Another spectacular weekend for the Heineken Open’er Festival Review 2013
For those who aren’t aware of the Open’er festival, it takes place in the city of Gdynia, Poland on the grounds of a private airport called Kosakowo usually in the first week of July. It’s one of Poland’s biggest festivals and this year’s line-up proved why it is. The 2013 headliners were Blur, Arctic Monkeys, Queens Of The Stone Age and Kings Of Leon. And all at the cheap price of 113 pound for a seven-day camping ticket, it was well worth the cost.
The first day kicked off with many mouth-watering acts to see, most notably were Birmingham rockers, Editors who have just released their fourth album “The Weight Of Your Love”, who were first on the Open’er stage. They played an electric set with all the hits such as “Munich”, “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” and “The Racing Rats”. As well as bringing out new tracks like lead single “A Ton Of Love”. The crowd were in full voice and you could see the band were clearly enjoying themselves. Their set came to an end with another hit “Papillion”, which had the crowd bouncing before they bid farewell to the Polish fans.
Next up were Wednesday nights headliners Blur. With an audience of over 20,000 Blur didn’t disappoint, reeling out all the classics from “Country House” when frontman Damon Albarn came to join the crowd to a rendition of “The Universal” that left the fans in awe. Also given an outing was new song “Under The Westway” that was unveiled last summer. Other highlights from the set were “Song 2” during the encore and a lovely sing-a-along to “Tender”.
After Blur had finished it was a quick dash to the other end of the of the festival grounds to catch the second half of Alt-J’s set in a packed Tent Stage
Who are still showcasing material from their debut album “An Awesome Wave”. After that was Canadian duo Crystal Castles, who closed the Tent Stage on the first night in spectacular fashion.
Day two of the festival had plenty to over once again and one of the stand-out bands early on in the afternoon was Polish band Sorry Boys who filled the Tent Stage and put on a captivating show with their indie/rock anthems and it’s no surprise that they’re receiving praise across the continent. Look out for them when their second album is due to come out this fall.
Tame Impala played an exciting set on the Open’er stage, warming the crowd up for day two’s headliners Arctic Monkeys. While over in the Tent Stage Junip, led by José González played a short but entrancing set.
Arctic Monkeys finally got on stage and played the same set that they played a few days earlier at Glastonbury. Showcasing tracks from their upcoming album “AM” such as lead single “Do I Wanna Know?”, which went down very well with the Open’er audience. There were great vibes bouncing back and forth between band and the crowd, full of energy especially during songs “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor”, “When The Sun Goes Down”, “Brianstorm” and “A Certain Romance”. Overall fans should be excited for Arctic Monkeys fifth album due out in September.
Day three of the festival brought a lot of variation to Gdynia. From Palma Violets and These New Puritans to Nas and Kaliber 44. Offering something for everyone. The highlights of the night were headliners Queens Of The Stone Age who brought their A-game with their massive rock anthems and The National who were on after them.
Even though they weren’t the headliners, The National owned the Open’er Stage and put on an incredible show. Playing fan favourites such as “Fake Empire”, “Slow Hands” and “High Violet”. Lead singer Matt Berninger finished up the set by spending the last two songs “Mr. November” and “Terrible Love” singing from within the crowd, getting up close and personal with the ecstatic fans, myself included. The National easily put on one of the best performances of the festival.
The final day of the festival had plenty more top quality bands and singers to choose from, such as electro/rock band Everything Everything who kick-started day four in great fashion.
Crystal Fighters owned the AlterKlub Stage with their party anthems while Miguel brought his talents to the Open’er Stage, warming the crowd up for the closing headliners, Kings Of Leon.
The Nashville quartet, according to a volunteer were expected to have an audience of over 70,000, with campers and the day tickets all sold out. If there were any pressure on the band then it didn’t show in the slightest. It was a set filled with all the classics and fan favourites, with the likes of “The Bucket”, “On Call”, “Radioactive” and “Molly’s Chamber”. It only took seven songs into the performance before Caleb Followill announced that “we’re only a few songs in and we can already say this is the best crowd we’ve played to on the entire tour.” The fans were clearly excited for one particular song, chanting for “Sex On Fire” repeatedly during the bands breather before returning for an encore. When the moment arrived frontman Caleb had “a feeling this is gonna be really good”, before launching into a massive sing-along of the “Only By The Night” hit. The set ended with an aggressive rendition of “Black Thumbnail”, leaving the crowd wanting more.
The Tent Stage was the place to be from there onwards to catch the end of Devendra Banhart who had captivated the festival-goers with his folky rock vibes, leaving the stage with them chanting his name wanting more.
Over on the AlterKlub Stage Polish pop/rock outfit, Lao Che drew in a large crowd to the small stage and put on an entertaining performance. Having the crowd dancing and jumping around, clearly showing why they’re a hit in their homeland.
The final act of the festival was Electro/rock group, Animal Collective in the Tent Stage. The organisers couldn’t have picked a more fitting band to close this years Open’er. With a stunning stage design and lighting, an ecstatic audience and fantastic music, Animal Collective put on a two-hour show that’ll last long in the memory of those who were there.
And just like that the Open’er festival was over for another year. Although campers with four day tickets had the option to stay put for an extra day for free and see Rihanna perform.
The Open’er festival wasn’t just a music festival though, it had so much more to offer. With a fashion stage that had regular shows on, showcasing the latest fashion trends. A silent disco and museum were also open to the festival-goers. One of the main attractions separate to the music was the Alterkino Cinema, which had many films on show, “Pussy Riot: Modlitwa Punka” and the Oscar nominated “Sugar Man” to name but a few. If that hadn’t interested you then maybe the several theatres might have with performances based on the life of Courtney Love in the show of the same name. Also on show was the performance “Nancy. Wywiad”, based on the ill-fated fiancée of punk rocker Sid Vicious.
For just over 110 pound, the Heineken Open’er festival is definitely good value for your money.
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About the author
The name's Jack Squibb, I'm currently a radio broadcasting student in Cork, Ireland. I'm always found at gigs around the city and manage to get myself to at least one festival a year! Favourite genre of music has to be indie and rock but I'll listen to almost anything.