On Thursday, Sázavafest kicked off in the Central Bohemian town of Kácov. Its site is located near the Sázava river, which provides both the name and the scenic backdrop for one of the country’s most popular music festivals. It drew some 20.000 visitors in 2009 and organizers are expecting a similar turn-out this year.
In its eighth year, Sázavafest features over 130 bands from around the world. Despite this year’s bad weather, some 7000 visitors arrived on Thursday, ahead of the festival’s two biggest nights. Pavel Kloupar is the main organizer behind Sázavafest.
“The festival’s highlights will mostly take place on Friday and Saturday night. Tonight we are featuring the guitar band Papa Roach from the US and Boban Markovič with his orchestra from Serbia. We will hear legends such as Marta Kubišová and the band Monkey Business will be celebrating their 10-year-anniversary at our festival on Friday night. And as far as headliners for Saturday night go, an interesting performance will definitely be that by Ivan Král, who is back from America after a long break, having come especially to give one concert in the Czech Republic, at our festival. He got here on Monday and has been very busy practicing.”
Further headliners for Saturday include Chumbawamba, Dog Eat Dog and a fresh performance of the Leningrad Cowboys, which will be a world-premiere. With the festival season in full swing and many similar events taking place in the Czech Republic, what makes Sázavafest special? I put the question to Pavel Kloupar.
“It traditionally takes place in a really nice environment, near the river Sázava, which is framed by mountains on one side and a big meadow on the other. Another thing we are proud of is that we try- to be a multi-genre festival, with world music, reggae, ska, rock, pop and even dance music. And we are also a multi-cultural festival, with film tents, theater tents and today and tomorrow, Czech best-selling author Michal Viewegh will be reading on the Balbínka stage.”
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