Pohoda Put On Hold

Pohoda festival chief Michal Kascak says his team isn’t in the mood to begin to think about whether there will be an event next year, following the bad weather that led to injuries and one death at this year’s festival in Slovakia.

Speaking from the festival site at Trencin July 30, he said it was unlikely they would even discuss it until they know the result of the police inquiry into the accident. Two weeks earlier, strong winds lifted a tent and brought it down on those inside, killing one and seriously injuring two others.

Early reports of the accident quoted Kascak as saying this year’s festival may have been Pohoda’s last.

In parallel with the police inquiry, the festival called in engineering experts from the University of ÿilina – one of Slovakia’s most respected academic institutions – who are also examining the scene.

“It’s a similar sort of day but the wind is nowhere near as strong,” Kascak explained, saying the “extremely difficult” two weeks after the accident have at least been made a little better by the fact that the organising team is now occupied with the post-event review.

He said the festival is in close contact with the families of the bereaved and the two who are still hospitalised, showing that Pohoda – which literally translates as “well-being” – is determined to show it accepts a moral and social responsibility toward its visitors.

Slovakian newswire reports say the police investigation is to see whether the organisers endangered the public by allowing the event to continue when the weather became threatening.

An eyewitness report relayed to Pollstar said the festival’s emergency plan worked very quickly and without any problems, as emergency services including fire, police and ambulances were at the scene within two minutes.

After the accident, the last evening of the festival was scrapped. Thousands of festival-goers tried to leave the airport site by car, which had the local Trencin police struggling to deal with the gridlock.

The city provided extra buses to take fans away from the event and provided temporary accommodation. The council said stranded fans could spend the night in the sports hall.