If you’re visiting the Czech Republic in summer, you’re in luck — there are numerous festivals around the country between May and August. Read on to see where to get your festival fix!
Colours of Ostrava
One of the largest music festivals in Europe, the yearly Colours of Ostrava runs for four days during the second or third weekend in July. Big international stars play here every year, from Alanis Morissette to Björk, to Iggy Pop & The Stooges. Up to 100 bands take over 16 stages over the four days, playing both indoors and outdoors. There are also workshops, live lectures and discussions, and a cinema. Come prepared, as attendance can reach 40,000 people or more.
Rock for People
For lovers of rock and heavy metal, Rock for People is music heaven. The July festival is held in an old abandoned airport in the city of Hradec Králové and attracts international stars such as Motorhead, Artic Monkeys, Evanescence, Massive Attack, and more. Child and dog-friendly, this is a chill four-day festival that has been playing since 1995. A single ticket allows you entry to all events (there’s geocatching, lectures and even cycling events) and concerts, and you can add a camping ticket to the mix so you can grab a place to relax.
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
One of the oldest film festivals in the world, this July festival attracts major international stars, with Robert De Niro, Richard Gere and Annette Bening making an appearance here at one time or another. Rita Hayworth was the guest of honor at the very first festival in 1946. The heart of the festival is a feature film competition, but there also competitions for best documentary, lectures, an award gala and seminars. Festival visitors can get tickets to watch most of the films in the competition, and there’s a very popular midnight screening of new and classic horror films.
The Metronome Festival is the only large, open-air music festival held in the heart of Prague. A major musical attraction during the month of June, it features both Czech and international acts, with names like Sting, The Kooks, and Ester Rada in attendance. The two-day event is pricier than other festivals around the country (up to 130 Euros per ticket), and there are no single-day tickets available, but the location and the artists in attendance are worth the price.
Starting in late May and extending into the first week of June, the Fringe Festival brings a mix of experimental theater to the streets of Prague. Still young compared to other festivals in Prague, Fringe currently presents 45 different shows in eight different venues, ranging from comedy to alternative theater to dance presentations.
Czech Beer Festival
Held right in Prague, this festival, dedicated to everything food and drink, lasts for a whooping 17 days in May. With over 120 different beers to offer, people dressed in traditional Czech costumes, and plenty of fun music and events, it’s no wonder the festival attracts almost 200,000 visitors every year.
International Folklore Festival
If you want to see something different, head to Brno – Czechia’s second largest city – to catch a peek of traditional dances, music and crafts. This August festival also features special theater performances, fairy tales for children, and over a thousand performers in many disciplines.
United Islands of Prague Festival
Held during the second half of June, this four-day mixed-genre music festival takes over a number of small islands around Prague. The main points are on Kampa Park and the nearby Shooters Island, each of which holds two large stages. There are several more stages on the other islands, as well as concession food stands, stands with souvenirs and drinks, and plenty of space to lie down on a blanket to enjoy the music under the stars.
Český Krumlov International Music Festival
The only festival of its kind in the country, this three-week event is all about classical music, opera, and jazz with a bit of folklore thrown in. Events take place all over the city, with stages both indoors and outdoors in parks and major historical points across town. Major orchestras and performers from around the country and across Europe come to perform.
Festival of Microbreweries at Prague Castle
This two-day June festival held right on the grounds of the Castle comes with one fun bonus: pay the entrance fee (about 15 Euros) and you can drink unlimited amounts of beer for as long as the festival is running that day (hours are 14:00-20:00). Once you pay for your ticket, you’re given a free tasting glass, which you can take from stand to stand to test some of the best microbrews in the country.