A Declaration of Love to Garbicz Festival

photo: Ole Ukena

For the past three years, my friend Anahita kept doting about Garbicz Festival. She kept telling me about its magical atmosphere, the friendly and open-hearted people, the heartfelt and detailed Katerblau-like decoration and colorfully dressed people. So, after all the gushing, this turned out to be her third year of Garbicz and, eventually, I called it my first!

The Garbicz Festival exists for 5 years now and is a communal project brought to life by the party creators Bachstelzen and Katerblau/Holzmarkt. These guys joined forces and bought the serene nature reserve bordering at the small village called Garbicz in Poland, where each year, the Festival is brought to life and in the end is taken down almost completely again. The area is an absolute gift to the festival, with a big lake to swim in or chill at and lots of trees, to camp in the shadows, protected by rain. The talented photographer Ole Ukena kept his camera close during those exciting 5 days, to distinctively capture the vibe of Garbicz Festival for you. 




photo: Ole Ukena 

What sets Garbicz Festival apart from other festivals?

What sets Garbicz apart from any other festival is the approach to enable their visitors a party holiday, with all expenses and worries cared for. That idea explains the ticket price, that contains the bus ride to and from the festival grounds, enough money for (aaaamazing) food and drinks, as well as clean showers and toilets. Most importantly there are also teams that not only care for your medical wellbeing but also wander the festival grounds 24/7 to make sure you are having a good *cough* trip. Last but not least, the party crew is very serious about protecting the ecosystem of said nature reserve. To ensure that, they do not only clean up completely in the end but also set up teams, that make sure you are treating the grounds well already during the festival (“I dare you. Don’t go into the water with all that freaking glitter!!”).


photo: Ole Ukena 

What happens on the festival grounds

The festival is built up along the lake, so 3 of the 7 stages are directly bordering the shore, profiting of its serenity. They all vary in its music and phunky looks, so you can always go explore another stage if you want to change things up a bit. Chill on top of the sea of pillows by the Ambient Floor, dance in the sun at Wiese Floor, get your fair share of Techno at the Wald Floor or experience the sunset on the Moos Floos (a floating dancefloor on the lake.). At the Lichtung, several workshops and performances await you, but also blankets and pillows to rest and chill. The options are endless and make the days just fly by, while the chill food area with delicious and healthy food options keep you happy and your tummy full. 

photo: Ole Ukena 

If you like the decoration at Katerblau and Holzmarkt you will absolutely love these guys work here all over the festival grounds. Not only the stages look one of a kind, everything is lovingly decorated, from the food stalls to the forest. Also, it is not all about the acts, but also about wandering the grounds and exploring its little surprises. Everywhere light and art installations catch your attention and invite you to explore. All kinds of performances and even a little church to mary can be found (that was used all the time!).


photo: Ole Ukena

Rainbow is the warmest color

What I loved most, besides the colorful people and beautiful decoration, was the open mindset people carried. In contrast to other festivals I experienced, people encourage you to build a connection with another and make you feel accepted and welcome in their presence. The audience is also a little older, which adds character and depth to it all. So what if you go around topless or naked, or dance like a donkey, or want to be called Julie instead of Anna – here you can. So finally, I won’t forget what this one guy told me I met dancing: “If this festival grows into a little town, and we all become this alternative society, I will absolutely move here.”

Thank you to Ole Ukena who created these beautiful images with his party squad.

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<a href="https://www.iheartberlin.de/author/franziska/" target="_self">Franziska</a>