A Palaver At Sazava

Czech Republic: Borek Jirik from Berlin-based Transmusic said Sazava Festival organisers need to be sure of where they’re heading if they want to avoid the confusion that preceded this year’s event.

The 9-year-old festival appeared to have grown as far as it could with local acts and wanted Charm Music, a partnership between Transmusic and Istanbul-based Charmenko, to build it as an international event.

However, despite having sponsorship from O2, Mastercard, and Sony Ericsson, the event strained its relationship with U.K. agents by altering its entertainment budget after negotiations for acts including Roisin Murphy, Stereophonics, Tricky, and British Sea Power were at an advanced stage.

It pulled out of discussions with those acts and went for Client, Sister Bliss and Roni Size, supported by local acts. The result was this year’s three-day gathering attracting roughly 1,000 less than the 27,000 who attended last year’s two-day event.

It hasn’t damaged the business relationship between Transmusic and Charmenko, which is developing a solid network in the Balkans and the old Eastern Bloc, as both agree the event needs to be more certain of its aims in the future.

The other international acts experiencing a bit of a palaver at Sazava July 31 to August 2 included Transglobal Underground, The Young Gods and Joan As Police Woman.