Below you can find a short tale about your times. Kinda, well… introduction. Followed later on by some festival tips. However, if you find yourself getting irritated by tales from the world of folk fantasy, pro-eco texts, long introductions, and in particular bizzare stories starting with “When…”, then immediately scroll down to the “💡 Index” section or to the very end, to “💪🏼 Slackline Workshops 🤙🏼“.
When the primeval forest full of thrash, with piles of tin cans all around, met the cosmic river of plastic bottles, the ancient Slavic gods awakened. First was Rod – the creator of the worlds. He blinked, surprised by the forest floor weaved with colors of the rainbow. “My beloved mushrooms! Hohoho! Respect… Where did I mislay my divine horn?” – a thought crossed his mind. Although he had been on the Earth since the dawn of time, he had no idea of plastic. The last thing he remembered was the joy of homo sapiens with the discovery of iron ore. “Baked bea…” – he read on the faded, half-torn label of the rusty package. He yet managed to take a look at the unnaturally even, black surface under his feet, but did not have a second chance to get surprised. He got hit by a truck.
Shock, disbelief and a huge sense of loss all together. Who would have expected that? Such a mighty god got shattered in first few verses, just at the very beginning of this colorful story. For God’s sake! This isn’t a good sign… “Luckily, his death was quick and painless” – one could say, but can you feel the wave of optimism? I do not.
Despite their resistance to viruses, all ancient gods went extinct within a week. Some were killed by the smog, which they considered to be air, others by the liquid in rivers, in which they saw water. There were many violent accidents at the so-called first contact with civilization (see Rod) and deaths in tortures after consuming artificially modified food. Some of the oldest, already heavily decayed gods did not even wake up properly. Flat cutting surfaces transformed them into wooden paneling during more or less legal deforestation works. Only Baba Yaga vegetated a little longer, shouting alternately: “It can’t be real!“, “Impossible!“, “Give Earth back to the Earth!“… After 10 days she died of despair, strapped to the bed in a mental hospital.
As you can see, no one will help us. It’s all happening right in front of you right now. This moment, however, is slightly extended in time. Only in time, not in space obviously… The space is almost gone.
“Only small, untouched islands remained, where nature has stopped for a moment and space allows the lungs to take a deep breath. They are so-called …?” And at this moment the teacher notices your lonely little hand, raised high above the heads of classmates. “These are so-called asylums, Mm…Madam!” – you recite in full sentence like an exemplary student. “Bravo John/Joanne. Sit down, excellent.” – says the proud lady.
One of such places in Poland, which you just mentioned, when you were still a child, is Ostoya nad Brdą (Ostoya by Brda river), where takes place Ostoya Fest…
Just don’t get too emotional right now! Wipe the eyes. Light a cigarette if you have to… Haven’t you noticed that you’ve grown up? Have you not noticed that the crap of this world has been growing together with you? Come on, you can’t fool yourself. You know that’s a tragedy and it’s not about a coronavirus and all these things. Dread of approaching disaster has been looming over us for some time now. However, there is still hope, glowing somewhere where the consciousness and the conscious actions meet, but it can’t stand the idleness any longer. Get up. Slowly, but surely. You’re not alone. Mother Earth, still blooms in spring, and the ancient Slavic gods have many lives. They are f*kin’ gods after all!
Rod and Baba Yaga are renting a cottage hut in Bory Tucholskie. That’s a national park, just a 15-minute walk far from the place where you are just beginning to wonder if you should visit it this year. Yes. Of course the hut is in a tree. Baba Yaga keeps her standards high.
Brda river is swarming with lesser deities, water nymphs, nixies, and countless princesses turned into frogs. Here, you can find Ents (so-called ancient Shepherds of the Forest), sacred groves, boulders and circles of power. A little further – the sacrificial hills, demons, ghosts and strigas…
I lowered my voice out of habit. Don’t worry about the monster. There’s one important thing I haven’t told you yet.
Here you are safe like nowhere else. The land you’re walking on is a cradle of witchers. Exactly here, by Brda river, a long time ago, the village of Rivia was located. Although it is not here anymore, sometimes Geralt visits this area with a lot of sentiment. Last year, after Jaskier’s concert, he partied all night long. Just to give an example.
That would be enough of an introduction.
Let’s go deeper into “the real” now. Meaning?
It means, let’s touch a more tangible reality.
Ostoya Festival has been playing music to us since 2017, always for 4 days and always during the Corpus Christi holiday* (there it is, now you know which of the long weekends we are talking about). The following summer, Anno Domini 2018, our slackline workshops have joined and apparently have been absorbed by the event. The festival plays mainly reggae, dub, ethno and Slavic folk music, but it did not despised punk rock, electronics and other vibes. The slacklines are open to everyone 24 hours, throughout the festival. Believe it or not, but none of us had ever suspected that a combination of slackline and reggae would give such a great results. The final effect can be clearly read from the face of any kid you encounter.
