Until Dawn

22 June 2022

The shortest night means the longest party!

Wianki – Fête de la Musique

Interview with Łukasz Warna-Wiesławski

Bartosz Suchecki: Wianki in Kraków recall ancient traditions, however as the Fête de la Musique the event is open to the latest trends. Will this year be similar?
Łukasz Warna-Wiesławski:
This year’s Wianki festival is deeply rooted in folk traditions. Looking for identity, building something rooted in traditions and sketching visions of the future are all a part of broad trends in the arts in Poland and abroad. Our stages at the Main Market Square and Powiśle explore myriad shades of folk music.

The Main Market Square resounds with a popular repertoire including electronic music and hip-hop. We kick off with dance folk performed by Naphta. Ifi Ude, the Polish singer with Nigerian roots, presents her unique blend of Polish and African influences and poetry set to dance music. Alina Pash from the town of Bushtyno in Ukraine intertwines local folk with new sounds she discovered in Kyiv – her home until the outbreak of the war. The Polish star Margaret recalls urban sounds with a blend of pop, reggaeton and hip-hop.

The stage at Powiśle welcomes more traditional groups. The headliners are Village Warsaw Band, winners of numerous awards for their latest album Uwodzenie. Sutari perform material from their album Siostry rzeki. They will be preceded by Pokrzyk from Kraków and Silesia, performing songs from Poland and Belarus, and the group Niewte, seeking trance in folk and creating incredible sounds from dance rhythms, fiddles and percussion. As usual, Powiśle also hosts workshops of garland-weaving and a competition for the most beautiful wreath.

Things will quiet down for a while, but the party continues at Powiśle.
Silent disco is a permanent fixture of Wianki. This year, our headphones will stream sets by artists who have resettled in Poland from Ukraine. The greatest star of this stream is the animator of Ukrainian diaspora in Kraków: Nuarrrrrrr teaches music and DJing, and performs alongside one of his students Azazazarova. The second channel of silent disco features another Ukrainian artist: Shjva performs sets back-to-back with Monster, one of the leading representatives of Polish club music.

So can we dance our way home with a clear conscience?
Not necessarily! The festival culminates with an event directly recalling ancient Slavic traditions, held on the third stage at Krakus Mound. At dawn on Sunday, at 4.10am exactly, we will hear the ensemble Z Lasu. The ladies learn songs from the Polesie region from inhabitants of this historic area, currently mainly located in Belarus and Ukraine, to preserve them from oblivion.

What about other stages and attractions?
The Wesoła district hosts a family picnic including activities for kids, music workshops and artworks by students of the Faculty of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts. Wianki also see a welcome return to street music performed live at squares and gazebos throughout the Old Town, Kazimierz and Podgórze.

The Potocki Palace will host discussions about Eastern Europe and, more broadly, what it means to be Slavic. We will meet war refugees from Ukraine and people who support them. We will also hear from some of the performers (including Maciej Szajkowski and Naphta) explaining their approach to history and tradition and what they seek and find in folk music, while Margaret will share tips on dealing with artistic setbacks.

Interviewed by Bartosz Suchecki, “Kraków Culture” magazine

Łukasz Warna-Wiesławski
Music specialist at KBF and curator of the programme of this year’s Wianki – Fête de la Musique. He runs the Tańce music label and DJs as Rusałka.

Photo: Wianki 2018 by Monika Stolarska

The article published in the 2/2022 issue of “Kraków Culture” quarterly.



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