OFF Festival Katowice 2022: announcing the Dr. Martens stage lineup
For years, Dr. Martens has been shattering clichés, emphasizing individualism, and letting people to stand out from the crowd. The provocative brand has attracted a community of uncompromising and expressive people that aren’t afraid to speak their minds. Music is in Dr. Martens’ very DNA, and music festivals are its natural habitat. Docs have become a subcultural symbol and the preferred footwear of countless artists around the world. For
proof, just check out this year’s edition of the Dr. Martens Stage at the OFF Festival, and read on to find out who will be performing in this intimate venue.
This mailman has both bad and good news to deliver. Ukrainian musician Kostiantyn Pochtar embarked in March on a non-stop tour to spread the word about his compatriots’ struggle against Russian aggression, but his songs — and the response and support of audiences — offer a glimmer of hope. Postman is a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter who often draws comparison to Bob Dylan, and for good reason, while also taking inspiration from the psychedelic rock tradition.
After the release of their album Płonie, things really got hot: they won the audience award in the Sanki 2021 poll held by the Polish daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, and reviewers unanimously raved that a worthy heir to Polish cold wave and Robert Brylewski’s experimental post-punk had finally arrived. Maciej Jurga and Cezary Zielinski, aka Blokowisko, indeed have musical roots that reach back to the 1980s, but their art is an urban story about the here and now and the forever.
This duo from the town of Wągrowiec not only got their name from a Lykke Li album, they
also acquired her talent for forging melancholy into sounds. Ania Babrakowska and Emil Nowak have climbed their way onto the stages of popular festivals and the soundtrack of a big-budget TV show (TVN’s “Under the Surface”) — and into the hearts of audiences who enjoy refined, complex pop. They’ve collaborated with local (Szatt, Piotr Maciejewski) and international producers alike: the single What If was mixed by Chris Allen, who has worked with the likes of RY X and Unkle.
Ewa Sadowska rose to prominence as the singing bassist of the indie-pop group Sorja Morja
(whom we saw at OFF 2018) and one of the key figures of the Polonia Disco collective.
Performing solo under the moniker Ewa Sad, the artist straddles the borderline between
psychedelic hip-hop and spiritualistic lo-fi pop. She’s on the roster of Błażej Król’s label
Hubert and Cura reportedly met in a thread about chairs on Instagram, hence the name of the
project. The fact that they had never played in the same room didn’t prevent them from
making music together and signing a record deal — also with Tygrysy. But they’ll both be
present in Katowice in body, not just in spirit. “Our music sounds like post punk,” they say,
“but we record it using hip-hop methods.” Whatever they’re doing, they must be doing it
Franek Warzywa i Młody Budda
Franek Drażba — whose stage name translates as Frank Vegetables — feels just as
comfortable at his neighborhood produce stand as he does on TikTok. That’s because he eats
his veggies, which give him the energy to ride the trance beats concocted by Młody Budda:
From hyperpop to techno, from art galleries to distant corners of the internet, and onto the
OFF Festival stage.
The risk of drowning is real here: consider yourselves warned. Bałtyk is a post-folk/avant-
pop project by Warsaw’s Michal Rutkowski. It’s equal parts intimate, fragile, sad and
beautiful. This music is written in solitude and mainly about loneliness, but is perhaps best
enjoyed in the company of others.
Jann studied vocals in London and dabbled in opera before ultimately returning to Poland.
And it’s a good thing he did, because Polish pop desperately needs voices like this. And it’s
not like we have an abundance of his variety of pop: the kind that takes meticulously crafted,
tasteful details and builds them into a cohesive whole that leaves audiences in awe. Jann first
garnered attention with his 2020 single Do You Wanna Come Over?, but only truly comes
into his own on this year’s EP Power. An apt title, indeed!
The breezy, rhythmic, danceable form and catchy melodies belie the serious and unpleasant
themes of Sękalski’s work: failure, awkwardness and malice. A combination too original and
uncommon to break out of the internet and onto the radio, but it’s just the right fit for the OFF
The stage is sponsored by Dr. Martens