Going to the merits, this is exactly the place where an adventure in the rhythm of slackline can begin for you or your child.
Oh, my word. Long live my shyness! So many words had to be poured out to make this one short sentence woven discreetly into the content…
… but admit it yourself. Despite the slightly twisty beginning, the story starts to develop and the bull has left the china shop without breaking much. In gratitude for your perseverance, I will continue to serve you specific facts only… Well, mainly.
*This year the festival will probably take place later – COVID🎆19
Type: music festival + slackline workshops
Place: Ostoya nad Brdą, Swornegacie, Poland 🇵🇱
Date: long weekend w/ Corpus Christi*
Lines length: 5 – 85 m
Lines height: 0 – 15 m
Distance to spots: 1 min
Spot availability: barefoot 👣
Safety: daily check of the rig, “buddy check” on a mid-waterline
Additional: if you are driving a car, be extra vigilant in the last 50 km to Ostoya. Nymphs, vampires and wild animals really like running into the road. They seem to like the nighttime fun, especially on the asphalt. 🧝♀️🦌🐗
*This year the festival will probably take place later – COVID🎆19
Now, you’ll like this one. You won’t get to Ostoya nad Brdą just like that. I mean, you will not reach it by public transport. Therefore, the best would be to go by car, motorbike, camper, or… by bike? The last one is certainly the healthiest choice.
However, since you are stubborn and think a vacation without taking a bus is like rubbing the eye without using a middle finger*, there is one (a bus, not a finger) that even the map of Google has never heard of. It goes on the route: Chojnice – nearby villages – Swornegacie.
This is rather not an exclusive transport, but certainly rare. At the link above you can find timetables from “nearby villages” – in the photo there’s the timetable from the train & bus station in Chojnice. The biggest sensation here is the “[W]” symbol, which excludes most of the already rare bus rides during the festival.
From Swornegacie there’s only a 4 km walk (~ 50 min). Another option is to write a post at the festival’s FB event page, maybe someone will pick you up along the way. You can also check the organizer’s page – they may provide their own festival bus on the route Swornegacie – Ostoya nad Brdą.
* In Poland, it was a widely commented gesture of a member of the ruling party shown to the opposition (meaning ‘fuck off’). The ruling party voted then for huge subsidies for government television – “Goebbels TV”, you know – instead of health care. The MP explained that she was just wiping her eye.
I won’t dwell here excessively, ‘cause Ostoya Festival has everything perfectly visualized on the event map (visible today, last year’s version of the map is unlikely to be much different from the actual one). I will explain this briefly. As it is a festival, that, hmm… “fits in a pocket”, you got everything here in one place. You park your cars and other carriages before going down to the festival site, i.e. by the road at the top of the forest dune. You drive down your 🚍 camper or slide on your ⛺️ tent or a hammock off the dunes to finally park right at your spot reserved while buying the ticket. Infopoint is located in the only buildings 🏠 within sight. You won’t need a shovel and a watering can, 🧻 toilets and 🚿 showers are at the campsite.
Important thing! You can accommodate your 🐶 dog, 🐱 kitten, 🐤 canary or domestic marten or a goat. Horses, elephants and any other 🦏 “large cargo” you have to find out by yourself, but I think there won’t be a “big problem”.
If you are very persistent, like with that bus a few lines above, you can feed yourself without leaving the festival. You’ll find here hot foodtruck meals: 🍔 meat, 🐟 kosher and 🥦 meatless. Every year, an outstanding team of 🍕 Vege Pizzy, with their (not sure if also vege) dogs, is here. It was a digression born out of sympathy. There also will be local brewing specialties 🍺, in percentage and non-percentage varieties. If you brought a grill, you can enjoy it here, and if you don’t – then go light a bonfire 🔥 in the designated place . To get more you can run to the store in Swornegacie or pay a visit at the restaurants and bars in the village.
All in all, I don’t know why I persistently call this paragraph the “surroundings”, since every time I write here things, that are not related to the mentioned surroundings. I realized that now, so probably in half a year I will change something.
In case of this festival I’ll tell you in a moment about workshops and possible activities. However, to make a reference to the title in the proverbial, two sentences at least, I will tell you something. You are in the wilderness, at a cozy festival by the river, in Kashubia. The sun harmonizes with the moment in a beautiful way, the music brightens all the faces, free of any grimace. The asylum’s aroma is dripping with pleasure… Seems like some slight tendencies vibrating all around gently stroke the peritoneal area, where a colorful bird is just getting ready for a sweet slide through the tonsils and the palate… Stop. Stop. I always unnecessarily stay until the end of the party. My fault. Ostoya dazzles regardless of the time and state – that’s what I wanted to say. Did not work. Let’s go on.
