Blues – the destination

Travelling by train is associated mainly with covering a given distance, with moving from point A to point B. Usually, the train travellers follow the typical scheme – we enter the carriage, look for an empty compartment, we open the window to let the air flow inside. Then we sit putting the headphones on and our minds fly away to the imagined world of books or film characters, or we just scroll our smartphones to pass the time.

What if we could be transferred into another travel dimension? What if we could combine music and a train travel? What if we could stop thinking about reaching the destination and get lost in time and space ?

Blues Express, muzyczny pociąg do Zakrzewa

Henryk Szopiński - organizator festiwalu Blues Express

Henryk Szopiński – the festival organisor

Once a year a special train from Poznań departs to Zakrzewo Złotowskie (north-central Poland), which is the final point of festival Blues Express ; 24th edition took place this year! The Blues Express train is not fast at all and is rather peculiar. It is obligatory pulled by the steam locomotive, where in carriages you can find pure fun, blues music and laughter. The music goes beyond the train also, at each stop (there are seven stations on the way) there is a concert of rock or blues band. The citizens of nearby towns arrive to the stations, also other interested passengers take part in the concerts.
Once the train together with the crowd arrives to Zakrzewo, the party moves to the area by the Lake Proboszczowskie, where at the big stage, in forest amphitheatre the final concerts last till the late night or.. early morning.

Although I’m not a committed blues fan, the festival brings on additional emotions in myself and is a kind of sentimental memory, why?
Is it possible to party with your own father from Saturday noon till Sunday morning? Can your father ‘arrange’ you a girlfriend? What has turned out that: yes, it is possible. It was my father who encouraged me to go with him for Blues Express festival for the first time years ago. Together with him we were at the festival for the 7th time and together with Ana the 3rd time, because I have met her there, on that crazy train.

Just as it is at different festivals, there is music and so there is beer. Some have better fun than the others, some feel the restraint, the others don’t, but always there is an atmosphere of
music reconciliation (what you can observe at the film). Every year I realise how I cut off my mind standing by the train window, listening to the live music and improvised songs, watching the landscape passing slowly, feeling the air flow and soot smell of steam engine getting inside the carriages.
I stand there and watch jiggling children and their parents, Blues veterans and those who decided to go there for the first time. Seeing all those smiling faces, being there for the same reason – to have fun together, I forget for a while everything that is beyond and drift away into a different travel dimension…


All the pictures posted above were taken by Urszula Brzezińska and Piotr Brzeziński.

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