The Sazava Fest at Benesov near Prague, finished on Sunday morning the 11th August, a full three days after it had begun, proving the Sazava Fest’s credibility as a traditional festival.
This was the fourth time that the festival had been held at the Zelený Ostrov site which used to be ex-army land. The location had been run down and wasn’t a pleasant sight, with half-ruined buildings to be seen and lots of wild growing bushes.
By the end everything went well, with no serious trouble, as the area began filling with around 17,000 people. Two big stages and two smaller ones provided the audience with their music and it seemed that this place was a really good choice.
This time, the organizers decided to make it more attractive by arranging some foreign groups to play at the festival with the main stages belonging to them for 2 days.
“This is the way we want to go. This year’s festival was about foreign bands and I believe the audience appreciated that. We want this festival to be special and unique among the other festivals which take a place during summer all around the Czech Republic”, said Pavel Kloupar (chief promoter of the Sazava Fest).
The move for foreign bands showed this was a great decision. The best performance was provided by the British band HURTS, which represents a modern style of melancholic pop, full of strong electronic and melodic motives.
Theo Hutchcraft, Adam Anderson and the rest of their band, apparently even put up posters of models around their dressing room so as to prepare themselves to look at beautiful people during their performance! On the stage they played some songs from their album release this year “Happiness”. They threw roses to their fans and thanked them in Czech, claiming this concert was the best one this summer.
Another British band THE SUBWAYS was there too. “When we plan a concert tour, we tell our manager to definitely get a concert in the Czech Republic. We liked it there at Trutnov´s festival last year. It was one of the most fantastic festivals ever”, said singer and guitarist BILLY LUNN.
The German group ALPHAVILLE represented the 80’s and their performance made people dance. People heard their most famous hits such as “Big in Japan”, and “Forever Young”. Songs that made this band famous in the history of pop music. As singer MARTIN GOLD said: “To me, each audience is a little bit like an animal and we have to use the music to tame it. It’s a way of communication. It´s great if you communicate with an audience and the audience gives you its response. It worked this way in Benesov.”
There were lots more good performances, especially from British dance group KOSHEEN, and the French NOUVELLE VAGUE.
JANA KIRSCHNER also came for her only festival performance this year, offering non-traditional pop from her previous year’s album “Krajina Rovina”. She said: “It´s more difficult as we play more with electronics and I´m not only a singer, but I also press some buttons, too. It´s an intimate album with lots of freedom and crossing many borders.”
The Czech music was presented by DAN BARTA who sang together with DARA ROLLINS. There were also amongst others TATA BOJS, CHINASKI, MONKEY BUSINESS, J.A.R., TOMAS KLUS and CHARLIE STRAIGHT.
The weather this year was great, even if there were a few light showers! Yes, with the weather’s help more life, light and civilization was brought to this place called ZELENY OSTROV.
Original Czech story: Jarda Spulak
English version: M.K./Michael Craig
Foto: Ondrej Straka