There are very few things in my motherland that keep me on coming back every 6 months. Obviously my Grandma, friends, the obligation to show up during the Christmas time and freeze my ass off, and, last but not least – Audioriver. So if you ever had a week, or an extended weekend off, at the very end of July and you were struggling to find an option that won’t ruin your wallet but will be distinct and fun – read along!
To give you an idea of what Audioriver is I could start with a general description: electronic music festival in a small town 1 hour away from Warsaw (if there’s no traffic….). But it’s so much more!
Music – of course. Every year the organizers of Audioriver Festival magically manage to combine a nearly explosive mixture of artists from all over the world and assign them to 5 different stages. The music is electronic, of course, but you can meet your expectations not only when it comes to techno (albeit, seriously, you simply have to try Circus stage, it’s a legend), but also some more chilled, maybe house beats, or, if you like – dnb.
Place – The whole Audioriver Festival is located on a beach by the Vistula river in a small town Płock. Imagine 32 000 fans of electronic music overtaking the picturesque little market square and every corner of the town. Everyone is happy, everyone came for the music and for having the time of their lives. The old town stands for a stage of daytime festival activities like music fair, smaller stage and bathing in the fountain (although last years the authorities put some barriers around it so no bubbly fun was committed).
When the night falls all electronic music fans go down the hill to the beach to dance their feet off.
The view from above is absolutely breathtaking – the whole place is buzzing with good music and good emotions as well.
Timing – ever had this feeling that you’d like to party some more, but they were already unplugging the soundsystem leaving you disoriented and craving for more? Not there. On Thursday starts already so called Audiopole (Audiofield) that will smoothly introduce you to the magic that’s just about to start happening. From Thursday on, if you’re tough enough you can be dancing till Tuesday. Audiofield -> Audioriver by night -> by day -> by night -> Sun Day -> Audiofield once again – this is a never ending music feast. The only disadvantage is that even without sleeping/eating/drinking you’ll probably still be more than likely to miss something because every single one of the 5 amazing stages during Audioriver Festival is definitely worth attention.
Prices – OMG it’s cheap! For this size and quality, the price of something around 70USD is pretty sick. Also, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much you’ll be charged for food and alcohol-paying about 1USD for a can of beer in a local shop or 4USD for delicious scrambled eggs and a lovely cup of coffee for breakfast served in restaurants on a market square all day.
The only thing that might be kind of a problem and also, might be a bit more pricey – is the accommodation. All hotels are usually booked by the artists and there’s not the slightest chance to sneak in especially if you are a stranger coming from the abroad. So – what can you do?
– write on Audioriver facebook group that you’re looking for the accommodation
-find a Polish friend who’ll do it for you
-sleep in a tent on Audiopole
-sleep in a car
-don’t sleep (?)
A complete guide HOW TO AUDIORIVER for foreigners
1) Book a flight to Warsaw
For Thursday, let’s say. Option convenient: Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW) located in the city. Option economy: Warsaw Modlin Airport (WMI) a tiny airport in the middle of nowhere, only Ryanair stayed there, everyone else resigned.
Remember – the Audioriver Festival is always at the very last weekend of July.
2) Get to the city centre:
WAW: by taxi, Uber, SKM (Rapid City Train), a bus – just use Google Maps and it’ll show you the way.
WMI: Go to www.modlinbus.pl and book your ticket – the bus will take you right next to the Palace of Culture and Science – this big beige building with a fancy “spike” on the top of it.
3) Enjoy Warsaw!
Seriously there are some interesting spots to see before you’ll hit the road aiming for Płock. Check out:
– Palace of Culture and Science – go to the 30th floor, see the sad lady who works in the elevator and her only job is to press the button up or the button down. See the Warsaw’s skyline – a bit grey and a bit like from 20 years ago.
– Eat pierogi in the Old Town – the place is called Zapiecek and even a thought of what I devoured there makes my mouth water.
– Grab a beer at Zbawix – A famous hipstery place – Plac Zbawiciela and even more famous “Plan B”, where many easy Wednesday evenings ended pretty tragic for many young and beautiful. There was also a rainbow – big, flamboyant – a subject of many quarrels and fights between artists and <<no-homo>> knights who were convinced that it’s the PRIDE symbol, so they were trying to defeat flowery installation by burning it down several times. And the rainbow is unfortunately gone.
– Have a stroll in Park Łazienkowski – check spacious fields of greeniness and an….Asian Garden. Say hello to the squirrels and swans, maybe you’ll be even lucky to come across someone performing in one of the locations of this beautiful park (Chopin music concerts only on Sunday and on Sunday you’ll be somewhere else listening to kinda different tune in a kinda different state).
– Check out the Warsaw University Library Garden
– Proceed to the Vistula riverside to hydrate and prepare for the Big Time.
4) Get to Płock
you can travel on a bus (for example https://www.goeuro.pl) departures usually from West Railway Station. There’s also a train option available, but I wouldn’t recommend it – much longer and inconvenient.
5) Accommodation in Płock
once again: the most reliable thing to do is to write on Audioriver facebook group that you’re looking for the accommodation. There is a freshly sprouting business in that matter so you should be ok. If not – proceed to the middle section of this article and get your mind on a tent.
6) Pray for the weather
and have loads of fun, dance, sing, listen, meet new people and feel this amazing energy and sound that gathers more and more people every year.
Disclaimer: it can blow your mind.