OSTRÓDA REGGAE FESTIVAL 2018
CONCLUSION FROM THE PROMOTERS
We did it! We entered with a bang as the festival into adulthood, no guests were missing at our 18th birthday. And everyone had lots of fun!
Reggae as a genre has existed for half a century. This is a very long history, marked by abundant discographies of thousands of artists. It is a fascination that spreads throughout generations – also in Poland, where Jamaican ska appeared already 53 years ago. This passage of time is positively noticeable in Ostróda. Every year, all these warriors are with us, when the society would like to see them already in slippers. In addition, they encourage new generations of reggae fans, who are not interested in finding out what is fashionable and what is not. Our experience shows that we are a more or less stable group of people, who consistently follow the chosen path. Hence this beautiful transmission of good vibrations from generation to generation that we are witnessing in Ostróda. Nothing more beautiful than children asking when they will go to the festival again. The intergenerational bridge is beautifully expressed thanks to the music that teaches respect for the world and people. When a positive example flows from the authorities, another year in a row we can enjoy police statistics saying that during ORF there was no single interference with the law.
You are unique people, and giving you the opportunity to meet at one time and place is the greatest joy for us. In terms of atmosphere, there is no other such festival – words repeated every year have reached us this year with double strength when you expressed your solidarity with us aloud and showed great patience at the time when we experienced serious power cut at the Red Stage. Thank you for always being with us regardless of the situation. Your trust and support is very encouraging. You give the meaning to Ostróda Reggae Festival.
Two major changes related to the event seem to confirm the accuracy of our decisions. We all enjoyed good weather sent by Jah and certainly we will not go back to the previous August dates. We also dream of continuing the festival in this part of the Red Military Base, which we tested this year. A square that you can still see filled with hundreds of marching soldiers on films from a few years ago, has transformed into the ORF’s best location so far in the opinion of many.
You are not afraid of changes – both the new date and the new area have positively influenced this year’s attendance. The ORF brand, developed for 18 years, did not suffer in any tangible way because of larger events that took place at the same time.
We received comments related to the over-zealousness of security services at festival gates. We promise to clarify our expectations re protection at briefings before the festival next year, but you also should remember – it is a mass event area and it’s about the safety of all of us.
The great event of 2018 was the signing of the first ever twin towns partnership agreement between the Polish and Jamaican city. There would be no closer cooperation between Ostróda and Ocho Rios without many years of our work at the festival. The official guests from Jamaica and the diplomatic corps were delighted with what they saw on the spot. Music is a great force and brings even distant nations closer together. We believe that it will contribute to the development of our event and there will be new opportunities to intensify cultural exchange, also in cooperation with the cult Jamaican festival Rebel Salute, held in the area of our partner city.
This year we returned to the Polish bands’ Czwórka Reggae Contest. We were pleasantly surprised by the level of competition submissions. Many proper sounds could be heard from the stage during the Contest final show and we are glad that together with Polskie Radio Czwórka and Polskie Radio Olsztyn we can add to the career & development of Johny Rockers and Green Roots bands.
We will remember many beautiful shows – as usual Gentleman’s professional performance, the magic spread by Twinkle Brothers with Trebunie Tutki, Dub Inc – as always taking no survivors or Macka B, still on his great raggamuffin mission. Christopher Martin and Marla Brown, performing in Ostróda for the first time, made their best as well. Just like you, we were disappointed with the last minute cancellation from Jesse Royal for the reasons completely independent from us – a very rare case in many years of our history. We are proud of our Polish artists who have repeatedly shown that Polish reggae is developing and represents a really high level. Our stages were sparkling with colors and images, adding visual richness rarely seen at other events of this type in the world.
We are moving forward, but we do not forget about our foundation, our roots. Robert Brylewski (Polish reggae & punk legend who died recently) was looking at us all the time from the mural and he certainly smiled his mischievous grin, hearing how often he was mentioned by dozens of fans and artists he had shaped.
The beautiful and long history of Polish-Jamaican relations was recalled from the stage by the aforementioned “Jamaicans and Highlanders” and the Tribute to Alibabki project. We hope that after an inspiring visit to the Conscious Corner, you will try to change the world for the better with a load of new energy and not only with the music itself. Once again the sense of proposing a program consisting of many spare time activities was confirmed. There were plenty of participants at meetings and film screenings at the Reggae University or dancehall, drumming, capoeira or dreadlocks workshops. Reggae is more than just music and your deep interest is a proof for it! We’ve seen many joyful moves at Green, Yellow and Jah Love stages, confirming that various alternatives how to spend time during ORF is always a well-received idea. We try to use the potential of new media and as never before those who could not be with us, were able to follow the festival through live streams of shows and interviews at the press office.
Thanks to all the countless kind people without whom the festival could not happen. From always friendly inhabitants of hospitable Ostróda, through its authorities, all media patrons, sponsors, to all technical teams. This is a great undertaking that would never be possible without your support and commitment. We thank thousands of people whose constant smile, mutual kindness, culture, positive energy give the festival an extraordinary tone, having the greatest impact on its uniqueness and magic.
18th birthday was a good party! As we are seriously grown up now, let’s quote the words of one of the younger participants: “It was as always. It was supposed to be a blast. And it was a blast!”
See you next year!
Positive Music Promotion
The Organizers of Ostróda Reggae Festival