Well, it’s time for another festival. As you’ll know if you’re a regular Tor Goes Travelling Again reader, my friend Beck and I go to a different European festival every year.
This weekend we enjoyed scorching temperatures at Rock for People, a popular festival two hours outside Prague in the Czech Republic.
Rock for People has been going for over twenty years and attracts more than 30,000 revellers each year.
As usual we flew into the nearest budget airport, in this case Prague, stayed one night and had an early start the next day with an 8am train to Hradec Králové, two hours away. Free shuttle buses were laid on from the train station out to an old airport, the site of the festival.
We’d splashed out and paid a whole eight euro extra for the Camping Plus field. The draw was ‘ceramic toilets’ and a limit of 1500 people in the field. After Pinkpop in Netherlands last year where we literally had to squeeze our tents into a teeny tiny space, we were keen to have a bit more room this year!
The festival arena was really well designed with loads of fun areas and plenty to see. Bizzarely there were intriguing bunkers dotted around the site – perhaps military ammunition bunkers in days gone by? They were made good use of – done up as bars, a cinema, a DJ booth… So we had plenty to see on our frequent rambles around the site between bands. One day we found a brass band playing YMCA on the pathway and another evening there were fire eaters performing by the giant letters.
The main stage was a grassy bowl hidden from the rest of the site by large earthen banks, hosting about five bands each day. The other two main stages started earlier and finished later and we spent most of our day drifting between them with the occasional detour for beer or food.
We also caught a few smaller bands on the Kytary stage, tucked away in a corner, mainly because we discovered the fabulous Beer Bus parked in a corner here, with different craft ales to try each day. Also up in that area was a decent sized swimming pool, a volleyball court, a mini comedy stage and a camel themed beach bar with real sand!
Food wise it was a bit of a letdown. There were two main food areas, both with pleasant sitting areas, but everything was meat based! The only veggie options seemed to be a chickpea curry on the Indian stall, a goats cheese burger on the posh burger stall or hummous and avocado on toast on the avocado burger stall. Sigh. I did discover the best chips in the entire world though. Honestly, I don’t even like chips that much, but these were to die for.
As usual we saw as much music as possible and over the course of the weekend went from headbanging to Moldovan metal core, jumping up and down frantically to Bring Me The Horizon, to dancing round our backpacks to Rudimental, to getting very sweaty in a packed Qemists (drum and bass) tent. Surely that’s the best thing about festivals – suddenly you turn into a person who enjoys metal hardcore!
After three exhausting but really fun days we headed back to Prague on the Sunday morning, not due to fly out until 9pm on the Monday. Sightseeing time!
I’ve visited Prague twice now, but Beck was an excited first timer and keen to see a lot. We did a lot of walking, admiring the many beautiful buildings, getting lost in the old town and of course ending up in a couple of craft ale bars. Pivovarsky Klub in the Karlin district near our hotel was great, with six beers on tap and over 240 bottled beers. I discovered Primator, a brewery clearly named after me!
What I love most about Prague though is its random collection of sculptures found literally everywhere. No walking tour of a city is complete without the odd bizzare sculpture but Prague is littered with them. I’ll leave you with my three favourites…