Poznań's Musical Summer

Get ready for a lineup of Poland's biggest pop and rock stars, along with dozens of independent bands and projects, spanning popular hits and alternative sounds. Summer in Poznań invariably delivers a multitude of outdoor concerts, and this season is no exception! Audiences can expect a variety of events and performances by both well-known and emerging bands in the #NaFalach series, the Scena nad Rusałką (Lake Rusałka Stage), and the Poznań Rock Festival.

Music band on an outdoor stage. It's getting dark. - grafika artykułu
Happysad, #NaFalach, photograph. Karolina Kiraga-Rychter

The outdoor #NaFalach series has become a staple of Poznań's cultural scene. Its free concerts have been a hit for years, attracting music enthusiasts with more than just great performances. Much of its appeal lies in its stunning concert venues. As in previous years, this summer's events will take place at two Poznań lakes: Malta and Strzeszyńskie.

This year's #NaFalach will kick off with a bang even before the official start of summer. The inaugural concert is set for 14 June at Lake Malta. It will feature Natalia Przybysz, one of Poland's most popular vocalists. Her latest album "Zaczynam się od miłości" (2023) is a successful tribute to Kora Jackowska. Joining her will be the vocalist Igo, who, once known mainly for his collaboration with Bass Astral, is now confidently pursuing a solo career. These performances will not only kick off this year's #NaFalach series but also the Rowing World Cup competition on the Malta Regatta Course, scheduled for 14-16 June.

The festival will then move to Strzeszynek, where concerts will be held throughout the summer. On 12 July, Mitch & Mitch will bring their extravagant wild project that has been making waves on the Polish fusion music scene. The next day, Mikromusic will take us on an avant-garde jazz journey, likely featuring hits like "Bezwładnie", "Takiego chłopaka", and "Tak mi się nie chce". On 16 August, popular pop singer Margaret will showcase her new album "Siniaki i cekiny", filled with "80s-style funk. And the following day, Ørganek will deliver a solid dose of rock.

Lake Rusałka Stage

One of Poznań's best known summer concert events is the Scena nad Rusałką (Lake Rusałka Stage), originally designed to promote young Polish artists. Its unique double-feature format has become incredibly popular. Founders Zofia Blew and Michał Pudełko note they've organised over 200 events in the past five years. "The launch of the Lake Rusałka Stage coincided with the outbreak of the pandemic. At that time, we recruited artists who were otherwise confined to online performances, giving them their only chance to break out of their creative stagnation. We were energised by the sparkle in the eyes of these artists, many of whom were unable to fund concert broadcasts and professional recordings", recalls Michał Pudełko. Once the painful restrictive measures were lifted, the Lake Rusałka Stage moved to outdoor lakeside settings, hosting double-band concerts in intriguing configurations.

This year's edition, which kicked off on the May Day weekend, featured nine artists and bands across diverse musical genres in a three-day mini-festival. "This year is our breakthrough. For the first time, we will receive funding from the Poznań Participatory Budget, having been chosen in a public vote. This allows us to put on an impressive 41 concerts this year!", says Zofia Blew. According to the organisers, this year's edition will provide something for everyone. Interestingly, this year will feature as many as eight evenings with artists collaborating on a selected song!

The following months promise to be just as thrilling. On 6 June, the band Cinemon will take us on a tour of classic rock, the Seattle music scene, and contemporary alternative sounds. The Bullseyes, winners of the Jarocin Young Rhythms event in 2022, will bring excitement to energetic punk rock enthusiasts. More exhilaration is on the horizon for 13 June, with a hip-hop-jazz performance from Guest Julka and the one-of-a-kind Daria from Silesia, who won this year's Fryderyk award. 20 June will see performances by the enigmatic masked singer-songwriter Dildo Baggins, and the alt-rock group Żurkowski, fresh off their new album release. The month will wrap up the with melancholic ecstasy of the teenage band Sad Smiles and a psychedelic experience from the indie rock band The Cassino.

July at the Lake Rusałka Stage promises to be equally exciting. On 4 July, enjoy the fabulous, graceful and unpretentious singer Ranko Ukulele, along with the equally lyrical and warmly humorous Wojtek Szumański. On 11 July, the Matylda/Łukasiewicz duo will tenderly explore contemporary life for women and men, followed by the one and only band Noco, bursting with eclectic energy and sarcasm expressed through controversial lyrics. On the following Thursday, 18 July, the Lake Rusałka Stage will host the ethereal dreamy duo Coals, known for their unique pop-electronic sound, alongside Hubert, a standout young-generation rapper from the alternative melodeclamation scene in Szczecin. Later in July, expect a fusion of rock, folk, and jazz from the Silesian band Iksy, and the impressionist sounds of Chłodno on 25 July.

