The 10 Best Music Festivals in the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is known for its vibrant music scene, love of the arts, and bohemian lifestyle, so it’s not surprising that the country should boast some of the best music festivals in Europe. Often headlined by top international stars, these festivals encompass a wide range of genres and styles.
With their distinctive and beautiful settings, friendly, welcoming attitude, and affordable prices, these music festivals have proven extremely popular not only for people in the country but for fans around the world. This is a round-up of the top music festivals that take place in the Czech Republic.
1. Colours of Ostrava
When: July (4 days)
The biggest music festival in the Czech Republic, Colors of Ostrava has been held in the city of Ostrava since 2002 and features top international and local performers. The music selection covers a wide range of genres such as pop, indie-rock, jazz, reggae, electro, and world music. Norah Jones, Robert Plant, Bjork, Jamiroquai, Bobby McFerrin, Alanis Morissette, Gypsy Kings, Sinead O’Connor, and The Cranberries are some of the famous artists who have performed at this festival.
The various performances at this event are hosted on sixteen stages. Four large open-air stages are used, with the main one accommodating 15,000 people. Other stages include six indoor stages, as well as a theater stage, a kid’s stage, and a workshop stage. Apart from live performances by bands and DJs, festival-goers can take part in open discussions and workshops. They can also enjoy films, theater, poetry readings, and art exhibitions.
2. Let It Roll
When: August (3 days)
Described as the largest drum and bass festival in the world, Let It Roll debuted in 2002. The festival soon became hugely popular, moving to larger venues such as the Abaton club and Harp hall in order to accommodate the growing number of festival-goers. It is now held at the former military airport in Milovice where tens of thousands of hardcore fans gather annually to party to the beat put down by some of the top talents on the drum and bass scene.
The current editions of this festival boast elaborate stage designs, awesome sound, and spectacular opening shows that attract ravers from around the world. The packed program provides non-stop entertainment, and there are several campsites to accommodate the many visitors. Free water is provided and visitors have access to showers, lockers, and two large food zones. There are plenty of bars and people can bring limited quantities of their own alcohol.
3. Let It Roll Winter
When: February ( 2 days)
The winter edition of the Let it Roll festival, Let It Roll Winter is one of the largest indoor drum and bass festivals in the world. It is held at the PVA Expo Letnany in the Czech capital of Prague. The enormous dancefloor can accommodate plenty of ravers who can party to the beats of the biggest talent in the genre.
Along with the great sound, participants can enjoy stunning visual effects and the opportunity to dance with friendly, like-minded people who like to party hard. As the official pre-party to the famous open-air festival, Let it Roll Winter features artists and DJs of the highest caliber, with established big names being joined by exciting and talented newcomers.
4. Metronome Prague Festival
When: June (4 days)
The first large pop music festival to be held in Prague, Metronome Prague festival has gone on to become one of the biggest musical events in the Czech capital. Featuring some of the biggest international stars alongside top local talent, the festival provides a diverse mix of music that encompasses different genres and styles. In recent years, major stars such as Iggy Pop, Kraftwerk, Jamiroquai, The Chemical Brothers, and Liam Gallagher have performed at this event.
Built in 1891, the Vystaviste exhibition grounds are used to stage this event which attracts over 20,000 people. The scenic grounds provide the ideal venue for festival-goers to enjoy the Prague summer and listen to great music. In addition to the great lineup, additional programs are offered to keep people entertained over this four-day festival.
5. Rock For People
When: June (4 days)
A large outdoor rock festival that began in 1995, Rock For People has become one of the biggest multi-genre music festivals in the Czech Republic. First held in the town of Cesky Brod, it has since shifted to an unused airport in Hradec Králové, a town located 100 km from Prague. A wide range of musical genres makes up the program, including pop, rock, alternative, and world music, allowing all festival-goers to sample some of their favorite music.
