The Sun Sets on Another Successful Rock for People Festival

A look back at this year's fest

Craig Monts

Written by Craig Monts Published on 13.07.2011 16:36:35 (updated on 13.07.2011) Reading time: 2 minutes

So the sun has set on another successful and enjoyable Rock Fest. We started the event under grey skies and rain clouds, which did little to dampen to the famously high Rock for People spirits. Saturday started well with a selection of Czech & Slovak bands performing for the early-comers. Czech-based Cocotte Minute played to a small, yet appreciative crowd. The wet weather inevitably brought with it the dreaded festival mud. It almost felt like an English festival, having to drudge around from stage to stage.

By Sunday afternoon, the mud had subsided even though the ominous rain clouds hadn´t. The day´s line up was pretty exciting across the board. The UK´s Kate Nash took to the T-Music stage around 18:00 to an eager audience. Nash gave what I considered to be a surprising performance. I expected pop but she gave far more punk.

She screamed, leapt, stomped and drank her way through an exciting (if a little erratic) show with her all-female 5 piece-band, resulting in a captivating and exciting performance which showed the darker, less poppy side of the chart-topping musician.  SUM 41 also played the same stage later on that day. They rocked through their many hits, creating and encouraging moshpits at every available point.

Other musical highlights for me were Canadian export Cancer Bats. The band´s energy on stage was totally infectious and served as the perfect pick-me-up on the Tuesday afternoon. The guys really impressed me with their show. Thrashing lo-fi guitars and angry drums gave me the much-needed musical wake up call.  By this point the grey clouds had disappeared and been replaced by blue skies and bright sunshine. Festival Park was beginning to return to its familiar state as happy rockers reveled in the music, while getting slowly inebriated in the unexpected sunshine.

It would be a crime to talk about this year´s Rock for People without mentioning The Streets´ performance. Mike – supported by backing vocalist and live band – absolutely smashed the Staropramen Cool Lemon Stage to an adoring crowd.

Skinner commanded the large stage with his trademark confidence and aplomb. The tight live band backed Mike, effortlessly playing a combination of hits and lesser-known tracks from both past and current releases. Excellent lighting and near-perfect sound contributed to an unforgettable show from the Brummie rapper/poet and his live band.

I have to admit that I was pretty surprised to see The Streets listed in the line-up prior to the festival. They´re not exactly you´re traditional ‘rock´ outfit. But looking through the line-up it was clear that other genres of music were not only included but encouraged. I caught a DJ set from Prague-based duo The Fakes, playing a selection of Electro clash and minimal breaks to the open minded audience. Trusty (Ty Vole!?) also did his part to increase the musical progression, with a heavy set of drum & dubstep during the small hours of Tuesday morning. It was really exciting to hear fresh genres at the festival. Hats off to the organizers!  So a great few days, despite the inclement weather, much fun was had by all. I´m looking forward to next year!

Photos: Paul Pacey, WhiteLight Photography

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