Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Orange Festival: 2009-2010

While the summer is dominated by music festivals like Gdynia's Open'er and Krakow's Coke Live Music Festival, Warsaw's Orange Festival has become a small, semi-respectable music fest.

Last year, The Orange Festival was big, open, music fest with two stages and several worthy acts supported by various lesser ones.  It was two nights of open music in the center of Warsaw.  This year, the Orange Festival moved to the more controllable Sluzewiec Racetrack and ticket prices have been introduced (59zl for the first night and 99zl for the second.)

A year ago, I most maddeningly missed The Crystal Method by fifteen minutes (oooh, I was steamed.)  Instead, I got to see the laughably bad N.E.R.D, whose poorly written, poorly performed music drove me away even before the first song had ended.  Luckily, Calvin Harris was performing on the Young Stage (the second, smaller stage), and gave quite a show.  The respectable MGMT followed, but Calvin Harris really was the highlight of the night.  Ja Confetti played the first night, and I was actually able to enjoy them from across Marszalkowska.

This year's lineup touts both Nelly Furtado and Courtney Love's Hole (both I'm none too crazy about.)  The rest of the lineup is filled with Polish bands, or incredibly minor acts.  It seems that Orange has scaled back this years music fest.  No longer is it in the center and free, but on a racetrack and charging 129zl-tickets for both nights.  Perhaps they lost money last year or at least didn't make as much as they'd hoped.  Granted, Nelly Furtado and Courtney Love are big-name acts with wide recognition; but Courtney Love is fifteen-years past her prime and most of the energy has gone into promoting Furtado.
There was a suggestion that one could enjoy the music by going into the area of the Sluzewiec and one could hear the music wafting on the breeze.  But honestly, it didn't really seem worth it.  None of the bands performing this year piqued my interest.
Open'er 2010 was able to showcase bands and artists like Massive Attack, Nas, Ben Harper, Pearl Jam, Matisyahu, and Cypress Hill.  Coke 2010 had: Muse, Thirty Seconds to Mars, The Chemical Brothers, Panic! At the Disco, (and N.E.R.D).  While many of these artists, in my opinion, suck, they still bring in large crowds and have large, international followings.  It doesn't seem likely that anyone would fly to Warsaw specifically to catch a music festival with Courtney Love & Hole and Nelly Furtado (not to mention the bands The White Lies and Edyta Bartosiewicz.)  Other, more massive, music festivals like: Bonnaroo, Coachachella, Lollapalooza, and Big Day Out, attract top artists at the peak of their careers, plus hundreds of thousands of spectators (including foreigners coming just to see the event.)  The point I'm making is that the Warsaw Orange Festival isn't really worth the $40-tickets.  It ought to revert back to it's open, free-for-all format of yesteryear.  Until they start pulling out the big guns, or at least bands that I would chock up money for, I'll find something else to provide enjoyment (for instance, Roger Water's will be in Lodz next year playing The Wall.  I will definitely try to go.)


Dr. Detroit said...

I'm seeing Roger Waters in October in the States. Really looking forward to it. Probably the only time I'll see the guy live.

PolishMeKnob said...

Lucky you. I was trying to get people (my brother included) to go see the show in Boston, but I don't think there are any takers. Maybe they wanted to see a fully-reunited Pink Floyd, or at least one with David Gilmour. My brother declined, saying: "I'm not in the habit of watching 60-year-olds trying rock out like they are 30 with half the band they used to play with."
I think The Who's lackluster performance at the Super Bowl this past year didn't help. It gave the image that all those old rockers (Ozzy included) just can't rock anymore, even if they leave everything on the stage.

Cpt Pownzor said...

wow whats crazy is many of the individual artists would charge the $40 admission for an individual show in north america. I am not saying its necessarily worth it but even if you like just a few of those artists your getting a bargain.

PolishMeKnob said...

Yeah, some big-name artists like Paul McCartney and stuff charge upwards of $100-$250 for seats and standing room. They can get away with it because most of their fans are a bit older and can afford that type of thing.
But paying $40 to see a bunch of mediocre acts, ones I wouldn't pay over $5, is a bit much for me, especially when the festival used to be free and in a more convenient place!