The Woodstock Poland Rock festival was held once again in Kostrzyn nad Odra on 1-2-3 August. Turned-on youngsters from all over the globe flocked together to see and support the bands and hang out with their friends. The beauty of the festival is that its a free gig and as they say “all the best things in life are free.”
The mission of Kostrzyn nad Odra. is to be “as much about music as [it is about] harmonious co-existence.”
Give Peace a Chance
Prior to 2004, the festival took place in Zary (1997 – 2003), Szczecin-Dabie (1996) and Czymanowo (1995). The average attendance of Przystankek Woodstock over the last four years is 625,000 people and in 2014, the festival attracted 750,000 attendees to Kostrzyn nad Odra. Each year, Przystankek Woodstock features 50 to 70 performers, consisting mainly of Rock music, but in recent years have become known for including an eclectic mix of Folk, Experimental, Metal, Classical, Electronic and Reggae.
The organisers were generous enough to welcome presence of Falun Gong again This is the 4th time that practitioners from Poland and Germany participated in the popular festival.
Falun Gong is a peaceful qigong and meditation practise and is also free of charge. The group have around 200 million followers world wide but sadly in China, they are being mercilessly persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party.
The practitioners happily demonstrated the 5 sets of gentle exercises and told people about the 3 principles of Truthfulness Compassion and Tolerance that the system is based on. They invited festival goers to learn and participate in their sessions.
Several young music fans said they felt the strong energy when practitioners demonstrated the exercises. On the last day of the festival, one young man kept jumping up and down excitedly after he finished all five sets of exercises. He explained, “The Falun Gong energy is so strong. I feel very powerful. The last set of exercise (sitting meditation) is especially amazing. When I finished it by holding my hands together, I felt like I was going to fly. So wonderful!” He thanked the practitioners, and expressed support for their peaceful resistance to the persecution.
“We must not keep silent”
Besides teaching the exercises, practitioners also collected signatures on a petition that calls on the Polish government to pay attention to and condemn the 20-year long persecution of Falun Gong in China, especially the state-sanctioned organ harvesting from living practitioners.
More than 1000 people signed the petition during the festival.
One of the most amazing parts of Przystankek Woodstock is the Academy of the Finest Arts (AFA). AFA is unlike any festival offering we have come across to date. It’s an opportunity for young people to meet with well-known politicians, celebrities, religious leaders, artists, journalists, actors, musicians and the list goes on. They can discuss faith, truth, dreams, life, adventures, philosophy, and much more. Nothing is off limits.
Other festival offerings include (what the festival refers to as) a massive mud shower, a tomato fight and the Hare Krishna Movement, which organizes an Indian food cafeteria, yoga classes, meditation and meetings with gurus.
Safety measures at the festival are provided by what the festival calls “The Peace Patrol.” The Peace Patrol is a special community of volunteers, who work alongside a professional security company as well as with the Polish police. Przystankek Woodstock is thus considered among law enforcement as one of the safest public events in Poland.