Concerts In Wrocław For 26th WOSP Hospital Charity Fundraiser

Wroclaw's contribution to the 26th Finale of Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy (The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, aka WOSP) includes an open air concert on Nowy Targ square.

Set up in 1993, Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy's main objective at that time was to "Protect health and save children's lives by providing medical equipment to public hospitals". During the first finale the Foundation collected a total of 1,535,440 US dollars.

Since then the organisation has also provided medical equipment to aid elderly patients, and moved from strength to strength in its size and scope. Year on year millions of Poles donate large quantities of money to organisation, with its annual donations increasing hugely since its inception.

The love heart synonymous with the charity is plastered across countless medical machines in Poland's underfunded hospitals, and Wielka Orkiestra's positive reputation has seen major companies queuing up to donate cash to the cause.

Not everybody is a fan of the organisation however –  some circles of the Polish Catholic Church are believed to lament the popularity of the Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy compared to its own Caritas charity. In the run up to some previous editions of WOSP, a few priests have even encouraged people not to donate to the charity.

Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy's quirky organiser Jerzy Owsiak is often the target of fierce criticism too. The journalist and social campaigner's outlandish glasses and earrings do not represent what a staunch conservative would call "normal". The fact that Owsiek has a history of drug taking and organises the popular Woodstock festival, a fun loving drug fuelled mudbath complete with live punk music, doesn't endear himself to Poland's right wing media either.

Last year the charity even had to change their television partner due to the dislike of Owsiak inside Poland's conservative and catholic Government. For this first time in its history, the finale of the charity was shown on TVN instead of public stations TVP1 and TVP2. Despite this obstacle, in 2017 WOSP managed to raise more money than ever before.


In their latest attack on WOSP and Owsiak, Gazeta Polska have claimed the head of Poland's biggest charity is friends with Russia's secret Federal Security Service (which replaced the KGB). 

Despite being accused of stealing or wasting donations, Owsiak and WOSP have been proven innocent by the courts time and time again. The charity are still going strong and will be back again to help provide extra medical equipment. 

Every year more than 100,000 volunteers from Poland take to the streets to collect money for the charity, with around 1,000 of those roaming around Wrocław. 

As part of the charity's 'finale' on Sunday, when the vast majority of donations are made, there will be concerts from a variety of musicians across three different venues. Dżem and Dr. Misio will headline on the open-air stage on pl.Nowy Targ, while Wolna Grupa Bukowina and Natalia Lubrano are among the acts to perfom in Stary Klasztor. On Saturday evening there will also be a WOSP concert featuring acts including Szkocka Trupa and Orkiestra Samanta.

If you would like to make a donation to WOSP, you can simply put some money into the boxes the volunteers will be carrying around town on Sunday. Alternatively, you can donate online using the English version of the WOSP website.

Gregor Gowans

The founder and editor of Wroclaw Uncut, Gregor has been running the website since its inception in 2012. A Wroclawian for almost 10 years, Gregor writes on a wide variety of topics including, food & drink, nightlife, local news and politics. He is also a regular guest on Radio Ram's Sunday lunch programme.

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