Praha Žije Hudbou brings music to the street

Amateur musicians still have a chance to register to perform at busking points

Public spaces in Prague will be filled with live music again on June 8 to 10. The second edition of the Praha Žije Hudbou festival will have over 200 performers at roughly 50 locations across the city. Last year an estimated 30,000 people visited the festival.

The festival is a rare opportunity to see music on the street because restrictions that took effect in 2016 have put strict limits on busking.

Amateur artists who want to perform can register through the festival website, and some of the more interesting acts will be selected. The deadline for applying in May 22, but acts cannot use amplification. Late applications will also be considered, but there is less of a guarantee of getting a spot.

This year's festival will have five music stages, a theater stage and around 40 busking points. “We have extended the festival to three days this year. The opening ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 8, at 7 pm, at the plaza of the National Theatre. The program features the premiere of Zakázaná symfonie, the Slack Show acrobatic project, and culminates in busking on the city streets,” festival director Jan Gregar said in a press release.

The play Zakázaná symfonie (Forbidden Symphony) will be directed by Ivo Sedláček. Slack Show is a duo that performs acrobatics on a slackline. The performances will be followed by grand parade of buskers featuring the new circus group Amanitas Fire, which has been active since 2010.

“And so Prague can be lively, we will continue all Friday and Saturday with a busy program that ends with Saturday's afterparty in six Prague clubs,” festival director Gregar said. The clubs are Chapeau Rouge, Jazz Dock, Palác Akropolis, Klubovna, Nákladovém nádraží Žižkov and Napa Bar.

Before jumping straight into the afterparty, though, there is the main part of the festival to get through. On Friday and Saturday, there will be stages at Jiřího z Poděbrad, Karlovo náměstí , Jungmannovo náměstí, Klárov and the Dejvice campus, where the most interesting acts will take place. The lineup includes Tomáš Klus, Vladimír Merta, Xavier Baumaxa, Imodium, Houpací Koně, Jakub Ondra, Ondřej Pivec and Circus Brothers.

The theater stage at the plaza of the National Theatre, also known as náměstí Václava Havla, will have Cirk la Putyka, Bratři v tricku, Petr Nikl and Long Vehicle Circus. The program will include puppetry, new circus, poetry slams and readings.

The stages are in addition to the less formal busking points for street performances in the city center.

A side program will have events at (A)void Floating Gallery, where DJs will play Friday and Saturday aboard the ship.

The organizers are also working with the city to make adaptations to the anti-busking law so that it is less ambiguous and so some amount of public music can be performed. The festival has a program of workshops and discussions about the use of public space. The discussions, under the name Probuď město (Awaken City), will be held in cooperation with the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR). The festival is also supported by Nadace Via, which promotes the active involvement of people in public life.

For more information visit More information at www.prahazijehudbou.cz. An app for the festival is available for free on Android and iOS.

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