Castle Party is the biggest annual festival of Dark Independent music in the Eastern Europe. The festival has been held since 1994. For three days, over 100 great bands and artists from various backgrounds (Gothic rock, Electro, Industrial, EBM, Darkwave, Neofolk and Noise) play at Bolkow (pronounced as: Bolkoov) Castle. The festival also features several fairs with Goth fashion show, performances, after&before parties and merchandise. Each year thousands of people from around the world come to Castle Party to take part in this unique event.The first edition of the Festival was held in town of Grodziec. It was a one day event during which five bands performed: Moonlight, Daimonion, T.R.H., Pornografia i Fading Colours. It is said that on that day about 300-350 people attended the event. The musicians and organizers, encouraged by the success of the first event decided to organize second edition next year. This time the festival was also held at Grodziec Castle and the audience was about two times bigger. The whole event was extended to two days and also more bands were invited. They were almost all bands which performed on the first edition and also some nowe ones: Closterkeller, De Ville, Robi, Christblood, Sirrah and the Canadian duo – Psyche.
In 1996 the popularity of the festival was so big that the Grodziec castle became too small to stand Goth invasion (There was about a thousand of guest from all around the world). This time on 2nd and 3rd of August people were enjoying bands like Belgian De Volanges, Swedish Funhouse and polish: Artrosis, Reinkarnation, Closterkeller, Fading Colours, Charlottehead, T.R.H, Pornografia, Hedone, Daimonion, Agressiva 69, Moonlight, PCM, Christblood, Robi, Freeport. Because of the lack space at Godziec Castle, the next edition of Castle Party was organized in city of Bolkow and as the organizers expected this time audience was even bigger than previously. The town locals are very kind and helpful for newcomers and very readily served with accommodation. They also quickly got to learn how to make money on the festival’s guests. Moving the Castle Party to Bolkow was very attractive for both the town and the organizers, who took advantage of the wider area and invited yet even more bands. That year Castle Party hosted bands like: P. Vampire from US, belgian Swan Death and Agressiva '69, L.D, Nowy Horyzont, Dom Snow, Artrosis, Mesmerisa, Batalion d'Amour, Riggor Mortis, Lorien, Fading Colours, Exit, God's Bow, T.R.H., God's Own Medicine, Season, Freeport. At the end there was an exclusive performance for polish audience only: the joined forces of P.Vampire and Swan Death.
The 5th Castle Party Festival (1998) gathered about two thousand people. The bands were: english Attrition and Inkubus Sukkubus, Fading Colours, Batalion d'Amour, Lorien, God's Bow, God's Own Medicine, Undish, Aion, Mandragora, Stonehenge, Warthegau, Artrosis and Closterkeller who at the time celebrated its 10th anniversary.
In 1999 the organizers finally managed to invite the long expected cult band Clan of Xymox, which performed an almost two hour show. The presence of such a star on festival resulted with audience of about 4000 people. Beside the Clan of Xymox on the festival played such bands as Czech XIII Stoleti., Undish, Artrosis, Batalion d'Amour, Closterkeller, Agressiva'69, 1984, T.R.H., Fading Colours, Moonlight, Jude, God's Bow, God's Own Medicine, Devian and German Sepulcrum Mentis.
The new millennium brought the organizers numerous new concepts and - what is more importent – a one day extension of the festival. From 28th to 30th of July on the Castle’s stage performed 24 bands. Some of them were: German Dreadful Shadows, Czech XIII Stoleti, Belgian The Breath of Life i The Dawn Visitors, Dutch The Dreamside, and Slovakian Lahka Muza. There was also polish: Artrosis, Moonlight, Fading Colours and Agressiva 69. The new interesting concept was introduction of para-theatral project of psychodrama performed by Christblood, dark-folk concert of Ataraxia and dark-electro performence by Psyche.
The 2001 brought new surprises: Russian folk band Canonis, Hungarian Land of Charon, lithuenian Siela, German Endraum and Illuminate and British Attrition. Organizers also started to invite alternative to gothic like bands: Lech Janerka, Ankh, Quidam and black metal Behemoth. The biggest star of the festival was Legendary Pink Dots.
