Friday, 21 January 2011

Castle Party, Eastern Europe's biggest dark music event

Castle Party is the biggest Goth and darkwave festival in Eastern Europe, and has hosted many major stars of the subculture since its beginnings in 1994, when about 300 dark music fans travelled to see five bands who were performing at the Grodziec Castle in Poland, namely Moonlight, Daimonion, T.R.H, Pornografia and Fading Colours. Attendees were so impressed by the event that a similar, two-day event was planned at the castle the following year. The line-up expanded, and the number of attendees also swelled, packing the castle with approximately 800 people.

The difference between casual Goth and festival wear... imagine wearing THIS on your local high street.
Source: Google
By year three, a thousand people turned up for the festival, and Grodziec Castle was sadly deemed too small to continue hosting such a rapidly-growing event. From 1997 onwards, the festival has been held in the courtyard of the Bolkow Castle. By the event's 6th year, around 4000 people were swarming into the castle grounds to take part in Poland's iconic Goth festival.

This year, the line-up includes 'digital hardcore' group Atari Teenage Riot as headliners, and features other exciting names such as Project Pitchfork, Closterkeller (who have previously performed at Castle Party), Diary of Dreams and Umbra Et Imago. There are of course club nights during the event (which is now a four-day Goth extravaganza) at no extra charge. As with several of the biggest Goth fests, camping is optional.

Personally, I have Castle Party to thank for partly involving me with the 'real' Goth music genre and subculture - when I was searching online for information on Goth, I stumbled across a video of Castle Party attendees (which I have previously posted here) and was instantly hooked.

The idea of holding a Goth fest in a huge, beautiful castle is a truly inspired one... at night, when the main courtyard (which holds the stage) is full, attendees are granted the opportunity to spread out amongst the ruins and explore other parts of the castle grounds. There is of course a market, selling mainly food, drinks and accessories, although professional photographers have been known to sell the snaps they took at previous Castle Parties! Unfortunately, many of the incredible outfits I came across searching 'Castle Party' on Google were heavily copyrighted, but let me assure you, the Eastern Europeans are certainly not letting the side down when it comes to dark fashion.

In 2009, publishers Scriptoris released a book dedicated to the event, entitled Castle Party: Music, People, A Phenomenon, although judging from the fact that searching for the above title turned up no information online, I would have to assume that it is not written in English. However, the book (if you have better luck finding it) contains a collection of interviews from musicians who have performed at Castle Party, the mayor of Bolkow, the owner of one of the clubs that organises the after-party, and comes with a CD containing festival photos, audio interview clips and short films.
I'm having hair envy. In a big way.
Source: Wiadomosci
P.S. I had my first archery class last night... being ambidextrous in a rather unusual way (I write with my right hand despite actually being a leftie and doing everything else with my left, because my primary school teacher taught me to write right-handed) meant that I was the only person in the room shooting left-handed. I'm soooo non-conformist. ;-)

Listening to: Entre Moi Et Mon Amin - Qntal


Angel of Darkness said...

I would love to go to Castle Party! And i love the lady in the pirate hat in the first pic, love her outfit!

Stephanie said...

That looks like so much fun! I really need to indulge in goth culture more often. Those pictures of me in high school made me long for it, haha. =]
And that purple and black dress is amazing. I'd wear that every day if I owned it.

Mark said...

Good grief. What nice pictures of Goth ladies this Post has. The Ultimate Goth Guide is the perfect way to seek Gothic refuge from the world. The costumes of these Gothic ladies are so beautiful and elegant. They kind of remind me of Elizabethen period costumes. Very nice to look at. I don'thave the new Clan Of Xymox album yet. This is because its too expensive.

x-akurei said...

... I'd wear that on my local highstreet, just saying :') I pretty much wear inappropriate big clothes everywhere and anywhere.

ultimategothguide said...

Hey, I'm not saying people WOULDN'T wear it - but I can imagine the reactions they'd receive.

Not that that's a bad thing, I would LOVE to have the balls of steel required to take my clubwear onto the average suburban high street. XD

Maggie said...

It's so fantastic to see the Polish gothic scene thriving and evolving! I'm from Poland myself and I remember times when an average Polish Goth looked very much like an average Polish metalhead. Back then, not everyone had computers (not to mention the Internet), Goth/alternative magazines were scarce and budgets were tight, so many of us used our imagination as the only source of inspiration. The effects varied from utterly brilliant (rare) to totally disastrous (common). I haven't been to CP for many years now, but I think next year I'll give it a go!

Anonymous said...

My long-haired friend Justyna! I will send a link to her, she may enjoy this!

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