Set in a military airfield base Open’er Festival is spread across 4 days hosting an array of international artists along with some renowned Polish bands. Uniquely set up, the festival has everything laid out on the edges of the site, leaving plenty of space to relax and explore. Taking full advantage of it’s airfield location, the festival showcases all sorts of entertainment from fashion shows to the silent disco in the elusive bunkers, and if bunkers don’t appeal to you then you can choose between the festivals five stages to listen to your favourite bands.
The best thing about most European festivals is that they don’t start until later in the day, so if (like me) you’re a tourist from another land, you’ve got time to explore what the city has to offer. The free shuttle bus service runs every few minutes, so no long waits to get you to and from the site! The journey into Gdynia city centre takes around 15 minutes and once in town it’s a 10 minute walk to the beach from where you can explore the town or simply relax on the beach.
Arriving on site I was greeted by a number of food and drinks outlets along with an official merchandise outlet. Sponsored by Heineken the festival has plenty of beer on tap, but if Heineken isn’t your chosen tipple then there are other options including Desperados and Guinness, both on tap along with a wine stall. The downside is that you can’t drink alcohol near the stages. Restricted to the food and drinks court, you can sip on a pint whilst listening to your favourite band from a distance. It’s not all bad as it not only keeps the site clean but also invites you to spend time in other areas of the site.
The main stage, also known as the Open’er stage is where the headliners perform, and to kicks things off on day one was Interpol. Playing to an energetic audience they started things off with Say Hello To The Angels, followed by Evil, C’Mere and finishing their set with Slow Hands. And whilst Interpol were finishing up their set Metronomy were taking to the tent stage. Making my way to the tent I was greeted by I’m Aquarius, followed by Reservoir and The Upsetter.
Next up on the Open’er stage were The Black Keys who played a stellar set of songs from all of their albums including their earlier hits Strange Times, The Next Girl, to their latest track Fever. And if that wasn’t enough they came back on stage for an encore and finished with Little Black Submarines and I Got Mine. Closing day one was Haim on the tent stage and Foster the People on Open’er. It wasn’t long into Haim’s set when members of the crowd began shouting out ‘Marry Me’ to which the band members responded with ‘yes, we’ll come to Poland to find our husbands’. Playing all the hits from their debut album they ended with The Wire and Let Me Go. And as the sun settled over the airfield Foster the People ended day one with an hour and a half performance including Best Friend, Coming of Age, Ask Yourself and the much loved summer track Pumped Up Kicks.
Photo courtesy of Opener.pl
Day two saw the likes of MGMT, The Afghan Whigs, Jaguar Ma, Rudimental and headliners Pearl Jam take to the stages. Paying tribute to the late Bobby Womack The Afghan Whigs covered the classic Across 110th Street.
Pearl Jam were by far the highlight of the night with a 23 strong song set list starting with Better Man followed by Even Flow, Jeremy and Alive. Pulling in the biggest crowd Eddie Vedder did not disappoint leaving the crowd hyped up and wanting more.
A tough headliner to follow, the penultimate day saw Jack White headline, but not before Foals played an impressive set which provoked an equally impressive mosh pit. Buzzing from their electric performance I headed straight to the Alter stage to check out newcomers Royal Blood. The duo, aided with just a drum kit and guitar sent the crowd into a frenzy, and if their show is anything to go by then these guys are the ones to watch out for.
Playing songs from his new album Lazaretto, Jack White kicked off his set with High Ball Stepper, and for anyone wanting to hear some track from The White Stripes then you were in luck as he rocked out to Icky Thump along with Seven Nation Army. The night came to an end when Lykke Li entertained the crowd. Unfortunately her set was suddenly cut short, but not before playing hit single Gunshot and I Never Learn.
Photo courtesy of Opener.pl
The fourth and final day at Open’er did not disappoint. Saving the best headliner to last – Faith No More. But before they took to the stage The Horrors opened the main stage, pulling in the smallest crowd. Unimpressed with their set, revellers flocked to the Here and Now stage to check out Hip Hop artist Pusha T, who delivered a much more energetic performance to a small but content crowd.
Debuting two new songs on a white stage filled with flowers, Faith No More were victorious in their headline set, returning for an encore that included Failing To Pieces, Matador and We Care A Lot. And whilst the rockers had pulled in the largest crowd for the whole weekend Bastille entertained an equally modest crowd on the Here and Now Stage covering TLC’s No Scrubs and ending with Pompeii.
And for those that could pull themselves away from Bastille and head to the tent were greeted with an extra long set from Warpaint. Rounding off this years Open’er festival was Phoenix who played an electric set including hits Lasso and Rome.
I left Open’er feeling very content that I’d witnessed some of the most amazing acts, consumed enough Heineken to last a life time. This festival is all about quality music and it shows, here’s hoping thats next years line up will be just as good!