UP Festival to debut in Prague

The first underground electronic music festival will take place in Prague in May

Prague’s electronic music scene has for a long time been a niche thing, centered around a small community and mostly to be found in pop-up warehouse parties or smaller clubs. Its steadily-growing momentum has, however, brought in a fresh project that will debut in the city this month and possibly bring that scene to a whole new level.

UP Festival will take over Výstaviště Holešovice from May 11 to 13, providing its participants with an endless supply of techno, minimal and house.

The event will feature four stages and over 50 artists that will be playing non-stop from 10 pm on Friday till 3 pm on Sunday. Local DJs and big names of the industry alike will take their turns at bringing quality sounds to the audience. The headliners include names such as Ricardo Villalobos, Ellen Alien, Appollonia, Praslesh, Magda, Sonja Moonear, Brothers Black and many more.

Besides the music, festival goers will also be able to enjoy several art exhibitions, performative art shows, including theatre and graffiti, and relax in differently themed chill out zones. Some of the exhibitions will be displayed under the patronage of the Chemistry Gallery. The visual artists will include Aeldryn, Cycles, Eli, Gabriela Prochazka, Jan Hladil, Pavel Karafiát, Orkhan, Oxoo, and the XYZ Crew.

Friday’s night stage will see the performance of one of the main figures in current techno scene, Ricardo Villalobos, as the day’s headliner. That day’s night line-up will be supported by Sonja Moonear and the Romanian duo Praslesh (Praslea and Raresh). The three open-air day stages will open at 6 am, starting Saturday’s daytime program featuring, among others, the Parisian trio Apollonia, Ion Ludwig, Magda, Nils Weimann and Martin Glowacz. The night line-up will be headlined by the Berlin-based icon Ellen Alien, supported by Oskar Szafraniec, Luigi Tozzi and Brothers Black. Finally, Sunday’s performances will include names such as Francesco Del Garda, Barac, Fernando Costantini, or Topper.

“I’m fairly happy [with the line-up], given the fact that this is the first edition,” says Bruno Curtis, one of the founders and organizers of the festival. “A lot of these names were simply a miracle, that they accepted to come and play. On the contrary to what people think, it’s not enough to offer money to have an artist performing for your project, it involves a lot of different factors. So, long story short, I’m happy with the confidence that some of them placed on us.”

Aside from the international performers, the line-up also includes a strong representation of local-based DJs. Among them will be Curtis himself (Round UP), Fatty M and Schwa (Beef Records), em ju es aj si (Polygon), Oliver Torr (XYZ Project), and Kirill Astra (Round UP).

The idea behind the event is to create a free space, in which both the artists and the audience can open themselves up to celebration and experiment without fear. It also aims to bridge the gap between the Czech Republic and electronic music, and perhaps one day make Prague one of its new hubs. To help obtain that goal and promote the event, several UP Festival showcases have been organized around Europe. The first took place on March 24th in Warsaw, the second on April 13 in Moscow, and the third on April 22 in London.

According to Curtis, they were very successful. “It really helped put the brand out there and gain some momentum in terms of a summer festival. Recently we were at Sunwave festival and we were approached by a lot of people from different countries, saying that they were coming to Prague for UP. Amazing to hear this, especially in our first year.” For those who cannot wait, there will be festival warm-up sessions happening in Groove Bar for the whole week preceding it. They will include some of the local DJs that will also perform at the main event.

When asked about what the participants can look forward to the most, Curtis says: “I would say the music, but then again that would go against what our mission is. Come for the experience, that’s what we are trying to create, first and foremost.”

Tickets can be bought on the festival’s official website and goout.cz. They include full festival passes and tickets only for Friday night or Saturday daytime events.

Full Line-Up (alphabetical order):

Agustin Alvarez | Alfred Czital | Alex Neivel | And.re | Anthea | Apollonia | Ark3r | Barac | Bella Sarris | Brothers Black | Bruno Curtis | Cem Ozden | Clovis | dMIT.RY | Ellen Allien | Fatty M | Fernando Costantini | Ferro | Francesco Del Garda | Gescu | Ion Ludwig | Jacob Husley | Jada | Janeret | Joao Maria | Johanna Schneider | Jorgos | Julian | Kirill Astra | Luigi Tozzi | Magda | Marlie | Martin Glowacz | Molly | Nils Weimann | O.Bee | Oliver Torr | Olivian Nour | Oshana | Oskar Szafraniec | Per Hammar | PSJ | Praslesh | Ricardo Villalobos | Schwa | Sonja Moonear | Spacetravel | STA | Sy Heslin | Topper | Varhat | Vera | Vlada | Vik | Yan

Official website: www.upfestival.cz
Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events

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