Cargo Gallery presents culture on the waterfront
Refitted boat hopes to find a stable spot on Náplavka, but will still travel
The waterfront along the Vltava in Prague has had a renaissance in recent years, and now has become a popular destination for people on evenings and weekends.
Currently the furthest boat down on Náplavka, as the paved walkway lined by boats and barges is called, is Cargo Gallery.
Unlike some of the other boats, it is not a year-round resident. It moves not only to different spots on Náplavka, but also to other cities in Northern Bohemia and around Dresden, Germany. The organizers receive EU funds to promote cultural events in those areas.
The Cargo Gallery will be at Náplavka, just beyond the Railway Bridge (Železniční most), until July 3 when it will then go to Litoměřice for two months and then on its rounds to Germany and then Děčín and Ústí nad Labem in North Bohemia, before it returns to Prague in December.
The boat is open every day, and has concerts, DJs, parties, theater, films and conferences. Weekdays it opens at 2 p.m. and on weekends from11 a.m.
Cargo Gallery has been in operation for a little over a year, and actually is a cargo boat that has been refitted to be a multi-functional space.
“We wanted some kind of cultural place place for multiple events,” Dan Adam, one of the founders of Cargo Gallery said. All of the four founders are photographers, but the place is intended to be more than just an art gallery.
He has been mostly satisfied with the success so far. “The cultural program fulfilled our dreams,” he said. Noted musicians such as Dan Bárta was one of the first people to perform on the boat. Bárta will appear again on June 8 for a night of improvisation with En.Dru. Other acts on the upcoming schedule include Skyline and Prago Union.
”I believe we have the most cultural place on Náplavka,” Adam added, saying that some other places were much more tourist oriented.
There is some sort of event every day, and some days more than one event.
A stumbling block, though, has been the lack of a permanent position on the Prague waterfront for the four months a year it is here. Those spots are determined by City Hall and also the Prague district administration. Sometimes people have a hard time locating the boat. “In Ústí nad Labem and Děčín we have stable places. But here it confuses people; sometimes we are one place and sometimes we are 50 meters away,” Adam said.
The boat saw a bit better business at the bar when they were more centrally located on Náplavka, and the daytime business from passerby is important economically.
“We get more fans every day. Next year will be even better if we get a stable place,” he said
The boat It measures 68 meters long and 8.2 meters wide, with a weight of 230 tons. It was built in 1964, and the group behind the Cargo Gallery bought the boat in 2010 in Děčín and spent some time raising money for the project.
It took nine months the rebuild the boat, removing several interior walls for cargo holds and installing a lower level bar and creating an entirely new upper level stage for concerts.
Finds out more about Cargo Gallery at www.cargogallery.eu.
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