznań
  • 18-19 August
  • Poznań Ławica Airport
  • Tickets and passes: PLN 179-279

© Wydawnictwo Miejskie Posnania 2023