Ostrava Earns Its Colours

The Czech Republic’s Colours Of Ostrava has come with something of a blindside run in the European festival market, taking the last decade to grow from an 8,000-capacity event mainly for national acts to a 30,000-capacity gathering for international acts.

Photo: Ivan Prokop

A couple of years ago Ostrava’s progress was hastened when it moved from a parkland site at the city’s castle, which was built in the 13th century to keep out the Poles, to a large former industrial estate in the Vítkovice district.

“We had to move because we were selling out the castle site and – when more people kept coming – we needed to and had the money to book more international acts,” explained Ostrava promoter Jirí Sedlák.

This year’s festival had 33,000 unique visitors but most had bought four-day tickets and the average daily crowd was around 25,000 per day.

That means the outdoor at Ostrava, the Czech Republic’s third-largest city, now rivals Rock For People as the country’s largest festival.

This year RFP had 30,000 per day.

The acts helping Colours Of Ostrava grow July 16-21 included Sigur RosThe KnifeJamie CullumThe xxTomahawkDamien RiceDub FX, and Inspiral Carpets.