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Rock for People Review

One of the biggest - and greenest - music festivals in the country, Rock for People, returns to Hradec Králové for four days of rock, rap, folk and environmental consciousness.

 

 

 

 

This year, Rock for People's 16th incarnation, 140 bands and 20 DJs will take part in the festival, among them some of the biggest bands of recent years. But despite the marked increase in the size of the festival, Rock for People remains committed to being environmentally friendly.

Since 2009, Rock for People has collected, sorted and recycled as much waste generated during the festival as possible. Festival Director Michal Thomes tells The Prague Post 90 percent of the festival's waste will be recycled this year.

"Rock for People was part of the Clean Action Festival last year and collected and sorted out 110,000 cups of beer, so we created a new Czech record. Indeed, last year we obtained the prestigious international Clean & Green Award," he says.
 
Rock for People
When: July 2-5
Where: Festival Park Hradec Králové
 

Besides Rock for People's sense of environmental responsibility, Thomes says nearly everything about the festival has changed since its inception in 1995.

"Not only has the festival moved from August to early July, putting it in line with the European festival season, which includes Roskilde Festival, among others," he says. "After a record-breaking attendance for Manu Chao in 2006, which attracted 20,000 attendees, the festival moved from Český Brod to Hradec Králové, in a festival park which has room for 35,000 attendees and a tent city that can hold 15,000."

The following are highlights from each day of the festival. A full schedule can be found at Rockforpeople.cz.

Saturday, July 2

CCTV All Stars One of the hardest-working expat bands to emerge on the Prague scene in recent years, CCTV All Stars, with members from the Czech Republic, Sweden, the United States and Mexico, fuse ska, hip-hop, reggae and metal into an infectious stew that has garnered the group fans throughout Europe. At 5:15 p.m.

Žlutý Pes A Southern-style rock band based in Prague, Žlutý Pes have been rocking in true legendary style since 1978. Singer Ondřej Hejma was even stabbed during a Brno concert in 1993. Žlutý Pes is certainly the oldest band to perform at Rock for People, but in true rocker fashion like their contemporaries The Rolling Stones, they can still rock and sing the blues with the best of them. At 9 p.m.

Cocotte Minute This Prague-based nu-metal band, whose name is French for "pressure cooker," are a true original on the local music scene and have found crossover success since the release of their first, self-titled album on EMI in 2004. Combining, rap, hardcore and metal, Cocotte Minute have crafted a unique sound especially suited for large outdoor festivals, where subtlety is not always rewarded. At 12:45 a.m.

Sunday, July 3

The U.S. Bombs A classic punk band from Orange County, California, The U.S. Bombs are led by skateboarding legend Duane Peters. This is punk from the stewed, screwed and tattooed school, and the band has toured and recorded incessantly since 1993, earning a wide following far beyond the sunny skate-rock crowd. At 4:40 p.m.

Sum 41 A massively successful "new punk" band from Canada, Sum 41 are everything The U.S. Bombs are not, and vice versa. This is melodic, catchy rock, although in recent years the band have moved into harder territory and explored darker themes. Last year, Sum 41 sold out two shows at Lucerna Roxy, so interested audiences are advised to get to the stage early. At 10:05 p.m.

Bullet for My Valentine A Welsh metal band in the melodic nu-metal style that means they are as likely to scream as to croon, Bullet for My Valentine have emerged from the shadow of domineering bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden over the course of three popular albums. The band are no strangers to the summer festival circuit and are professionals when it comes to working large crowds into a state of frenzy. At 11:55 p.m.

    

Monday, July 4

Chiki-Liki-Tua A popular Slovak rock group, Chiki-Liki-Tua got their break in 2004 with the country parody "Laska moja de si," or "My Love, Where Are You," which was immediately picked up by Czech and Slovak radio. The band are remarkably versatile, with disco, metal and western rock stylings depending on their mood. At 4:05 p.m.

John Butler Trio An Australian roots trio with more than a touch of blues, John Butler Trio are perhaps the most eclectic group at the festival. Their music gives a nod to jam bands while Butler's gritty blues voice and uncanny skills as an acoustic guitarist, crossing finger picking, slide and raunchy wah-wah solos, lead the sound in new directions. At 5:30 p.m.

White Lies One of Britain's biggest bands at the moment, White Lies follow in the dark-rock style of Interpol and Joy Division, but have recently begun to branch out into more danceable electronic territory while retaining their ferocious intensity. At 6:25 p.m.

Jenny and Johnny Centered around the duet of singers and songwriters Jenny Lewis and Jonathan Rice, Jenny and Johnny are a quartet playing jangly, four-chord indie rock, featuring Lewis' excellent songwriting and touching lyricism. Something like a harder She & Him. At 10:15 p.m.

Bright Eyes An indie band from Omaha fronted by the talented singer and songwriter Conor Oberst, Bright Eyes have all the emotional rawness of emo without the schmaltz. Instead, Oberst's touching song writing is held up by a steady background of folk rock and even a touch of country, a mix that has garnered Bright Eyes wide mainstream acceptance. At 11:25 p.m.

 

Tuesday, July 5

Jimmy Eat World Based in Arizona, Jimmy Eat World are one of the biggest "new punk" bands to come along in recent years, and have found a wide audience for their melodic pop songs based on a bed of furiously distorted guitar and a sensibility that is more dark emo than punk. At 7:15 p.m.

Beatsteaks Don't let the name fool you; Beatsteaks are a no-holds-barred punk band based in Germany who have played with the likes of The Sex Pistols and Bad Religion. In recent years, the group has begun singing in English, finding a wider audience in Europe and the United States, where they won an MTV award in 2004. At 9:05 p.m.

The Streets A London hip-hop folk group, The Streets are defined by the poetry of front man Mike Skinner, along with DJ Johnny Drum Machine and a shifting rhythm section. Masterful performers, The Streets are favorites on the British festival circuit, and their versatility allows them to shift from personal songs of love lost to stadium-rocking anthems. At 10:05 p.m.

Digitalism A German duo based in Hamburg since 2004, combining electro, dance and punk, Digitalism is the synthesizer generation's answer to the best dark, aggressive pop of yesteryear. At 11:45 p.m.

Copyright (©) Stephan Delbos at  The Prague Post

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