Kraków Live Festival 2019

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  • Friday, August 16, 2019, 4:00 PM - Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Time of Our Lives!

Roll up, roll up! Get your hottest, freshest music here!

We will never hear another solo like Hendrix’s Voodoo Child, no-one will ever dance like Madonna in Vogue again, no mojitos will ever taste as good as those from the holiday accompanied by Despacito… Is there a more human emotion than nostalgia? Fortunately for us, plenty of young musicians don’t believe that all the best things have come to pass. They take over the Polish Aviation Museum on 16 and 17 August during the Kraków Live Festival.

On the trail of hits

The song How Deep Is Your Love has completely different associations for young listeners and their parents’ generation. You’d be hard pushed to find similarities between the authors of both hits, although it could be said that the Gibb brothers of the Bee Gees and Calvin Harris, headliner of this year’s festival, have a real talent for catchy melodies. Before the young Scottish DJ rose to worldwide acclaim, he was invited by Kylie Minogue to work on her album X. So what happened next? “End of 2010, I decided to focus whatever ideas I had into basically one tempo and try to work at the ideal structure for a dance record,” he said in an interview with the BBC. And he put his idea into action: in 2011, he and Rihanna recorded their hit We Found Love. The track established him as the king of the single – the format key to his dazzling career. He’s been known to say, “Sometimes, it’s better to stop thinking and trust your instincts”. And his instincts have proven correct many times: Feel So Close, Summer, How Deep Is Your Love and This Is What You Came For – another track recorded with Rihanna – have all topped the charts and brought YouTube servers close to overloading. According to “Forbes” magazine, Harris has been the highest-earning DJ for the last six years running. Head to the Polish Aviation Museum on 17 August to experience his craft for yourselves!

The art of choice

It’s hard to reach the top, and even harder to stay up there, as shown by Macklemore. “We were going super hard, to the point when it was dangerous. The amount of sleep that I was getting, the amount of travelling I was doing, the amount of stress that comes from that, trying to juggle all those things was dangerous. I didn’t know exactly how to deal with it,” admits the Seattle-based rapper. Life in the fast lane soon had him reaching for drugs. He pulled himself out of the hard times when he unexpectedly became a father. It forced him to ask himself, “Do you want to live life, or do you want to escape life?” And he is equally daring with his lyrics. He blends comedy with politics and puts a major focus on social issues such as equal marriage (Same Love), racial injustice (White Privilege) and political choices (Wednesday Morning). But it’s worth remembering that these observations wouldn’t have reached such a wide audience if it hadn’t been for Can’t Hold Us and Thrift Shop penned together with producer Ryan Lewis, both of which topped the “Billboard” top ten. Last year, Macklemore once again soared to the tops of the charts as a guest of the British collective Rudimental with These Days. We will hear his top hits on 16 August in Kraków!

Many names of love

Post Malone isn’t the kind of guy a nice girl could safely invite for a Sunday lunch with the family. His face tattoos, including a barbed wire, a Playboy bunny and the phrases “always tired” and “stay away” certainly give a rather hostile impression. But the music industry is governed by hard rules, and the American vocalist and rapper has adapted to them perfectly. He has claimed in an interview that in the beginning, many people tried to take advantage of his niceness. “But now it’s: fuck you, pay me,” he raps in his track Patient from his debut album Stoney. His insolent attitude and a tendency to speak his mind have made him highly controversial; he has even been known to attack the entire hip-hop genre. But the media uproar doesn’t change the fact that Post Malone is one of the most-streamed artists in the world. In recent months, he has added to his record-breaking catalogue with the song Sunflower from the soundtrack from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and the single Wow. from his upcoming third album. Who knows, maybe we’ll hear even more brand-new tracks on 17 August.

Engaged pop

What happens when you put together fascination with music of Radiohead, Timbaland and Joni Mitchell? The “NME” magazine has described the resulting band Years & Years as possibly the most important pop group of our era. The London-based trio converts their favourite sounds into their very own blend of pop, R&B and electronica. Not everyone is convinced – some critics have described them as manufactured. The musicians shrug off the accusation, saying, “Who would manufacture a band featuring an ex-architect, an Aussie who’s into tango and a younger gay frontman who’s not going to do all the things that other people do?” The vocalist Olly Alexander has been candid about his sexuality and struggles with mental health problems, becoming something of an informal spokesman for the LGBT community. His openness is reflected in the group’s lyrics. Years & Years topped the charts with their single King telling the tale of an abusive relationship. In contrast, Shine, a track from their debut album Communion, is a celebration of falling in love. These two tracks are permanent fixtures on the group’s setlist, but we can also expect elaborate, changing costumes, stunning choreography and dazzling light effects. “It’s basically going to be like the Katy Perry tour,” joke the musicians.

Flavours of the world

And Kraków Live Festival’s auditory journey around the globe is far from over. DJ Snake is the latest hot producer of pop. We have become familiar with his nickname since the premiere of Turn Down for What, recorded alongside Lil Jon and featuring one of the most bizarre videos of all time. Lean On, recorded with the American trio Major Lazer, was also a massive global hit. Snake has also collaborated with Justin Bieber (Let Me Love You), Selena Gomez, Ozuna and Cardi B (Taki Taki). In 2018, the producer was listed in the top ten of dance musicians of the year by “Billboard”.

If you’re a fan of music intertwining influences from different corners of the globe, don’t miss Masego. Although his nickname may evoke Africa, Micah Davis was born in Jamaica and brought up in the US. He describes his music with a single evocative word: TrapHouseJazz. He plays many instruments, although his favourite is the saxophone – he shows off his skills during the eight-minute version of Tadow. The material from his debut album Lady Lady will be the perfect soundtrack to a warm August evening.

The Florida-born Ski Mask the Slump God also has Jamaican roots. His career took off following a stretch in a juvenile detention centre, where he became friends with XXXTentacion. The two went on to found the Members Only collective. Ski is famous for his creative use of pop cultural references blended with heavy trap beats. Following a warm reception of several mixtapes, last year he released his first studio album Stokeley – his real first name.

The multinational lineup also includes representatives of the Polish scene. The Warsaw-based duo PRO8L3M, featuring producer and DJ Piotr “Steez” Szulc and rapper Oskar Tuszyński, remained underground until just a few years ago, with fans seeking out limited edition EPs and mixtapes. Their shift into the mainstream went with a bang: their first two albums PRO8L3M and Widmo rapidly reached platinum status. In Kraków, we will mainly hear material from their second album released earlier this year.

In the early days of his career, Krzysztof Zalewski was rather reticent about pushing to the forefront. However, his hard work at treading his own path paid off and his talent now shines brightly. Zalewski has been a frontrunner of several fascinating projects: he has launched the album Złoto, headlined the Męskie Granie festival, covered hits by Niemen and Ciechowski and he runs a show on Radio Channel Three. More recently he has been featured on the soundtracks from The Messenger and the remake of The Lion King. Even better for us, the only place he feels more at home than the studio is on stage!


And that’s still not all! The organisers will reveal the final programme after this edition of “Karnet” goes to print, so make sure you follow the festival’s website and social media for updates. Of course fans of new music don’t need convincing to head to Kraków Live Festival, but there’s another reason to hit the Polish Aviation Museum this August: in a few years, you’ll be able to say quite honestly that there’ll never be a festival like 2019! (Bartosz Suchecki, ”Karnet”)

Complete line-up:

16 August
DJ Snake
Ski Mask the Slump God
Krzysztof Zalewski
Natalia Nykiel

17 August
Post Malone
Years & Years
Calvin Harris



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