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.