Czech Music Festivals

Prague Spring

The Prague Spring International Music Festival is an annual revue of outstanding international artists, symphonic orchestras and chamber orchestras. Its very first year, 1946, was held under the auspices of the country’s President Edvard Beneš. At that time, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary.

Smetana’s Litomyšl

After the Prague Spring, the international opera festival Smetana’s Litomyšl is the second oldest music festival in the Czech Republic, and is one of the largest regular classical music festivals in the country. It has been held in the birthplace of composer Bedřich Smetana annually since 1949.

Janáček’s Máj

The Ostrava international music festival of classical music, Janáček’s Máj, has been held since 1976.

The Music Festival of Ema Destinnová

The České Budějovice Music Festival has been held since 1990, in the honour of the Czech artist Ema Destinnová (Emmy Destinn), whose singing enthralled the entire cultural world.

The Strings of Autumn

The festival Strings of Autumn has been on the Prague cultural scene since 1996. It resounds with surprising harmonies, marrying jazz with classical music and tradition with experiment.

The Brno International Music Festival

Since 1966, the Brno International Music Festival has been held annually in late September and early October. As a theme festival, it commemorates important anniversaries of composers and reflects major contemporary trends in music. Every year, some thirty symphonic and chamber concerts are held during this festival, as well as instrumental and vocal recitals, operatic and ballet performances, and various new types of stage performances.

The Český Krumlov International Music Festival

Since 1992, the Český Krumlov festival has been the longest Czech festival, as it runs for over a month. It is based primarily on classical music, including chamber concerts, recitals, organ concerts and performances in the castle’s Baroque theatre. The programme also includes open-air concerts of other genres, such as jazz, folk and folklore.

Festivals of classical music:

Trutnov Open Air Music Festival

This festival, dubbed the Woodstock of Eastern Bohemia, was established in 1987, growing out of the underground experience. Václav Havel was among those who were involved in its creation. It arose from previously independent activities, illegal concerts and exhibitions, which were held in various barns and country pubs. Since then, it has become a legend among Czech festivals.

Rock for People

In recent years, the Rock for People rock festival has moved to Hradec Králové. Established in 1995, its popularity and quality have propelled it to the heights of the Czech festival season.

Colours of Ostrava

Since 2002, musicians from all over the world have gathered in Ostrava to play at the festival, which has been repeatedly selected as the Music Event of the Year.

United Islands of Prague

Since 2004, the United Islands International Multi-genre Music Festival, held on the islands of Prague, has been one of the capital’s main cultural activities.


Since 2001, the annual number of visitors has climbed to twenty thousand. The goal of the festival’s dramaturgy is clear: to build a multicultural festival, predominantly based on music, which embraces diversity. In addition to music, this festival includes theatre, film, author readings and exhibitions of photographs and sculptures.

Mezi ploty – Between Fences

This popular festival is held annually at several venues throughout the country. In Prague, for example, it takes place on the premises of the Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital. It brings together music, theatre and artistic workshops.

Hip Hop Kemp

The largest Czech genre event, held annually since 2002.

Summer of Love

The most popular Czech electronic music festival, held since 1997.

Mighty Sounds

Since 2005, Mighty Sounds has annually offered a combination of ska, punk and dance music, as well as theatre.

Zahrada (The Garden)

Zahrada is a folk and country music festival that has been held since 2000.

Last update: 16.8.2011 16:01

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