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Wind in the Orchestra's sails

After a traumatic Finale last year marked by a tragedy at Gdańsk's Targ Węglowy square that unfolded right before our eyes, the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity came to a momentary stop. This year, however, it is back in business, living up to its promise to keep on trucking "until the end of the world and a day thereafter". And so the 28th finale is upon us!

Jerzy Owsiak and Olga Tokarczuk, photo: Łukasz Widziszowski
Jerzy Owsiak and Olga Tokarczuk, photo: Łukasz Widziszowski

The dramatic scenes of the night of 13 January 2019 are still vivid in our minds. During the "Light To Heaven" light show, a knife-toting attacker barged onto the Orchestra stage and assaulted Gdańsk Mayor Paweł Adamowicz stabbing him repeatedly. The Mayor died from his injuries on the following day. Shortly after his passing, Jurek Owsiak, who has "conducted" this unique "Orchestra of the Hearts" from its very inception, resigned as manager of the Orchestra Foundation. On the day of President Adamowicz's burial, he changed his mind and returned to managing the team. Thus, the 28th finale will follow the familiar tried-and-tested formula after all. On Sunday, 12 January, "the Orchestra of the Hearts" will wind up the year with the slogan "Wind in the Sails". All money raised will go "to providing top quality diagnostics and treatment in paediatric interventional medicine".

For the first time ever, the Poznań epicentre of the events will be the grounds of the Poznań International Fair (Halls 1 and 2, a part of Hall 15 and the adjacent areas). There, starting at 1pm, successive musicians will step onto the stage. The Finale's line-up includes Camping Hill, Ten Numer To Kłopoty, Fabulous Anima, Mika, Golden Life, Proforma Quartet, Wolf Spider, Chłopcy z Placu Broni, and the main star of the show Modesta Pastiche, a Nowy Tomyśl band, whose cabaret-folk-pastiche covers have been all the rage on the web for many years. As the artists will be making their appearances, auctioning will begin on the main stage.

The shows, workshops and activities will kick off at 10am. Hall 1 will turn into a sports arena complete with a hockey field, a climbing wall, a roller rink and more. You will be able to contend in a chess tournament or learn to play the game. The workshop zone will offer classes in screen printing and sewing, and allow you to play with robots. You will also be able to see a sneak preview of a part of "The Jungle Book", which is scheduled to premiere in the Musical Theatre a few days later.

Hall 2 will be run by paramedics, firefighters and divers who will demonstrate their gear and offer the public basic training in first aid. They will also reconstruct an operation to rescue accident victims trapped in a wrecked vehicle.

Food trucks, coffee and chocolate stands, and a Venetian carousel for the little ones, will be set up by the main stage.

The Wielkopolska Automobile Club, a co-organiser of the 28th Finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, will hold its part of the event at the Poznań Race Track. The attractions will include racing car rides, meetings with professional drivers and Harley riders and many others.

Sylwia Klimek

translation: Krzysztof Kotkowski

28th Finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity in Poznań

Poznań International Fair grounds (entrance through Gates 9 and 10 on ul. Głogowska)

12 January, 10am-9pm

free admission

For details, see www.wosp.org.pl

© Wydawnictwo Miejskie Posnania 2020