Mad Max Meets Blade Runner: Colours of Ostrava 2017 Preview

The Czech Republic’s best attended and most visually-stunning music festival has a stellar line up of performers this year Staff Jason Pirodsky

Written by StaffJason Pirodsky Published on 27.06.2017 10:43:54 (updated on 27.06.2017) Reading time: 2 minutes

Now entering its 16th year, the Colours of Ostrava Festival, held July 19–22, in the former industrial site of Dolní Vítkovice, is the Czech Republic’s most highly attended festival with more than 40,000 visitors last year.

And it has much to offer festival-goers this time around.

Spread over two dozen unique outdoor and indoor stages, Colours will present an unrivaled selection of contemporary and classic performers, from electro to world music, jazz, indie rock, and reggae—350 events ranging from bands, DJs, films, open discussions, workshops, theatre, poetry, and art installations.

Headliners for 2017 include Imagine Dragons, Jamiroquai, Norah Jones, Justice, alt-J, Midnight Oil, Birdy, Moderat, LP, Michael Kiwanuka, Laura Mvula, Benjamin Clementine, UNKLE, Booka Shade, Nouvelle Vague, Afro Celt Sound System, and many more.

The diverse program is only one thing that makes Colours of Ostrava unique. The festival is held on the site of the city’s former mines and ironworks, a European Cultural Heritage Site and unlike any other concert venue. Despite its industrial feel, the festival site also boasts plenty of green space plus a range of quieter and shaded spaces which are ideal for lounging and recharging your batteries.

Founded in 2002, Colours of Ostrava was ranked as one of the Top 10 music festivals in Europe in 2016 by The Guardian.

British pop singer MIKA said of the festival, following his 2015 performance, “I fell in love here. Think Mad Max or Waterworld and you’ll have a fair idea about the backdrop. Add to this music to cater to everyone, spanning pop, rock, world music, jazz and EDM…and you get a truly top-class festival!”

Norah Jones will perform at Colours 2017
Norah Jones will perform at Colours 2017

For those with time to spare, we suggest taking a few extra days to discover the charm of the city itself—the festival site is just three tram stops from the city centre.

Formerly known as the Steel Heart of the Czech Republic, Ostrava is the third largest Czech city and has an atmosphere all its own. Nestled between the Slovak and Polish borders with breath-taking views of the Beskydy Mountain range, Ostrava has it all: a rich and diverse history, a bustling cultural and social life, plus beautiful landscapes.

The festival is family-friendly and features a fantastic children’s stage with child supervision and a stand for breastfeeding mothers; the site is wheelchair accessible (tickets also available at substantially discounted rates).

Simon Broughton, Editor-in-Chief, Songlines Magazine said of his Colours experience:

“Colours presents one of the broadest selections of music of any festival in Europe….The atmosphere itself is unusually friendly and family-oriented. It’s a safe environment where, unlike all too many other festivals, drinking doesn’t lead to rowdiness and actual danger once the night wears on. It is fun and friendly from the first shows to the latest events.”

Last but not least: prices for food and drinks at the festival are very reasonable: a large beer is just over 1 euro.

Four-day tickets are available on the festival website’s e-shop and Ticketpro network for 96 Euros. Discounts for ticketholders are available on a range of tourist attractions as well as train tickets to/from Ostrava with Czech Rail.

For more information and to purchase tickets visit

Promotional text supplied by Colours of Ostrava.

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