Music and art of high quality. Great atmosphere and lots of kindness. If we add a surprisingly high turnout for the first time, we have a recipe for success. There is no doubt that the Sound Vernissage was a success.
It was a youth party. From the beginning to the end. Young, yet independent, ambitious, full of passion and faith in what they do. Although the Hajnówka Metamorphosis Association formally took them under its wing, the organizers had a lot of autonomy.
Social activities are also about pulling others along and motivating them to be independent. Someone could say that we took a risk by giving young people a free hand in organizing such a large event, but we decided that only then would the organizers be credible and authentic, which was very important to them. Our help was basically limited to providing a few pieces of advice and support at every stage, from submitting the application to technical issues.
This attitude paid off. The event took place on Sunday, August 20, at the seat of the Belarusian Museum and Culture Center in Hajnówka. The organizers are young people from Hajnówka – Natalia Prokopiuk and Maksymilian Chyra. They had two goals. Firstly, to show people how many talented artists live or come from Hajnówka. Secondly, there should be a good atmosphere so that everyone at the event feels good.
We knew it would be successful half an hour before 4 p.m., when we went on stage to practice a bit. We did this improvisation and people came together hearing the music. It was amazing.
People’s reaction was a very positive surprise for them. Especially considering the concerns they had. And they were afraid that the event would not attract much response and that only their families and friends would come. This is what their older colleagues warned them, wanting to spare them any embarrassment. “Don’t expect too much, be realistic, it’s your first event after all,” they said. Several hundred people attended the entire event. Lots of young people came. Some participants looked around with surprise, saying: “There are so many young people in Hajnówka? And they wanted to come?” A lot of people especially came to the Vernissage of Sound from Białystok.
It was a great discovery that so many talents come from Hajnówka. They are currently in various places outside their hometown, but they wanted to come here. This young generation is brave and self-aware.
Some of the artists came to perform on stage, others showed their works, which were exhibited indoors thanks to the courtesy of the owners of the “Mozaika” restaurant located next door. They could also eat lunch here for free, which was also a very nice gesture. The music was strong, guitar-based, alternative. There were lots of debuts. For example, Maks Chyra, the already mentioned co-organizer of the Sound Vernissage, appeared on stage for the first time.
And he charmed everyone – there is no doubt about his friend Natalia. – We experienced a great surprise at the very beginning of the event. The premiere of a theater play directed by Maks Chyra, who is also the author of the script, was scheduled for 4 p.m. "Rzeźnia" had its premiere on a small stage in a mosaic shop, where there is quite little space - we had no idea that we would be surprised by crowds at the opening of the festival. We expected a rather small audience, because that's what happens at the beginning of events. However, it turned out that there were many more people interested in the performance than there were places available. Ultimately, most of the audience watched the play standing, some came in and out or stood in the corridor because there was no room left. It was a pleasant surprise for all of us, and the actors, seeing so much support in the audience, played better than ever and were rewarded with long applause after the performance.
Guitarist Dawid Ruta also made his debut at the festival. It was so popular that the owners of “Mozaika” recently organized an evening with live music. People quickly booked all the tables. With such interest, there is a chance that the idea will catch on for a long time. Agnieszka Kamieńska also exhibited her works at the Sound Vernissage. She is an appreciated and well-known comic book author in the country, but less so in her hometown.
The atmosphere was great. If someone didn't have something, someone else lent it to them. The stage was on the grass with blankets lying around. You could take off your shoes and lie down under a tree. I think that the relaxed, casual atmosphere was a big advantage of this event.
The audience was also great. Natalia, who plays the guitar, was not the first time to appear on stage. So he is aware that the audience is different. Sometimes she reacts spontaneously, she is interested in the performance, sometimes she does not hide her boredom.
Standing on stage, I had the impression that these people were opening their arms to me. They really enjoyed what we gave them.
And she adds that everything that was supposed to come out happened. Also jam sessions. The organizers were afraid that there would be no people willing to improvise together. However, in this case they were pleasantly surprised. There were a lot of people interested and their playing sounded very good. During the party, Natalia and Maks heard a lot of warm words. “We needed this,” “Keep doing it,” people said.
This event was different from those previously held in the city. It brought a new, previously unknown atmosphere to Hajnówka. It was important to young people. If we do not give young people the opportunity to express themselves, the chance to feel that they are important and that they have an influence on what is happening here, this city will never develop.
Is there a chance to continue the event in subsequent years? The first edition took place as part of the “Hajnówka ReNewal – Green Transformation” project. The organizers would like to organize more and are looking for funds, but they do not want to talk about details yet.