Europe's biggest rock fest opens in Poland

28th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

28 July 2006, WARSAW/KOSTRZYN - More than 50,000 Polish rock fans converged on Kostrzyn on Poland's border with Germany Friday and tens of thousands more were expected for a weekend of rock n' roll at what has become Europe's largest summer open-air music festival. Harking back to the 1969 hippie-era "peace and love" Woodstock festival in New York state, Poland's Woodstock Station has promoted the philosophy of "Love!, Friendship! Music!" since its inception in 1995. Its critics, including Roman Catholic y

28 July 2006

WARSAW/KOSTRZYN - More than 50,000 Polish rock fans converged on Kostrzyn on Poland's border with Germany Friday and tens of thousands more were expected for a weekend of rock n' roll at what has become Europe's largest summer open-air music festival.

Harking back to the 1969 hippie-era "peace and love" Woodstock festival in New York state, Poland's Woodstock Station has promoted the philosophy of "Love!, Friendship! Music!" since its inception in 1995.

Its critics, including Roman Catholic youth groups, argue the festival has more in common with the sinister "sex, drugs and rock n' roll" overdose ethos which plagued youth culture during the 1960s.

Opponents have launched the "Jesus Station" Christian rock festival in Kostrzyn to run as a parallel alternative. Hundreds are expected to attend the Christian-focused event this weekend.

The massive popularity of the annual Woodstock Station event is derived in part from the fact it has become a major focus for Poland's fledgling counter-culture.

"I'm upset with the world, with Poland. I'm ashamed of Poland. And I won't say anymore," Woodstock Station's charismatic founder Jurek Owsiak said ahead of the weekend festivities.

His views are reflected by many of the more than 100,000 young Poles and foreigners expected.

One death has already plagued the event. A 19-year-old man was found dead in his tent on Friday. According to initial medical reports he had suffered severe sun stroke.

With temperatures hitting record highs well over 30 degrees Celsius, medical teams were kept busy Friday at the Kostrzyn concert site with hundreds of fans suffering from excessive sun exposure.

DPA

Subject: German news

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