For four glorious days last week, 60,000 revellers danced their way around Gdynia-Kosakowo Airport to one of the best festival line-ups of the summer. Filled with dedicated venues for fashion, film, music and food, Open’er 2017 served up something for everyone. Here are the best bits from 16th annual Polish knees-up.
1The Tent Stage was rammed from the first act to the last
The festival kicked off on Wednesday with some scary-looking storm clouds gathering overhead. Thankfully, the rain held off until later.
2Royal Blood rocked the Main Stage
The Brighton duo got things going on day one at Open’er 2017. Hampered by a sore throat, frontman Mike Kerr had to work extra hard during a fiery 60-minute set.
3Michael Kiwanuka was smooth as fuck on the Tent Stage
The London troubadour moved from soft, soul balladry to heavy, psych wig-outs, all the while swaying gently at the front of the stage.
4Radiohead played the hits, but not those hits
Thom Yorke didn’t give us ‘Creep’ or ‘Karma Police’, but he did wear this excellent trench coat and Radiohead played 45 minutes longer than planned. Can’t say fairer than that.
5Thom Yorke’s fans had a little cry
Things got a bit emotional on day one at Open’er 2017. Radiohead’s euphoric sound & dizzying light show were too much for some fans, who broke down in tears at their epic headline set.
6Charli XCX was going for it
Banging out the hits is Charli’s speciality, and in Gdynia she didn’t disappoint. The crowd roared at chart anthem ‘After The Afterparty’, before she strode into the crowd during fan favourite ‘Babygirl’. Full marks Charli.
7Jimmy Eat World took us back to the ’00s
Emo kids, it’s time to dig out your trouser chains and pull up your long chino shorts because Jimmy Eat World are back, in Poland at least. Jim Adkins’ pop-punk crew played to one of the biggest crowds of the festival on Thursday, slamming out classics like ‘A Praise Chorus’, ‘Sweetness’ and ‘The Middle’. Hey, don’t write them off yet.
8The Kills’ set was a riotous mosh-fest
Blues-rock isn’t something Poland’s known for, but The Kills’ crowd at Open’er on Thursday couldn’t get enough of the grimy garage-punks. The boozy audience leapt about to ‘Doing It To Death’, before set-closer ‘No Wow’ started the biggest mosh pit since Download festival. “I love you to death!” screamed Allison Mosshart. “Foo Fighters up next.”
9MIA made some new friends
It took just two songs for alt-pop firebrand MIA to dive into the crowd at the Polish festival. In a superbly-frenzied career-spanning set, she also took the opportunity to announce she’d deleted her Twitter account, making headlines around the world. “You’ll just have to come out and see me now,” she quipped.
10Open’er got the best of Foo
Here they are, the band no festival-goer can get away from. Not that you’d want to. Dave Grohl’s grunge rock survivors have played pretty much every festival going in 2017, but it’s been ten years since they stopped in Poland. This time around they were better than ever.
11Foo Fighters closed day two in explosive style
Ripping through each of their many anthems, the Foos brought every bit of their Glastonbury magic to Poland with them. Highlights included set mainstays ‘Learn To Fly’, ‘The Pretender’ and ‘Wheels’; as well as Allison Mosshart’s brief appearance for heavy new track ‘La Di Da’.
12Out on the catwalk at the Fashion Stage
Sick of music? Then why not take a seat and watch Poland’s finest fashionistas wander down the catwalk? Who knows, you might even pick up a few festival style tips while you chill.
13We met Brodka – Poland’s Pop Idol
When you look at Britain’s past talent competition winners you find plain Granny-favourites like Will Young and Olly Murs. In Poland you get sequin-studded alt-pop stars like Brodka. We stopped by her dressing room just before she jumped on the Tent Stage.
14Queen Brodka stormed the Tent Stage
The glitter-covered star tore through a genre-hopping setlist that combined her many, many influences. ‘dreamstreamextreme’ is a lush Kate Bush-influenced masterpiece while St Vincent’s heavy guitar riffs can be heard all through ‘Granda’. Not heard of Brodka before? You’re missing out
15Prophets of Rage reigned in the rain
16Get ready for The Weeknd
After two nights of indie-rock headliners, The Weeknd’s funk-infused show made for a nice change at Open’er 2017. Hopping out onto stage to perform ‘Starboy’, the man born Abel Tesfaye toe-tapped his way through a 16-song set that included the Daft Punk-featuring ‘I Feel It Coming’, 2015 single ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ and Ty Dolla $ign collab ‘Or Nah’.
17Fireworks at The Weeknd
In an explosive end to the gig, the Toronto musician sang a one-track encore (‘The Hills’) as fireworks erupted behind him.
18Late night love for Warpaint
Last of the live bands to perform on Friday, Warpaint filled the tent with smoke and woozy indie-psych magic. Drummer Stella Mozgawa, whose parents are Polish, tried to teach the rest of the band how to tell the audience ‘I love you’: “Kocham Cie.”
19George Ezra tried to bring the sun out
If ever there was a cheeky chappy to cut through the rain, then it was perennially upbeat indie-kid George Ezra. “I’m sorry to play this next song. Please don’t hate me,” he said, before launching into laid-back debut single ‘Did You Hear The Rain?’. The soaked audience didn’t seem to mind, singing happily along.
20Benjamin Booker filled final day slot on the Alter Stage
The US garage rocker brought his frantic, bluesy sound to Poland on Saturday. Bathed in red light his raw, soulful vocals set up the crowd perfectly for headliner Kevin Morby.
21Poland’s finest proved he’s ready for the world stage
Taco Hemingway isn’t well known in the UK, but judging by the millions of YouTube views he’s racked up, he will be soon. His barked, DIY-style rap drew a massive crowd to the Main Stage, which bellowed every word of his performance back at him.
22Tyga brought out the bangers
The US hip-hop titan fired out the hits to a sodden audience in the tent. Sheltering from the stormy conditions, thousands were treated to an impressive rundown of ‘Rak City’, ‘Ayo’ and ‘Stimulated’.
23Dua Lipa played one of her best sets yet
While Kevin Morby was soothing the Alter Stage into a folk-rock slumber, Dua Lipa was busy on the Tent Stage, belting out the hits to one of the biggest crowds of the whole festival. Later, she was spotted dancing to Lorde’s ‘Green Light’ over at the Main Stage.
24Dua Lipa for Polish President?
Now it would be irresponsible of us to comment on Polish politics, but this seems like a very strong idea…
25Lorde closed the festival with a triumphant debut set in Poland
Only announced on the lineup a month ago, New Zealand sensation Lorde arguably overshadowed co-headliners The xx with an energetic festival-closing performance. ‘Tennis Court’ kicked off the performance, before euphoric ballad ‘Supercut’ and indie-pop megahit ‘Royals’ took things to another level. Party anthem ‘Green Light’ ended the show with a bang.