Thursday, September 16, 2010

Adventure #79 - The Colours of Ostrava Music Festival

Last summer, I spent a day at the Sziget Music Festival in Budapest, Hungary.  It was an amazing day and I wanted to stay to enjoy more music and the people, but time was short and we needed to head to another place on the map.  So I decided that I would go to a festival in Summer 2010, for the whole festival.

After a bit of discussion, Chloe, Maddy and I decided that we would find a festival somewhere in Europe for our summer reunion.  We were looking at a few different options, all in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.  We finally decided on The Colours of Ostrava festival in Ostrava, Czech Republic.  The line-up only had one band that I was really excited about, Hawk and a Hacksaw.  But there were other bands that looked like fun, like Iggy Pop and Regina Spector. We purchased our tickets and borrowed a tent, all the ingredients for a great long weekend full of music.

We got off the train and went into the festival area.  Rather than the Czech guards telling us that we could go around to the camping area, they made us dump out our bottles of alcohol and water.  We chugged some Becherovka before going in, such a shame to throw away half the bottle!  After 2 attempts to find the perfect spot for the tent (ants are NOT my fave insect!), we finally found the perfect place to call home for the next few nights. 

Thursday evening brought a refreshing rainstorm that killed the heat and humidity of the day.  Friday dawned bright and hot with more humidity that made us run to sit in the river for a few hours.  Another rainstorm made the music of the evening much more enjoyable.  Saturday started as the hottest day of all, 38C/100F with 90% humidity.  This was also the day that we had back to back shows planned from midday.  When the clouds started rolling in that afternoon, we all breathed a sigh of relief, believing that the heat would disappear after a bit of rain.  After changing into our evening wear (ie warmer clothing) we headed of to see Hawk and a Hacksaw.  After about 20 minutes the rain started to fall and we just kept dancing in the rain.  After about 10 minutes, the band was told to stop playing, because there was too much water.  We all looked like we had showered in our clothes, so after 20 minutes of hiding under a tree (I know, NOT the safest place to be in a thunderstorm) we decided that the rain had slacked off enough that we could head back to the tent for dry clothing.  All music had been stopped because of the storm, so we missed several groups we had wanted to hear, although we did catch the last few songs of The Cranberries.  The rest of the evening was spent hiding out in random places, avoiding the rain.  The tent had some minor leakage, but it was easily fixed.  Sunday opened with clouds and cold weather, the temperatures dropped to 16C/60F.  These temps made the regular bathing that we had done with the hose quite invigorating.  We partied Sunday away until the wee hours of the morning and packed our stuff back into our packs for Monday.

Did hear some pretty cool music though, like the South Korean drum group pictured above.  Let me know if you want any of the names of the bands that I saw :)

I would say that this was a pretty tame festival compared to my 16-hour stint at Sziget.  Maybe it was because we were pacing ourselves...maybe it was the oppressive heat...anyway, I wouldn't trade the Colours Festival for any other.  My Monday afternoon lesson made me feel like a 13-year old boy in the middle of puberty, after the screaming at all the shows, but it provided me with an excuse to slack on my teaching for the day!

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