🎯 Recreation and workshops
Of course, 🚶🏾 hiking and 🚴🏿♀️ biking tours are included… if you bring a bicycle with you. The bike can also be used for hiking trips, but you will have to keep it by your side. In moments of doubt, in the endless wilderness, it is worth having something to lean on. Canoe 🚣♀️ and paddle board trips – by all means. You can rent them at the festival. Remember to book them in advance, because you’ll never be the only one interested. By the way, 🏊🏿♀️ swimming. Brda is a really clean river and not cruelly wild in this place. It is possible that, as in 2019, there will be a zipline across the river (Stowarzyszenie Zero Grawitacji), however, when writing this text, nothing is known yet, and the coronavirus is digesting all of Europe. It is based on the past a bit, but given that there are more activities every year, I am optimistic in terms of both time arrangement and the 🎆 corona.
Quite a lot of kids are coming here and a truly family atmosphere prevails in general. Hence the organizers pay special attention to how the little ones spend their time and ensure an environment in which it is done pleasantly and actively, which translates directly into the idyllic festival moments of parents and guardians. Lately, the children time wasters were: the Rebel (a game 🎪 tent), art 🎨 workshops, interactive puppet theater, workshops on building ethnic 🎻 instruments, Circus Maximus (both fire shows and soap bubbles), or the mobility 🤸🏽♀️ and parkour workshops run by Monkey.Alf.
Attractions for adults were of course: 🧘🏻♀️ yoga (MuscoYoga), 🤹🏾♂️ juggling (Positively Addicted), he safe fire show, healing and regenerating Tibetan bowls in a teepee, lectures by eminent representatives of homo sapiens (including Michał Woroch’s 🚐 travel presentations last year [Wheelchairtrip]), macramé (the art of tying strings), and drumming workshops. It should be noted that children are also really engaged by the latter.
Regarding upcycling activities, last year, an oven from all festival glass bottles was made (Jarosław Urbański – Rzeźbiarz). I hope that this year we will beat the bottle oven record, because it was impressive! Aaah… and another digression. At the beginning I mentioned the nymphs… The nymphs also walk on the lines, especially the high ones.
💪🏼 Slackline workshops 🤙🏼
Slackline workshops have a specific form at this point, which I would describe as non-invasive. Slacklines will be rigged (fixed – such a nomenclature) near the stage, i.e. at the center of festival activities, called the Open Slackline Zone. They will be set up before the festival and derigged (taken down) after the festival. Between these two activities, they will be notoriously available to you and others free of charge, included at the ticket price. Just like walking barefoot on the lawn, walking on the line will be at your own risk, that is: your own. Here I will deviate a little from the topic again, I just came across this picture… Kids will be kids.
Most children see the slackline webbing for the first time in their lives at this festival and they just fall in love at first sight. I shouldn’t be surprised, yet still… A piece of tight webbing is giving so much fun. The kids really take it to heart that slacklines are open 24 hours a day and really, occupy them all the time. They are quick at making progress and switching from shorter to longer lines. So, if your kid gets lost, you should check the slackline zone first.
You will have three instructors at your disposal and we are actually ISA (International Slackline Association) instructors. We do our best so at least one of us will be by the lines all the time to give advice or instructions to those who are interested. Of course this is quite impossible 24 hours a day. Please be forgiving or just approach us. After a moment of careful observation you will know where we are. Our befriended slackliners, known for their willingness to share slackline knowledge will be there as well.
Maybe it’s time to introduce ourselves?
Aurelia. In addition to her excellent slacklining skills and incredible patience (yes, she will be patient for you too), she’s an artist, graphic designer and a designer of slackline apparel, which you can buy at the festival or even now. The name of her brand is SlacKing.
Paweł aka Janki. The soul of a man who does not sit still and can be in several places at the same time. He’s also one of the main riggers of the Urban Highline Festival in Lublin – one of the biggest highline festivals in the world.
And in this noble group, somehow I found myself, Michał vel Misiek – how banal – a slackliner-traveler, your odd storyteller.
Regardless of your experience (or inexperience) in slackline, we will make sure you’re not bored. If only that’s what you’re into. Personally, I can’t wait! Because Ostoya, reggae and slackline together form an amazing synergy.
I hope to see you soon, in this exact place, quarantine-rested and healthy.
Meanwhile, I give the floor to wonderful people, the organizers of Ostoya Festival.
🎤 Few words from organizers:
Ever since the slackline workshops appeared at Ostoya Festival, they contribute to the event permanently, adding colors, emotions and pure joy. We’re extremely thankful to the instructors for their openness, professional approach and exceptional commitment. All slack attractions they are preparing for this year are going to be even more fascinating, no doubt. There’s a record-long waterline planned! We, on the other hand, promise all fans of walks on the line a huge dose of culture in a variety of musical and workshop forms.