Favorite summer festivals in Prague and the Czech Republic are gearing up for autumn

United Islands, Letní Letná, Febiofest, KVIFF and One World have set new dates for the latter part of 2020

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 03.07.2020 13:25:02 (updated on 03.07.2020) Reading time: 5 minutes

Many of the events that had been postponed due to coronavirus are now planning to come back, some as early as this autumn. United Islands, Letní Letná, One World, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and Febiofest will all present events in the fall.

The United Islands multi-genre music festival will take place in Prague on the second weekend of September 2020 at Výstaviště Holešovice.

This is the first major major music festival to announce a new date for 2020. Its sister festival, Metronome, has been postponed to summer 2021, along with most other big musical events that had been planned for this summer.

Other festivals now scheduled for the fall also include the new circus festival Letní Letná in a light version on September 18–25 and the Signal festival of light art on October 15–18.

United Islands will be in a “German Edition” focusing on musicians from the Czech Republic’s neighboring country.

“We are excited to announce that thanks to cooperation with the German Embassy, the Saxon Representation in Prague, the Goethe Institute and the Czech-German Fund for the Future, we will bring the best of contemporary German music production to Prague in September,” festival organizer David Gaydečka said.

He adds that despite the move of the date to September, the audience certainly does not have to worry about the scope and quality of the festival, because everything is going according to plan.

“We are not breaking with tradition, and we are preparing a festival that the audience will like. This year, you can look forward to a number of musical discoveries and admission will be free again,” Gaydečka said.

German Ambassador Christoph Israng is pleased to be cooperating on the festival. “Germany has gladly accepted the invitation to become a partner of this year’s United Islands of Prague. As you know, the city of Prague played a key role in the process leading to the German merger exactly 30 years ago. In addition, Germany will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on July 1 this year. These are all good reasons to celebrate diversity in Europe — with music from both Germany and the Czech Republic,” Israng said.

The concept of adding a subtitle to the United Islands of Prague and bringing musicians from one country to Prague is not new. Last year Britain was featured, and the idea garnered many positive responses.

The director of the Office of the Free State of Saxony in Prague, Dr. David Michel, draws attention to the Saxon Club Night. “I am glad that we have the long-awaited opportunity to present Saxon DJs here in Prague,” Michel said. There will also be a Bavarian guitar afternoon.

There will also be representatives of the Czech music scene. “We believe that the combination of Czech and German performers will create a unique musical experience that no one should miss,” Petra Ernstberger and Tomáš Jelínek, directors of the Czech-German Fund for the Future, said.

More details on the festival such as the specific bands and exact duration of the festival will be released closer to September on the festival website and Facebook page.

Metronome, staged by the some of the same organizers as United Islands, was supposed to take place in mid-June. It will take place instead a year later on June 19–21, 2021, with many of the originally scheduled acts coming next year.

Voalá perfoms Voalá Station / via Letní Letná

Another festival rescheduled to the autumn is Letní Letná, which will be at its traditional location in Prague’s Letná Park. The 17th year of the festival will feature visiting Spanish and French ensembles plus some domestic troupes. Advance ticket sales have started on the festival’s website.

The opening will be provided by the Spanish ensemble Voalá. The production Voalá Station uses aerial acrobatics and music to create images and an emotional story.

A highlight is France’s Galapiat Cirque, which returns to Letní Letná after eight years with a world premiere. The domestic audience will be the first to see L’âne et la carrote, or Donkey and Carrot.

The festival will also include the best of Czech new circus with Losers Cirque Company and Cirk La Putyka putting on their own shows plus a joint collaboration. Bratři v tricku will presents a free performance.

Regarding film festivals, the end of of the One World (Jeden svět) human rights film festival will take place September 11–13 at Kasárna Karlín and September 11–22 at Prague cinemas Světozor, Evald, Atlas and Aero. In total, over 100 films will be screened. This year’s topic is the environmental crisis. The festival had been underway in March when restrictions forced the program to be cut back.

Photo via Lucas Nemec
Karlovy Vary 2019 festival via Lucas Nemec

A light version of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will take place November 18-21, 2020, in Karlovy Vary. It will be called Karlovy Vary IFF 54 ½, as it is not meant to fully replace the summer festival.

“We still feel that the key to the Karlovy Vary fest is its atmosphere, where encounters readily happen and where together we can enjoy a shared movie experience: feelings of joy, fear, and being deeply touched. We believe that the time is soon coming when we can be together again,” says KVIFF president Jiří Bartoška.

The festival will feature the atmosphere that guests and visitors have grown to love. The four-day noncompetitive festival will present 30 movies, each to be screened twice. The organizers are also planning several traditional events in an accompanying program.

In cooperation with the City of Karlovy Vary and local hoteliers, special accommodation packages will be available.

The full Karlovy Vary International Film Festival has been pushed back to July 2–10, 2021, but a selection of films are in theaters from July 3 to 11.

Febiofest, which was just about to begin when theaters were closed, is now scheduled for September 18–25, 2020, but exact details on the films and guests has not yet been released.

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith in 2012. via Mick man34 / Wikimedia Commons

The Signal festival of light art, which usually takes place in the fall anyway, will be held October 15–18 on the streets of Prague in routes that have not been previously used, so crowds can be kept smaller.

Strings of Autumn (Struny Podzim) also was always supposed to take place in the fall. It will have two open air concerts on September 11 and 19, and four indoor concerts in November.

Many music  festivals and big concerts have been shifted to 2021. The Colours of Ostrava music festival has been rescheduled to July 14–17, 2021, with the Killers as the headline act.

Rock for People, taking place in Hradec Králové, has been pushed back to June 10–12, 2021. Green Day is slated to headline.

Many of the individual acts that had been scheduled for 2020, such as Aerosmith, Avril Lavigne, Guns N’ Roses, Kiss, Lenny Kravitz, My Chemical Romance, and The Weeknd have been or are in the process of being rescheduled to dates in 2021.

Ozzy Osbourne: No More Tours 2, which was supposed to be in Prague in February, is now scheduled for November 13, 2020, if conditions by that time permit it.

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