In August, Rusałka will come alive with the beats of independent music, featuring ten bands and performers. Kicking off on 1 August with two talented R&B singers, Dominika Płonka and Rosalie, the stage will then welcome the emotive songs of young Kraków bard Runforrest and old-school party-style indie pop vibes of Marek Niedzielski on 8 August. The following week, audiences can enjoy the magical Kryształy, a collaborative project by Paweł Swiernalis and Michał Kmieciak that blends alternative rock with modern classical music, as well as Kathia, whose captivating voice and sentimental synthesizer landscapes have already won many fans despite her young age. Don't miss the events on 22 and 29 August, featuring ambitious bands Jeszcze, We Draw A, Patryk Pietrzak (leader of the rock band Ted Nemeth), and Kasia Lins, a young femme fatale from Poznań whose latest album "Omen" delivers the best noir pop in recent years.

While many of these performers and bands usually play ticketed concerts, all Lake Rusałka Stage events are free of charge. The organisers ensured disabled access. "To make sure our events are truly accessible to everyone, we've removed architectural barriers. Nearly every stage can be reached via a paved path. A wheelchair ramp has been added at a Rusałka restaurant, a partner of all events. As part of the "Przewijamy Polskę" ("Changing Poland") campaign, we've installed a diaper changing station for adults. Our collaboration with the Polish Foundation for the Hard of Hearing has enabled us to set up Poland's first outdoor induction loop under the stage, allowing hearing aid users to fully participate in the concert", say Zofia Blew and Michał Pudełko.

The Poznań Rock Festival

Polish rock fans should not miss the Poznań Rock Festival, scheduled for 29-30 June at Polana Harcerza at Lake Malta. Festival CEO Robert Nowak emphasised the mission to create "Poznań's best rock festival", and with the scale and ambition of the project, the chances of achieving this are high. "The festival's greatest strength is its ability to connect people through music, creating an atmosphere filled with energy and passion. It promotes rock music and bridges generations with a diverse lineup, offering nostalgic classics to contemporary rock", says Nowak.

The festival's programme looks very promising. Day one will feature performances by Voo Voo, Łydka Grubasa, Luxtorpeda, Sztywny Pal Azji, and Illusion. Day two will showcase Strachy Na Lachy, Myslovitz, Ørganek and Ira. While all these bands are well-known and beloved by Polish rock fans, a standout performance will be by Luxtorpeda. Their 2023 album "Omega", the seventh release from Robert "Litza" Friedrich's Poznań band, is packed with anthems that drive concert crowds wild. Another notable highlight, Myslovitz, are celebrating their 35th anniversary. Their last year's album "Wszystkie narkotyki świata" demonstrates that the band remains strong even without Artur Rojek.

The festival offers more than just enjoyable live music. Attendees can also take pleasure in delicious food from the food truck area and unwind in the chillout zone after musical excitement. There's also a gaming and workshop area where you can test your skills in various sports competitions.

Don't miss the Night Market, whose June features performances by the likes of Poznań rapper Peja/Slums Attack, who will appear on 7 June. The fans of jazz-inspired sounds will want to catch Wojtek Mazolewski's concert on 8 June. On 21 June, the NTT stage will again resonate to hip-hop beats from Paluch, Lupin and Lipa. The following day, enjoy a massive dose of good electronic sound, including Bass Astral. A week later, rapper Aster will perform songs from his new album "All Day Fresh".

As you can see, this summer in Poznań promises to be very exciting. Each week offers multiple opportunities to enjoy outdoor musical events for the fans of all genres, be it rock, pop or alternative music. This summer in Poznań is shaping up to sound fantastic!

Sebastian Gabryel

translation: Krzysztof Kotkowski

  • #NaFalach 2024
  • Lake Malta, Lake Strzeszyńskie
  • 14.06, 12-13.07, 16-17.07
  • free admission
  • Scena nad Rusałką 2024
  • Lake Rusałka Stage
  • 1.05-29.08
  • free admission
  • Poznań Rock Festival 2024
  • Polana Harcerza at Lake Malta
  • 29-30.06
  • tickets & passes:  PLN 183-275

© Wydawnictwo Miejskie Posnania 2024