Prague's annual island fest brings good vibes and free sounds

The 20th edition of the free music festival will bring around 70 Czech and international acts to the city center on May 5 and 6.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 27.04.2023 13:00:00 (updated on 27.04.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

The 20th edition of United Islands of Prague takes place May 5 and 6 in Kampa, Střelecký ostrov, Janáčkovo nábřeží, and several music clubs. Admission to concerts is free.

The audience will be able to enjoy approximately 70 artists from Czechia, Slovakia, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Hungary, Ireland, France, and Luxembourg. The complete schedule is on the festival website.

“The vast majority of foreign guests will be playing here for their first time. The Czech audience has a great opportunity to come to the premiere concerts of foreign stars,” festival producer Martin Voňka said.

In addition to already announced bands such as Sweden's The Magnettes and Ireland's Enola Gay, visitors can also look forward to the Dutch-British band Someone, Luxembourg rapper MAZ, and Irish singer Ria Rua. Germany will be represented by the artpop band Sparkling.

From the Czech scene, singer Aiko, who appeared on a billboard in New York's Times Square as part of a Spotify campaign on equality, or singer Pam Rabbit, who appeared in 2018 as a backing singer for Mikuláš Josef in Eurovision and competed to represent Czechia this year, will perform.

Hungary wants you to learn TEQball

Hungary will have a large representation this year. Three young up-and-coming bands will be at Klub FAMU on the night of May 5 and one more band, Platon Karataev, will be at Střelecký ostrov on Saturday at 5:15 p.m.

“In addition to them, on Saturday we will introduce the visitors to one of the most interesting innovations in the world of sports, namely the TEQball game, which was created years ago in Hungary and soon gained great popularity all over the world,” Hajnal Kassai, director of the Liszt Institute – Hungarian Cultural Center, said.

The game will be part of the Islands of Inspiration, the non-musical section of the festival on Janáčkovo nábřeží. TEQball combines elements of football and table tennis and is played on a curved table.

Museums, theaters, cultural institutions, and NGOs will also be part of the Islands of Inspiration.

“At the festival, we focus not only on music but also on topics that are important to us: truth, sustainability, and diversity. Our goal is to provide a platform for dialogue and inspiration,” section coordinator Lubomír Rek said.

Friday's performances are part of Europe Day

Friday’s program will be connected to Europe Day (Den Evropy) on Střelecký ostrov, previously a separate event. The two festivals will now be combined for the first time.

“Something that has a common spirit and goal will naturally come together: the connection of different cultures and peoples and the celebration that we can live together in peace for almost 80 years,” Magdaléna Frouzová, press officer of the Representation of the European Commission in the Czech Republic, said.

“Come and experience how music unites people across borders, taste European specialties at the embassy's information stands, and participate in competitions and a rich program,” Frouzová added.

Outside in the day, in clubs at night

Music on Friday on the Europe Day stage on Střelecký ostrov will start at 1 p.m. and last until 9:30 p.m. There will also be a Vltava Stage and an open mic stage on the island, and another stage on Kampa.

On Saturday, the Radio 1 stage will take the place of the Europe Day stage. Music on Střelecký ostrov and Kampa will start shortly before noon and again run until after 9 p.m.

The music will move indoors in the evenings for club nights. On May 5 bands will be at Cargo Gallery, Klub FAMU, and Chapeau Rouge, while on May 6 you can go to Jazz Dock, Klub FAMU, and Rock Café. 

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