Krakow parties on Vistula
Over 100,000 people celebrated the official beginning of summer near Wawel. Wisla Boulevard was turned overnight into an enormous stadium, gathering an audience from all over Krakow, as well as the many viewers at home.
Wianki is traditionally a spectacle that includes girls floating wreaths down the river during the shortest night of the year. The chaplet of flowers has come to symbolize the maidenhead and purity. Though, today?s event does not have much in common with tradition, it stills draws enormous crowds.
Instead of the traditional songs, you end up enjoying the sounds of the 1980?s, which have been resurrected for the occasion. The event features former media sensations, though some youngsters may be hearing about them for the first time. The list of international and polish celebrities might sound a bit lacking if you?re younger than 30.
As for foreign bands performing on stage, they include: Alphaville, Desireless, Bananarama, Gazebo, Ali Campbell from UB40.
Polish music was represented by Lombard, Róże Europy, Mr Zoob, Wanda i Banda, Daab ? highly recognizable Polish oldies.
It proves difficult to give a comprehensive music review of Wianki. Some of the singers are so old, they cannot lip-sing fast enough to match their own playback. That explains the distance between stage and public. Setting the stage on the opposite side of the river is still the biggest curiosity. Even though it?s size was an impressive size (28 x18 meters) and their was support from two large screens, you still felt a bit removed.
One thing is certain ? thousands of people really enjoyed the evening. Even if they were disappointed with the musical component, the incredible 20 minute firework show seemed to make it all worth it.
Hopefully the event will only improve as it trudges on through the years. Maybe one day we?ll have a chance to hear and see a show that Krakow and the summer deserves.