If you are tired of huge music festivals, running from stage to stage, rushing to see big headliners I have a solution for you – OFF Festival in Poland. This medium-sized festival located in Katowice may seem to be inconspicuous compared to the biggest music events. Yet it has been running for almost two decades. While it does draw big names like Pusha T and Iggy Pop, in previous installments, the event is dedicated to uplifting the local music scene as well. It is a small-town festival at its core and everything is close by. You can stroll about and do not need to worry about missing any artists. While roaming the festival grounds, you can catch the headliners, but you will probably get lured to experience music from artists you didn’t know before. The stages are close by and the music coming from another one may catch your attention.
Every year I have my „must-see” list, but I leave room for discoveries and surprises because the line-up of OFF Festival is unpredictable and broad in terms of musical genres. This year on my must-see list is the Japanese “poet rapper” Haru Nemuri, in my opinion, the quintessence of OFF Festival, she combines unexpected musical genres. Then there is Slowdive, the shoegaze legends, who I still regret not seeing at OFF Festival in 2014. I also want to see the electronic band Desire because I am a fan of everything on the Italians Do It Better label. King Krule is on my list because I need to see the person behind this magnificent voice. Then there is Nene Heroine from Gdańsk, self-described as post-jazz/psychedelic rock. They are from my hometown and I love to support the locals.
The international line-up extends to acts like indie-pop singer TA UKRAINKA, from Ukraine who has been recording in Poland for years, and Gaye Su Akyol from the Turkish pop-revival scene who draws on the country’s Anatolian psychedelic rock tradition. OFF Festival connects local talents with international artists from a broad range of genres. NBHAP staples like Jockstrap and Tamino but also acts that we have not yet highlighted on the blog but soon hope to meet. Among those are the punk rockers Big Joanie who challenge the genre’s white, male-connotation, singer and songwriter Obongjayar and NNAMDÏ.
Check out the full line-up of the festival and get your tickets right here. It takes place from 4th to 6th of August this year in Katowice.