RELIGION

Music festival opens in Poland despite pressure from govt

Young people have gathered for a major annual music festival in Poland that celebrates diversity and tolerance — and which has faced pressure recently from the conservative government.

The "Woodstock Festival Poland," whose name itself reflects its liberal youthful spirit, has struggled with restrictions put on it by the conservative pro-Catholic ruling party, Law and Justice.

The three-day event opened Thursday in Kostrzyn nad Odra, near the German border.

The festival, in its 23rd year, is the creation of a liberal social campaigner, Jerzy Owsiak, who has butted heads with the government.

The Interior Ministry recently classified the event as "high risk," forcing organizers to hire more security forces, while also refusing the help given by German firefighters, who have provided security backup in past years.