I’ve just come back from a week long festival in Tolmin called Punk Rock Holiday (PRH) and what a week it was! A few friends from the UK flew out to Slovenia to come and hang out with my boyfriend, Pete, and I which was so fun as we got to show them our life out here and also go to PUNK ROCK HOLDAAAAAAAAY! Pete and I have been to festival the past two summers, but never camped for the whole week and I think staying the week is the best way to enjoy the fest. The festival site opened as early as Saturday but we went on Monday when the music officially started. It really is like a festival holiday!
Vegan food highlights
Every year, the festival has improved it’s vegan range at the stalls in Slovenian village and in the actual festival arena. I love the Slovenian village, it has a massive covered seating area to escape the sun and a has around ten food stalls, a fresh water sink and a festival bar. There were some returning stalls like Coffee Point selling plant based smoothies and the Indian food stall with also a few vegan options. New this year was the Beyond Burger/Amaze Burger stand. The Beyond Burger (with chips €8.50) actually sold out before the end of the festival which is awesome as it means people were eating more plant based foods. The Amaze Burger (with chips €7.50) is made in Slovenia and is a good rival to the Beyond Burger, it’s juicy and full of protein. The burgers came with vegan cheese, pickles, red onion, tomatoes and salad, and you could choose it with or without BBQ sauce.
Adjacent to the burger place was my ultimate fave Veni Vegi Veci. Their seitan kebabs (€7.50) are something else and possibly the best vegan street food I’ve ever had. The seitan is marinaded in a thick BBQ sauce then crammed into a flatbread with vegan mayo, red cabbage, cucumber and chilli sauce. They also sell a tofu burger, a vegan sandwich, a daily soup with also some breakfast options like yoghurt and museli and a chia pudding.
PIZZA Fabrika was in the festival arena and had a vegan option (€7). The pizzas are all hand made and cooked in a wood fired oven. The vegan pizza was topped with loads of veggies and vegan cheese. It was delicious! Next to the beach stage was Kulinaristan which served up a vegan stir fry with a peanut curry sauce.
Less Than Jake were awesome as usual playing some oldies and some new tracks that still kept the crowd bouncing. Pup are a Canadian band that I’ve just been introduced to recently from Pete and am now obsessed with. For some reason their slot time was shortened to 40 minutes instead of an hour meaning they didn’t play my favourite song but their set was awesome and we’re now going to see them in Milan in November. Buster Shuffle were fun and good to have a boogie to too.
So controversially (because I kept hearing everyone saying he was “not punk”) my absolute favourite act of the week was Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls. I have been listening to him since he was the lead singer of Million Dead and I followed him throughout my early twenties then I kind of stop going to as many of his live shows due to moving around so much. So when he featured on the PRH line up, I was so excited as he puts on such a good show and all his songs are great sing a longs and made me feel so nostalgic. The opening song Get Better was loud, punchy and got all his fans screaming the lyrics then ending with Four Simple Words got everyone dancing, even Frank waltzing in the crowd with a fan! The American Sock DJ set at the beach stage on Wednesday night was so fun too and even in my sober, tired state I still managed to dance until the early hours to craply mashed together 90’s songs. Loved it though!
Punk Rock Holiday is located in one of the most beautiful places in the Soča Valley, the Sotočje beach where the Tolminka river meets the Soča river. The Tolminka river is freezing but still perfect for jumping in and cooling off, whereas the Soča is a bit warmer and is ideal for grabbing an inflatable and floating down to the beach stage whilst checking out the colourful array of floaties, there was some MEGA ones! The beach area is so relaxing and has a great atmosphere where you can soak up sunshine whilst listening to music on the beach stage.
Chilling at the campsite is one of my favourite thing to do at festivals. Lazing around listening to music, drinking beers and eating snacks is one of the best things and you could even get cold beers delivered! The campsite areas are well organised and the size of the festival means that it doesn’t take long to walk from your tent area to the arena. There are also free cold showers which are super brain freeze inducing!
You are so close to Hofer supermarket where you can pick up vegan goodies like the Amaze burger, vegan cheese, coconut yoghurt, vegan smoothies, tofu and the very best Slovenian snack ever, SMOKI! If you know, you know.
It was an ace week and we’re already planning for a 2020 reunion. Rumours are flying around that next years festival is going to be the last at that location as there is apparently a bypass being built through the site. So if you’re looking for an incredible festival for music, vegan food and views then Punk Rock Holiday 2.0 is for you!