Form of the festival: Official
Type: Urban Highline
Date: last week of July, with indication of the last weekend
Length of lines: 15-80m
Height range: 15-40m
Distance to spots: 10-30 min
Availability of spots: flip-flops
Safety: daily check of highline spots and anchors, with each line there is a person responsible for buddy check
Additionally: possibility of severe thunderstorms
Every child knows about Urban Highline Festival. Whoever was born during its first edition, is a teenager today. It is the oldest and one of the largest official highlining festivals in the world.
Most people took their first step on a highline here. Most lines here are rigged from one building. It is the only festival where you can try ‘free solo’ officially and without taking any risk. Here, also officially, there is a night highline session and “highline rumble”. At least two songs have been written about UHF (song number 1 & song number 2)…
Let’s start from the beginning.
Slowly shake your arms, take a deep breath in and out.
The first UHF took place in 2009. Since its inauguration, it has been inseparably linked with Carnaval Sztukmistrzów,which is taking place in Lublin at the same time. This combination gives an amazing effect and gathers a large audience. For a few days, the city becomes an artistic fair, boasting with unrestrained energy, however the midday is able to falsify this image.
When the heat is pouring from the sky and the temperature reaches 40 °C, most of the homo sapiens protect their heads in the shade. The „Orthodox highline sapiens” are an exception, they value privacy the most, not too many onlookers and the lack of queues. It is a kind of mutation barely known to us, „highline sapiens”, inhabiting the highest and hardly accessible parts of mountains and buildings (Do not confuse with „Rupicapra rupicapra”!). Goat though similar, is a different species. It’s a bit smaller, has got more fur and both male and female have got horns.
Coming back to the subject, it is only in the late afternoon when crowds flow onto the streets. Continuously and densely they glide so that it is impossible to move faster or slower. It’s a colorful, multicultural and multilingual river. It flows slowly, steadily and changelessly. Don’t look at your watch – you won’t make it anyway. Carnival waterfall made of tourists, though lazy, is tenacious and uncompromising. The city is panting, puffing, groaning …
/Undeniably, nothing ever cracked, which is a fine proof of undoubted flexibility, open-mindedness, and determination of wonderful people, who spend their time to organize this miracle for us every year. And each year there is more. There are more and more attractions, though it seems impossible./
Highlines rise above everything and everyone, over all this tumult and din, like spider webs, wove on sleeping pills.
Lublin is a big city and you can get here by plane. Take public transport from the airport (and any other place in the city). Take the route to the “Tarasy Zamkowe” bus stop. The bus stop, as well as the shopping center with the same name, is located vis-à-vis the campsite. It takes about 45 minutes and ~ €1.5. If you are landing in Warsaw, you can get to Lublin by train, bus, blablacar, hitchhiking, or through Slackline Warszawa.
Especially for the duration of the festival, slackline camping is created on the grounds of the castle. You will find a lot of trees to hang hammocks and flat places for tents. There are showers and toilets. At the entrance you will see a huge tent with info-point, stalls with equipment and slackliners outfits, mattresses and rodeolines. In the evenings, the tent serves as a lecture hall, cinema and a place for lectures from special guests. There is also the tombola draw and the closing party, which takes place last evening. Outside the tent, you can find food trucks. There should be also a Bar Żongler’s large tent, where live concerts take place. If you don’t find this tent, you might have confused the festivals.
Inside, the campsite lives its own life. There is a slackline village with longlines, shortlines, roderolines and tricklines (once there was even a midline). There are various workshops, including highlining for beginners.
Lublin is full of food, so I won’t elaborate. The bars blossoms here. Among the slackliners, the Trybunalska restaurant is traditionally popular. The rigging team, special guests and organizers eat there. In front of the restaurant, you can sit at a table with a view of the two longest lines on the Trybunał. At the back, you will relax in a quiet, shaded patio. If you counted your day and you’re really hungry, find a place called “Pyzata Chata”. I strongly recommend Zestaw Królewski for less than €5 and eat it on site. You will discover why hippopotamus looks so sluggish when moving around on land.
Trybunał (The Crown Tribunal in Lublin) is at the center of all events. There are highlines mounted toward the 4 sides of the world. Here is also a line for walking „free solo” over the net. You can also try your skills on a high-trickline. The line that hangs over the net changes depending on the demand. This is the perfect spot for the first steps in space. It is not high (for a highline), the lines are relatively short, and the audience beneath likes to applaud.
Do not forget about carnival costume.
Church (Wieża Trynitarska i Muzeum Diecezjalne Sztuki Religijnej). Have you ever stood on the line between two towers of the Catholic churches? Here you have the opportunity for such a walk. This is a higher spot than the Trybunał and has a beautiful panorama of the city. There is also the highest historic overlook in Lublin – 40 meters high.
Brama (Brama Krakowska) – a beautiful spot with one line.
Brama itself is a 14th-century gate guarding the entrance to the old town. Today, it houses the City’s of Lublin History Museum, through which you will pass, going to the spot.
Urzędniki are two dubiously looking skyscrapers. Everyone, however, has the right to own opinion on this matter. Regardless of when the festival begins, Urzedniki as a highline spot is open from Saturday morning. This is due to the fact that Lublin City Hall is located in one of the buildings and the lines can be rigged only after Friday’s office’s hours.
This is the Festival’s highest spot and at the same time the farthest from the campground.
Few words from organizers :
„UHF tworzony był zawsze przez slacklinerow dla slacklinerow i bardzo mnie cieszy, gdy widzę tyle uśmiechniętych twarzy w jednym miejscu. Ten festiwal jest bardzo trudnym i żmudnym przedsięwzięciem logistycznym, dlatego tak bardzo cieszy ta atmosfera, którą tworzą ludzie na nim się zjawiający, bo przecież to ludzie tworzą festiwal. Każdy uczestnik na te kilka dni staje się ogromną częścią tej imprezy i bez niego nie byłoby tej magii.”