Brief Review Of Pohoda 2010 Festival

I’ve been a regular visitor to Pohoda Festival near Trencin, Slovakia since its first year at the military airport near Trencin in 2004. It was a quite small festival at that time and Michal Kascak, the founder of Pohoda Festival and his team were testing the new place. I remember problems with too much sun (no trees at the airport), toilets and drinking water. Of course, there wasn’t any proper food except the junk food, Slovak-style: grilled pork meat or hot dogs.

Every next year of Pohoda Festival used to get better and better in terms of organization, system or technical details such as WC and drinking water availability. I don’t have to say that music and atmosphere was excellent. Any year. Every year.

How was the Pohoda Festival in July 2010?

Although, I have waited and bought the tickets at the last moment due to the too much rock and indie-like line-up, Pohoda 2010 was nice place to be  during last weekend. I enjoyed Ian Brown, Leftfield, Belleruche, Mnaga a Zdorp, Collegium Musicum, José Gonález  or Orchestra Baobab (in no particular order) and some others, too. The atmosphere was good as always, people were having fun, weather was nice (too nice, though – too hot).

Music? Good, but more genres used to be included, not this narrowly selected mostly rock(pop) and indie bands (what about more electro – trip-hop, ambient, d’n’b, hip-hop or ska, jazz and world music)? Some closed stages need real improvements in ventilation, though (“Dobra Krajina” / former “Mirror Hall”, anyone?).

Hygiene? Poor. Where once stood cars with water tanks by the mobile toilets (known better as Toi-Toi(s)), there was nothing this year. It was pretty hard to find a flowing water or drinking water stands. Mobile toilets were a total mess. Cleaned only few times a day, it was a scene from disgusting horror movie to enter the 50 degrees saunas with ubiquitous stink of human feces. Toilet paper was hard to find. If you were adventurous, you could walk through the area to find few proper water closets with long queues. I remember clean Toi-Tois from first years at the airport always smelling with traces of refreshing odour. 30.000 people, extremely hot weather and lack of cleaning service seem hard to cope with for Mr. Kascak’s team. To pity of Pohoda Festival visitors.

Food? The assortment of different meals is getting wider and wider every year, although it’s still hard to find proper and healthy food (except for the few stands run by either the not-for-profit organizations or alternative providers such as the tea-rooms). A truly modern festival should definitely provide lots of vegetables, fruits and light vegetarian meals, soups or salads. Big fat chance next year, you say? Alas, I have to agree. Good conservative guys seem to love lots of heavy, fat meat, fries and sausages with mustard. To each according to his need, ain’t it?

Abstract? On-time organization, great atmosphere, some good music (highly subjective, right?)  and hard-to-find shadow and poor hygiene. Not that much to ask for in terms of improvements. Thanks goes to the organizers of Pohoda Festival 2010.

  • Reading your review I regret not going a little less. The water + food + toilet issues would definitely bother me. :)

  • Aan

    line-up is BAD even by slovak standards, overpriced ticket with cheap interprets

  • I disagree – hygiene was better than last year, twice the number of water toilets (it is your problem if you are lazy to walk a bit) and showers had cabins with curtains. I avoided toi-tois except for emergencies, but even they seemed more promptly cleaned than last year.
    “Toilet paper was hard to find.” Huh? I tripped over it all the time.

    And I counted at least 4 vegetarian stands, so I really don’t understand your complaint here either.

    Aan, bad line-up? Really? I really have nothing to say to this, my mind reels.

    My main complaint would instead be the lack of readily available drinking water. Otherwise, when compared to my two previous visits in 2006 and 2009 I saw mostly improvements.

  • Daniel

    It’s not easy to walk through the whole area (that could be almost 1 km just walking there from camping spots and sometimes there are masses of people blocking you by the stages) just because Mr. Kascak’s team is unable to make two spots with water toilets.

    The number of toi-tois doesn’t say anything about their cleanliness and it was much worse than few years ago (I was waiting once while the cleaning guy did his job and even after that there wasn’t any chemical substance/chlorine put inside as the stink was almost the same as before).

    Four vegetarian stands compared to like 50 with grilled meat only? Come on. I am pretty sure any restaurant / stand would be happy to sell there if organizers asked them to provide some better quality food.

    Drinking water used to be available by all the toi-tois in the previous years, not this year.

  • More electro?

    What about Ink Midget & Pjoni, The Shoes, Crystal Castles, Jamie XX, B-Complex, Toky & Loktibrada, Zinc, Clive, Digitalism DJ Set, Skream & MC Sgt. Pokes, Leftfield, Midi Lidi, Metronomy, Kinet & Magálová and many others with electronic influences?

    The same is true of world music, although hip-hop was really missing this year (except for the great Czech formation WWW, by the way, also blending electro, or even Dubioza Kolektiv from Bosnia and Herzegovina).

    Though you have the right for your feelings, please try to stay objective at the same time.

  • Daniel

    …you forgot the Autechre.

    Of course, Leftfield, the band that was once (15 years ago) a leader in electro. Do they have anything new? Are they still leading the way? I doubt so. Although, their act was good, they were way too late to be at Pohoda.

    What about producers and bands that are leading the IDM music today? Bonobo, Parov Stelar, Thievery Corporation, Fourt Tet, Guts, Emancipator, Nightmares on Wax, The Herbaliser, just to name the few. All of them would be highly acceptable even by the mainstream standards.

    And certainly I wanted to see WWW, but guess what? Being there at the correct time, no concert took place and no info was given whether the schedule had been changed.

  • Thanks for the review. Wish I could have been there! What about the sound quality? (I’m a sound designer.)
    Have you posted any fotos?

  • Daniel

    Nathan, sound quality has always been great as far as I can remember (and comment on it).

    No photos, but I am sure you can find them elsewhere – sme.sk or at pohodafestvial.sk directly.

  • here is related slovak article about food at Pohoda festival
    http://zena.sme.sk/c/5470749/pod-holym-nebom-nejedzme-len-klobasy.html

  • I was working at Pohoda this year, installing the large flags at the memorial field and also by the very nearly blooming sunflower circle.
    I found the festival to be superb in all departments and have only the highest praise for the organisers/volunteers that made it all happen.
    British festivals could learn alot from the Pohoda crew.
    Public health/safety/comfort etc was of the highest priority of any festival I have worked at.
    Of course everybody cannot be satisfied with everything and festival life is an adventure of diverse experiences.
    Always carry your own ration of toilet paper is a festival must in Britain!!!
    I will definately be returning next year to eat at the fine Indian vegetarian stand, to drink from the free drinking water tanks (plentiful enough to fill as many bottles as required) to shower in clean showers and of course to sing and dance with all You lovely Slovaks..
    Djekeme
    See You Next Year.

  • Daniel

    Peter, what were the flags about? I liked them I just missed the context.