Many renowned international artists have performed at this festival including The Prodigy, Skillet, Fun Lovin Criminals, Chumbawamba, Massive Attack, Muse, My Chemical Romance, and Paramore. Over 30,000 visitors attend this event which features over 200 bands and runs for 4 days. In addition to the excellent music, festival-goers will be entertained by films, theater performances, NGO programs, and children’s workshops.
6. Beats For Love
When: July (4 days)
Billed as the largest electronic music festival in Central Europe, Beats for Love takes place in Ostrava in the center of the country. The festival is held in Dolni oblast Vitkovice, an industrial complex consisting of a former oil refinery and coal mine that has become a national cultural monument. The industrial architecture provides a unique setting for the 14 stages that are used at this exciting event which takes place over four days.
From its inception in 2013, Beats For Love was designed to be a different type of music festival that was accessible to everyone. Affordable entry fees, myriad stages, and a unique setting have drawn thousands of electronic and dance music fans to this event. The star-studded lineup boasts over 400 international artists and a significant portion of the proceeds of this festival are used for charitable activities in the Moravian-Silesian region.
7. Prague Rocks
When: June (1 day)
Unlike many other music festivals, Prague Rocks focuses entirely on metal and rock. Every year, thousands of hardcore fans visit Letnany airfield in Prague to have some hard-rocking fun. The historic airfield has ample space to accommodate more than 70,000 people.
Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Motley Crue, and Def Leppard are just some notable names that have performed at this festival. Despite being a relatively young festival, the excellent program and lineup of top talent have made this festival an important fixture of the Prague music calendar.
When: June (3 days)
Metalfest is an extremely popular metal music festival that was first introduced in Austria before spreading to other European countries. The Czech edition is held in Lochotín in the city of Pilsen. A beautiful amphitheater in the middle of a park plays host to the four days of metal mayhem as legendary international performers and top local artists entertain fans with songs from all genres of metal music.
Adjoining the Pilsen zoo, the scenic environs not only add to the appeal of the festival but also provide an ideal camping ground for the metalheads who came from all parts of the country. The location of the festival grounds near the city center also makes getting to the event extremely easy. Cash is banned at the event and festival-goers are given a topped-up wristband that they can use to purchase food and beer.
9. Mighty Sounds Festival
When: June (3 days)
Mighty Sound Festival is a unique music festival that focuses on punk, ska, indie rock, rock and roll, hardcore, reggae, and other associated styles of music. The event is held at an unused grass-covered airfield on the outskirts of the South Bohemian city of Tabor, with over 12,000 people in attendance. Five live stages and three DJ stages are used to host the over 150 artists who perform at this festival.
Unusually, more than 80% of the lineup consists of international bands, allowing attendees to hear famous artists from around the world. High-quality, lesser-known performers are also given the chance to showcase their talents. The three-day program also includes live theater, a u-ramp for skateboarders and BMX riders, soccer and netball tournaments, graffiti, and fundraising activities.
10. Brutal Assault
When: August (4 days)
Brutal Assault is an open-air music festival that has been held since 1996, showcasing all the different forms of extreme metal. In addition to heavy metal, other genres such as experimental rock, punk rock, and electronic music are also featured. Throughout its 25-year existence, the festival has shifted venues several times before finally settling down in the 18th-century army fortress Josefov, in the town of Jaromer.
The fortress not only provides an appealing background to the event, but it also offers excellent acoustics, with the main stages being set up against the walls of the building. Festival goers will enjoy a warm welcome from locals while enjoying a star-studded lineup of the best in extreme metal music. Over 15,000 people from as far away as Venezuela attend this event which also features horror cinema, art exhibitions, and plenty of cheap beer.
With their top-notch international lineups, awesome settings, and a broad range of music, festivals in the Czech Republic are good enough to rival the biggest events on the continent. Throw in the friendly festival-goers and low price and you have got a winning combination. If you are a fan of music festivals, it would be well worth planning on going to a few on your next visit to the Czech Republic.