Pohoda – Arts, Music, Green space

The Pohoda Festival in Slovakia is a music event with the emphasis on space, sound and the universe.

Trencin, Slovakia, 14 June 2018. Pohoda, first staged in 1997, is based on the meaning of the word in the local  Slovakian language. It means “peace, ease, and contentment.”

 Pohoda promises green, flowers, music and a great vibe. Courtesy Pohoda.

Pohoda promises green, flowers, music and a great vibe. Courtesy Pohoda.

Accordingly, Pohoda is a music and arts gathering offering alternative, indie, electronica, classical, world and punk music ear-food, alongside literature, dance, visual art, film and theatre. That sounds contenting enough. The organisers say it creates a unique celebration of freedom and tolerance, where the beautiful and varied cultures of the world can meet, communicate and share ideas. Still true to its original objective, the festival is held every year over the second weekend in July in Trencin, Slovakia. That makes it 5-7 July this year.

Trencin is a wide green, lusciously situated airfield that transforms itself into a festival zone for those three days in July. Better still, the organisers say they use the same approach as when anybody invites somebody to visit their home.

“You want visitors to feel good in your place, you want them to have a good time and place to sit and sleep. You usually prepare good food and drinks and do everything possible to make them feel good - even in the bathroom or the toilet,” say the people behind Pohoda, Michal Kascak and Mario Michna. So far, most Pohodans seem to agree. 

 Anna Calvi learned music on the violin but has moved on since those orchestra days. Courtesy Pohoda.

Anna Calvi learned music on the violin but has moved on since those orchestra days. Courtesy Pohoda.

The lineup this year includes luminaries like The Chemical Brothers, Ziggy Marley, Jamie Cullum, Danny Brown, the Kronos Quartet, Anna Calvi and Yasmine Hamdan.

The multi-instrumentalist Anna Calvi is particularly famous for her luscious guitar moves, despite the fact she studied violin. She lists her inspiration as the impressionists (Ravel, Debussy), Nina Simone, and Jimi Hendrix. Brian Eno described her as the best thing since Patti Smith, and she has worked with famous names like Interpol, the Arctic Monkeys, and Nick Cave. 

Part of the festival preparation includes the cultivation of a lovely green grass carpet to walk on. Based at a former military airfield in the valley of the river Vah surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains, the festival area also boasts a generously laid out area for 30.000 visitors so attendees can forget about queuing for food or toilets, cramped camping or moving around the site in large crowds. It is comfortable, enjoyable and open - pohoda.

Pohoda also boast a unique festival option – the Tent Inn. This area offers tents for two people, mats, and two blankets for those who don't have their own sleeping bags or tents - or those who don't want to bother with all the gear. Pohoda 2017 saw some 29,500 visitors each day rocking to 166 concerts with artists from 28 countries spread over more than 125,000m2 while chilled out visitors drank 270,000 pints of beer.

 The Chemical Brothers will rock the green at Pohoda. Courtesy Pohoda.

The Chemical Brothers will rock the green at Pohoda. Courtesy Pohoda.

If that sounds good to you, zip over to https://www.pohodafestival.sk/en then book some cheap air tickets to Europe. Budget carrier Scoot has some brilliant fares from Singapore flying in to Athens and Berlin, then its only a short hop away by train to Slovakia. Trencin is situated 120km from Bratislava and 190km north-east of Vienna, Austria.