Nasza historia

Outline Colour festival was created by a group of artists called Design Futura (DFA) or numerically 461. Group was founded in Lodz city around 1998 by Slawomir Meisal Krysiak known as one of the best graffiti artists in Poland at that time. Meisal’s crew mates were: Top of the line graffiti artist Marcin Bary Barjasz and one of city’s finest turntablists Przemek Dj Goodstuffson Gustowski. Each member of the trio was already well known for their contributions to what still was early days for Hip-Hop culture in Poland.

Around year 2000 another person has joined the group, a 17-year old Wojtek Paszkowski. Being passionate about photography, graffiti art and rap music, Paszkowski noticed the group’s great potential and quickly became the manager.

One of the group’s first big achievements was painting a gigantic mural for the Lodz City Council in 2001. The cleverly designed piece depicted some of the city’s architecture, monuments and a huge boat (symbol taken from the city’s crest) on a wave made out of paving stone slabs. All of the above was spray painted in a style no one in the city had ever seen before. The piece was painted in two months by two artists Meisal and Bary. The wall was 100% spray painted (over 2000 spray cans were used) and at the time it was the biggest mural in Europe. Citizens loved the painting and almost immediately started to recognise graffiti as a new and an evolving art form. Joining forces and great success really inspired the group, which then came up with an idea of creating a festival that would combine street art with modern music.

The idea was original and the group started to lay a foundation of what would become Festywall event later that year. It is worth mentioning that Poland had never had an event like that before. The debut was very well received thanks to its unique form that attracted fans of many different art forms. During the day, aerosol artists skilfully decorated the grey wall of one of the buildings in Shiller’s Passage by Piotrkowska street. In the evening one of the local clubs Funaberia hosted concerts of such stars as O.S.T.RTede (Warszafski Deszcz) and Peja (Slums Attack). The event has ended up being so called “bullseye” and immediately touched the hearts of many people of any age group across the entire country. Manuel Gerullis founder of international Meeting of Styles was one of the special guests at the festival, and during the party, he came up with an offer to turn Festywall into a Polish edition of Meeting of Styles. The offer was accepted, a partnership was formed and a new agency called Outline.pl was created by Wojtek Paszkowski.

 The first Meeting of Styles was impressive in its scope. Many painters from other countries were invited for the first time. In addition to painting the walls, an exhibition of paintings by the world’s greatest graffiti artists was also organized. This time the stage for the music acts was set up outdoors, right next to the walls that were getting a dose of art from the painters. The atmosphere was truly unique and citizens enjoyed it so much that the Lodz City Council decided to make Meeting of Styles an annual event. All the MOS festivals from years 2002-2007 were organized by Outline.pl in association with Lodz City Council which had granted honorary patronage and funding.

2007 was a year of big changes. That year Design Futura members decided to widen the scope of the festival and turn what was a two-day ceremony into a whole week of events. A completely redesigned form of the enterprise meant a big departure from what MOS was. Being focused on a new project, the group decided to forward the Polish version of Meeting of Styles to Wroclaw City Council to run its future editions. The same year The Vice President of Lodz City Marek Michalik organized a conference with Wojtek Paszkowski and other parties involved. During that meeting they decided that the newly named Outline Colour Festival would receive a bigger budget from Lodz City Council and several concrete walls dedicated for graffiti art would be built within Baden-Powell’s Park area. A Conference aimed to turn OCF project into one of the city’s biggest annual events. 2007 was the last year for Meeting of Styles in Lodz and during that event DFA group earned a valuable ally. A new member was Lukasz Loraz Olczak, a Lodz City born aerosol artist living in London at that time. Olczak being actively involved in both British and Polish art scenes closely followed DFA’s progress from its early days in late 90’s, when he still lived and painted in Lodz. A Greatly skilled organizer and promotor that strongly emphasized the festival’s multicultural aspects by inviting a large number of the world’s biggest names in street art like Fernando Cope2 Carlo or Kevin Astek Fitzpatrick. The collaboratively created murals were to feature painters from USA, China, Spain, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and Poland.

At the beginning of 2008 Outline.pl agency was replaced by Culture and Sport Animation Foundation Impet and its head executive position was given to none other than the well experienced Wojtek Paszkowski. OCF was scheduled over the course of 9 days and each one of those days was unique.

It was a theatrical production about the early days and origins of hip-hop culture. The painting of two big murals for Lodz Kaliska train station. Followed. Designing and painting art on trams and buses to create the first one of its kind moving gallery. It ended with a whole day of painting and outdoor concerts in Baden-Powell’s Park. Headliners were USA stars; DJ Premier, Masta Ace with EMC, Pharoahe Monch and Marco Polo.

2008 edition was the biggest in its category and has set the bar for other similar European events.

In 2009 the festival continued to grow. This time the largest murals were painted in Radogoszcz district and like the year before, on walls of Lodz Kaliska train station. In addition to that Lodz City Council surprised everyone by asking the artists to decorate two trains. Similar to previous edition, the public gathered in Baden-Powell’s Park to watch its walls being painted while listening to performing musicians. Stars of the evening were; Jeru The Damaja and legendary duo M.O.Psupported by O.S.T.R and Warszafski Deszcz (WFD). 2009 was an eventful year for Lodz as sports events FIBA EuroBasket 2009, and 2009-Women’s European Volleyball Championships were hosted by the city. Inspired, Wojtek Paszkowski immediately saw that as an opportunity and collaborating with Reebok and Marcin Gortat as a special guest they created a new and exciting addition to the OCFformula. Street basketball championships called Reebok Outline Basketball Battlewas the final attraction of that year’s festival.

The year 2010 brought a lot of necessary changes. Open air concerts in Baden-Powell’s Park were always the festival’s flagship. Events as big as OCF are almost never free for the public to enter. From the very beginning, Design Futura’s vision always was, to create a free entry event, the same as the idea of street art being easily accessible and free to see by anyone passing by. Over the years the event’s popularity grew and so has the number of the public attending. In march 2010 ImpetFoundation received a message regarding the permission for the event to take place in the park being revoked. Around 2008 the foundation never expected the number of the public to be any higher than 1.500. According to the statistics from years 2008 and 2009, over the course of two days of the festival, the number of people visiting was nearly 20.000. It became impossible for Lodz City Council to grant funds large enough to provide a safe environment for the public. All of the alternative spots that would provide better security simply weren’t big enough. That year all the concerts were forwarded to the old Lodz Film Center, which meant drastically limiting the amount of tickets available for the public. Stars of the evening were; D.I.T.C and Looptroop Rockers. The created murals featured art from members of TATS crew, duet How&Nosm and Case (Maclaim).

 The greatly diminished edition was still one of the country’s biggest cultural events of 2010. Design Futura Collective would never accept the fact that the festival would be put on hold indefinitely & in 2020 decided to redesign & reactivate the project.

Lukasz Loraz Olczak & Wojtek Paszkowski founded a new digital agency called Charisma Collective. New projects will focus on connecting & promoting creatives… Stay tuned.