Rawa Blues Festival found its beginnings in dark political times for Poland - 1981 was the year of martial law which followed the birth of the Solidarity movement in 1980. As it happens, music is often the best response to the oppressive system and that is exactly what Ireneusz Dudek thought when founding the festival. Since then it has become one of the most recognised indoor blues festivals in the world, hosting many international and Polish blues artists such as Robert Cray, Keb' Mo', JJ Grey & Mofro, Elvin Bishop, Otis Taylor, Marcia Ball, Luther Allison, Junior Wells, Koko Taylor, Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, Marcia Ball, Lonnie Brooks, and many others. The 2019 lineup will feature: Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, Irek Dudek, Hannah Wicklund and The Steppin' Stones, James Blood Ulmer, Memphis Blood Bleas Band feat. Vernon Reid, Victor Wainwright and The Train, The Daniel Castro Band, Lindsay Beaver and many more. Named after the Rawa river that runs through Katowice, the first day of the festival takes place in NOSPR (the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra), and the second at the impressive UFO shaped venue Spodek, which accommodates 8000 people.