Summertime means music festival season in the Czech and Slovak Republics. Ska on the river, noise pop in a converted brewery, rockabilly at the airport—this year’s fests have something for everyone. Our round-up of the best includes important updates on Prague festivals affected by the flood. Read on and visualize yourself soaking up the summer sun and exciting atmosphere that these events are famed for.
The longest running world-music festival in the Czech republic renowned for it’s adventurous and innovative musical line-up. This year sees African rhythms and folk fusion from MLM, Hasna El Becharia who effortlessly combines ritual poetry with traditional Algerian music and dancing, African hip-hop from King Ayisoba, and Guinean kora harp player Mory Kanté. Non-musical attractions include: tearoom café bar, grilled meat and fish, wine tasting, African refreshment, Govinda cuisine for vegetarians, ethnocatering, music shops with records, books, and magazines! (Also relocated from Štvanice Island to Ladronka Park.)
Prague’s free festival returns for more outdoor action! This year has a whole slew of exciting and interesting events for the whole family. The free-fest takes place on the banks of Prague’s Vltava River drawing not only high numbers of visitors but also a high number of musicians, performers, and vendors. The festival, now in its 9th year continues to grow and expand, this year’s action, due to take place on Střelecký, Kampa, and Dětský, and partly on Žofín and Janáček’s waterfront has been relocated to Ladronka. Check the festival website for further details
The multi-genre fest celebrates its 19th birthday with an eclectic line-up. RFP draws visitors from all over Europe to enjoy the great music on offer in the spacious Festival Park setting. This year’s rock-fest promises performances from Queens of The Stone Age, The Klaxons, Bloc Party, Papa Roach and Gogol Bordello, Parov Stellar Band and 30 Seconds to Mars to name a few. A safe and friendly festival suitable for children and even for non-music lovers with all manner of non-musical attractions to entertain. A nice sized festival with a great atmosphere!
Trenčín’s airport, SK
A pretty exciting line-up from the only Slovak festival in the bunch. DJ sets from British masked musicians SBTRKT, Major Lazer (and a separate set from Diplo), the hugely popular Django Django, Bonobo, Kate Nash, The Smashing Pumpkins, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Kaiser Chiefs & Buena Vista Social Club featuring Omara Portundo. Pohoda provides a truly impressive line-up worth traveling for.
The lesser-known Creepy Teepee contemporary music festival is now in its fifth year. Housed in an old brewery in Kutná Hora cool kids from all sides of the Czech Republic will unite for two days of progressive music from some of the scene’s most dynamic bands: Blues Control, wildman Bobby Conn, and noise/pop from New Zealand’s DIE! DIE! DIE! I would recommend Creepy Teepee for anyone wanting to see the non-comerical side of Czech festivals. a medium-sized festival in a unique location. Check their regularly updated website to be up on what’s on offer.
Colours of Ostrava
The Czech Republic’s third-largest city flings open its doors to host the 12th Colours of Ostrava Festival! Colours has been going from strong to stronger, each year being an improvement on the last. Every year Colours compile an interesting line up of familiar artists and artists you really should be familiar with! The festival offers over 150 bands, DJs, films, workshops, and theatre performances all set in breathtaking Dolní Vítkovice, the site of Ostrava’s former blast furnaces, mines, and ironworks. This year Colours have invited jazz-pop, singer song-writer Jamie Cullum, the multi-talented Damien Rice, dream poppers The XX, contemporary electronic artist Bonobo, ex- video-director-turned-composer Woodkid, and Swedish duo The Knife plus a whole lot more. Check the festival’s regularly updated website to keep up news on this truly exciting musical and cultural event.
Mighty Sounds takes place near the city of Tabor. The Čápův dvůr airport will host three days of the best in ska, punk rock, reggae, rockabilly, dancehall, rock’n’roll, and more. This year’s line-up is looking good already with alternative punk from the UK’s The Computers, Punk Rock from Cali natives Swingin’ Utters, and hardcore from the US outfit 7 Seconds performing alongside a huge number of bands from around the world. A rowdy yet upbeat event uniting fans of ska, rock’n’roll and related genres.
Four stages and over 100 performers will take part in the multi-cultural and multi-genre summer festival that is Sázava Fest. Jazz/rap fusion from French musicians Lyre Le Temps, English electro from relative newcomers Monarchy, German dance in the form of Jasper Forks (AKA Alex Christensen), Slovak singer/songwriter Celeste Buckingham, and Slovak ska from Billy Barman. Sázava Fest also has plenty in store when it comes to non-musical activities with, theatre, film, readings, and photograph exhibitions on offer.
Open Air Festival
UK rockers Skunk Anansie headline Open Air Fest. The well-established band fronted by the ever-charasmatic lead singer Skin have set the bar for quality at the 2013 Open Air Fest. Czech stalwarts Tata Bojs, Mandrage, and funk-filled Monkey Business are also on the bill for what’s shaping up to be another great festival from the Open Air team! The festival organizers have been running the festival with an environmental focus, a focus which has earned them the Greener Festival award. Get your tickets now for some good clean (green) summer fun.
Hip Hop Kemp, now in its 12th successful year is one of the largest festivals of urban music and culture in Europe. This year the party is set to be better than ever, with an exciting line-up of performers spanning from coast to coast, genre to sub-genre, and from hip-hop veterans to new-school chart-toppers. Where else would you get to see big names from the US such as Kendrick Lemar, Shabazz Palaces, El-P, and the newly crowned Trap-prince, Baauer, alongside veterans such as KRS-1, Souls of Mischief, and the UK’s Rodney P & Skitz. A solid line-up providing ample entertainment over the two days. A must for any hip-hop head!
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