POHODA 2013, Slovakia’s largest Music Festival

According to Wikipedia,

The word “pohoda” means “relax” or “ease” in the Slovak and Czech languages.

Pohoda festival is an open-air summer music festival in Slovakia, first organized in 1997 in Trenčín. It is one of the biggest Slovak music events, organized annually.”

My perception of the word “pohoda,” based on how I’ve heard & seen it used is, “it’s all good,” and certainly the festival was, even though, (to be honest), I hadn’t really the desire nor draw to go to this year. 
It seems however, that I was meant to be there. 🙂

Only a couple of days prior, my best friend, (who had tickets), looked at me and asked “don’t you want to go to Pohoda…? Our friend may still have tickets.”I thought to myself for a few moments, and then said, “YES-if I can, I will,” and sure enough, there was a ticket with my name on it. 
That short conversation kicked off a series of sparks which led to an absolutely incredible weekend.

How it all went down:
I figured I’d hitch a ride (130km from Bratislava), on Saturday morning, and then party til the wee hours of Sunday, and simply hitch a ride back to town, but then I had an offer to go up on Friday morning, and thought “why not? There’s a story in this, good or bad.”

I didn’t plan a thing, and took with me only cloth bag with a few bits and bobs.   Where I’d sleep, was never really an issue, thinking that I’ll just catch a few zzz’s on a patch of green. BUT, by the time we arrived, there was much cloud cover and indeed, the heaven’s opened up on us, not to mention the temperature was dropping.  It was raining cats and dogs, so crashing on the green was not an option.

Option number 2: Let’s see….
Of the 30 000 people there, someone was bound to have a space in their tent for me, so still, absolutely no worries, and I left it to chance. 

Forward a couple of hours, and I bumped into an old friend, who I hadn’t seen in too long.  We had a big fat catch up, which carried on from Pohoda to her friend’s place, who’d graciously ok’d me staying there. 
no wet grass, 
no cold, 
no tent…
I had myself a bed and wonderful company 😉

Despite the rain, Friday was a brilliant day, moreso because of reconnecting with old friends, and meeting new ones. I was off on my own quite a bit, and found myself in the Martinus tent, writing, & doodling, of all things 😉

Before tiredness and cold kicked in, we finished the night with “Atoms for Peace,” whom I would see over and over and over again. Phenomenol’s the word. Botka. 

Saturday was magical. My phone had about 5% battery, and the opportunity to charge it, despite all the charging stations, was pretty slim. All of Pohoda seemed to be experiencing the same thing I was. I sent out a few messages, and decided that when I had no battery left, I wouldn’t pursue charging it, and “let’s just see who I’ll cross paths with,” naturally. 
One of the last messages I’d sent was to a friend who’d just written about meeting up. I responded with, “my phone will be dead soon-so put your vibes out babe, & lets find each other…”  Amongst all those people, guess what?  Our paths crossed. 😀

Carrying on, if you’re a fan of the orchestra, live or not, can you imagine being witness to the Slovak and Czech (Czechoslovak) Philharmonic Orchestra’s, reuniting for the first time since The Gentle/Velvet Revolution, (late autumn 1989)? 

It was nothing short of magnificent, and emotional, even for me. (I don’t doubt that I’ve been here in a past life, as it all sounded/seemed too familiar, and not for the first time).

Next was a dash to the Orange stage where it was an orchestra of a different kind; the “Lemon Bucket Orkestra,” and with a name like that, you’re bound to get something out of the ordinary with this ensemble. In fact, extraordinary. I love these guys, purely because they’re nuts, incredible, insanely talented, and so unique. Did I mention that they’re Canadian? 😉

You’ve got to know that after they finished their set, they made their way off stage and to the centre of the crowd, and continued playing there, before walking off (still playing). So much of the crowd followed along, including us. Normally, I don’t like to follow the crowd,  but these guys had such a vibe about them, and kept my spirit hooked. 😉

I believe the departing words for LBO leaving the stage as they did, were something like, “This is really Pohoda,” by the moderator. Again, no other words were necessary. They stole the show, those crazy Canucks! (They’ve been know to break out in tune on airplanes and in airports-watch out for these guys). 

It’s got to be said that at some point on Saturday, I’d ducked back into the Martinus tent, where I finished writing the first draft of my fairy tale. It all felt so right, as inspiration was everywhere. All I had to do was reach out, catch it and write it down. 

Fast forward a few more hours–There were yet, more (re)connections with beautiful spirits, and a few offers to drive home at stupid o’clock. I only told myself that I would follow my intuition, and when something felt right, I’d go with it. 
It was when I was dancing away to Bonobo, that I bumped into a group of friends from the day before, and in an instant, had a place to crash—it was going to be a long night, indeed, but I was game.

Now, the final show:  Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, whom admittedly, I’d never heard of until the day before, (or so I thought-OF COURSE I KNEW NICK CAVE!!!, just not by name-shameful, I know).

With a short synopsis from a friend, coupled with my imagination, when the band started, and Nick sang, mountains moved, and the energy flowed through all of us there. (So much so that there wasn’t a single moment that was more perfect for a man to propose  to his dear love, rather, that many moments were perfect and strung together to give birth to their next chapter). Congratulations to a beautiful couple :*.

I took off sometime during the last show, and was totally at peace, absolutely “pohoda.” I continued to have run-ins with old and new friends, whilst wandering around solo. 

Finally, after  a few rounds of bumper cars, and a burger with the fabulous foursome, we made our escape as the sun was coming up, and birds were chirping. 

Exhausted, delirious, but still laughing until the last person fell asleep, packed like sardines, in the most random setting-a workers dorm, we all slept like kittens. 

..and that’s my story about throwing caution to the wind, following nothing but my intuition (and Lemon Bucket Orkestra 😉 ).

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this story, from tickets, to heart to hearts, to hugs and kisses, to offering me a place to sleep, a ride there/back, and everything inbetween. 
Much love to each of you / Dakujem vsetci :***

Pohoda forever-Peace, Love and Rock ‘n Roll!!


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