Summer 2002 was famous of its enormous heat. But it was not a problem for the attandants who enjoyed concerts of: New Model Army, Clan of Xymox, Hocico, Das Ich, Fading Colours, Closterkeller, Christ Agony, Moonlight, Variete, Dance Or Die, Dance on Glass, God's Bow, Somnambul, Accessory, Venus Fly Trap and Isncape.
It was the first edition if the festival where on the side of the scene the big screen was installed and all the concerts were recorded on DVD.
The 10th anniversary of the Castle Party Festival was celebrated on 26th and 27th of July 2003. this year the official afterparty events took plac in two Bolkow’s pubs: Hacjedna and Blue Ice. Also the whole festival was preceded by the before party the day erlier. On the stage performed such bands as: Brygada Kryzys, XIII Stoleti, Umbra Et Imago, Eve Of Destiny (form Japan), Garden Of Delight, Diary Of Dreams, Fading Colours, Closterkeller, Artrosis, Delight, Sweet Noise, Terminal Choice, Other Day, The Ancient Gallery, L'ame Immortelle, Dance On Glass, Final Selection and Immunology.
The 11th gathering on the Bolkow castle was as successful as usually. At the before party on Friday night performed famous DJ’s such as: Leszek Rakowski from Fading Colors and Ronny Morings from Clan of Xymox. The midnight was celebrated by the performance of Swedish band Arcana. The next day of the festival was the performance of megastar Suicide Commando and Deine Lakaien. At last day of the festival performed the female vocalist of Sui Generis Umbra and once again on Castle Party: Clan of Xymox. The new band on the festival was great band Project Pitchfork. That year on the Bolkow Castle also played such bands as Cool Kids Of Death and Armia which started controversy over invitation of bands which differ form the known Castle Party conception. This year on the festival also attended other stars: Desdemona, Daemonicum, Naamah, God's Bow, Moonlight, The Unholy Guests, Eva, Agressiva 69. Some of them become frequent guests of the Castle Pary. Unfortunately, due to reasons irrespective to the organizers, one of the most expected stars did not arrive: the German band Blutengel.
The 12th edition of Castle Party was full of new bands and yet another successe. Once again the festival had been preceded by the before party with sounds of dj’s sets of Jackson from VNV Nation. On the Saturday’s and Sunday’s concerts performed Dutch Grendel and Epica, Slovakian Last Days of Jesus, Crüxshadows from US (the concert was shortened due to incoming storm). Very positive for Goth audience was concert of Polish singer - Renata Przemyk who gathered on the Castle Party a lot of new fans. The Last concert was the great German Wolfsheim – the legend of synth-pop.
2006 brought to the festival new bands and new guests. The before party was held by darkambiet project Job Karma. On the following days on the Castle’s stage performed such bands as Czech No Name Desie, Hungarian De Facto, English superstar VNV Nation, Ukrainian Dust Heaven, Lithuanian Mano Juodoi Sesjo, the Canadian phenomena The Birthday Massacre, German Funker Vogt, Leave's Eses, DE/Visio and Dutch Clan of Xymox.
The Polish bands were: Deathcamp Project, Hedone, Agressiva 69, Boñczyk&Krzywañski, Riverside, Batalion D'Amour, Delight and Fading Colours. Traditionally in the end of the days attainders moved to night clubs to dance until the morning with sounds of music by great dj’s. This edition of Caslte Party was full of new ideas such as the goth fassion show of Artur Mazur performed by beautifull goth ladies, the great after party in pubs Hacjenda and Sorento.
Presence of the new-born DarkPlanet was marked by a large banner placed atop of the Bolkow Castle’s walls.
The nearest – 14th edition of Castle Party - Dark Independent Festival will be held from 27th to 29th of July 2007. The list of the bands who already confirmed their presence on the festival is very long. Some of the are: Canadian Front Line Assembly, British IAMX and NFD, German Catastrophe Balet, Diary of Dreams, Diorama, Dutch Legendary Pink Dots, Japanese The Royal Dead, Norwegian Mortiis, Pride and Fall and also again Belgian Suicide Commando. From Polish bands: Cemetery of Scream, C.H. District, Desdemona, Fading Colours, Mass-Kotki, Miguel And Rhe Living Dead.
It seems to be a great show once again and a great success of the festival. We hope that the Bolkow Castle will be big enough to withstand the flood of all our goth community!