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For many people, visiting music festivals is an inherent part of the summer experience. Even small countries like Slovakia are offering top quality summer music festivals. The bonus point is that they are not so overcrowded and overpriced as other major festivals around the world, and you can definitely explore local music scene, which can be a very pleasant experience. I have selected the top five music festivals that are happening summer in Slovakia.
The last weekend of June, the capital of Slovakia turns into a hip hop music hub. The best hip-hop artists and musicians from Slovakia and the Czech Republic gather ever year in Bratislava - Zlaté Piesky to celebrate the hip-hop culture. Besides, Zlaté Piesky is a perfect location for a summer music festival, held in the lake area, so you can swim or sunbathe. Also, it is located close to Bratislava airport, so no need to deal with complicated transport. Tickets cost usually around 40 euros. So, if you are interested in this music genre, this is the place to be. The main headliners come often from countries like the USA. Other artists are mainly from Slovakia and the Czech Republic, but it doesn’t affect the quality. In fact, quite the opposite. After the Velvet Revolution in former Czechoslovakia, hip-hop culture really grew over time. In the past, it was forbidden, so there was really strong underground hip-hop culture, and it was very popular among young people, since it was something illegal and rebellious. And those artists who once were not accepted by the government and society, now turned into professionals.
The same weekend as when Hip Hop Žije is organized, also a rock music festival called Topfest takes place. It will cost you around 45 euros, if you buy tickets in advance, and slightly more on the spot. The festival takes place in Nové Mesto Nad Váhom, which is approximately one hour away from Bratislava. This part of Slovakia is particularly beautiful, so after the festival is over, you can stay and rest for another day or two. There is a lake, a cave and historical castles like Čachtice, Beckov or Tematín. So, plenty of things to do. But now, back to the festival. If you are a fan of rock music, I suggest you check out the line-up because you might know a few familiar faces. The main stars of the festival are often the big names like Slash or Limp Bizkit, but many foreign rockers will come as well. And of course, you can also expect the best of Slovak and Czech rock scene. I am pretty sure it will be a hell of a show!
Pohoda is the biggest summer music festival in Slovakia. They don’t limit themselves to one music genre. You can expect rock, punk, folk, world music, reggae, ska, pop, jazz, rave and various genres of dance music, folklore, but also classical music. It is held every year in Trenčín airport, usually the second week of July. The price might be quite high – 100 euros, but it is worth every cent. It is really the major festival in Slovakia, and several music and lifestyle magazines listed Pohoda as one of the best festivals in the whole of Europe. The most notable artists that once visited Pohoda are The Prodigy, Solange, M.I.A, Die Antwoord and many more. But Pohoda is not only about music, it is more about the atmosphere. Pohoda in English means peace, good times, relax…and this is it! If you are interested in discovering why is Pohoda Festival the best summer experience in Slovakia, check it by yourself.
Grape is a very popular, mostly indie and electronic music festival. Grape Festival gradually grew from originally a small event to one of the biggest music festivals in Slovakia. Its effort to present less known artists from home and abroad is gaining positive feedback. Grape Festival was ranked among the ten best small festivals in Europe. It is located at the former airport of the spa town Piešťany. The reason behind the name of the festival “Grape” is the town of Piešťany is in a wine region of Slovakia with a lot of vineyards. The price is around 60 euros for a ticket, and it is a three-day festival held on the second weekend of August. What is interesting about the festival is that there is always an (optional) dress-code. It is always announced few weeks before the festival starts, but for example, in the past years, it was innocence, tribe or spa. Well, creativity has no limits! At least not in Grape Festival.
Last but not least is the Uprising Festival that happens at the end of August. Uprising Festival is mainly about reggae music. It takes place in Bratislava, Zlaté piesky, just like Hip Hop Žije. I told you, it is an ideal place for a summer festival. Tickets cost around 40 euros. There are not many reggae festivals around here, so Uprising is the biggest one in the whole region of Central Europe. That means people from neighboring countries will come here as well, and you can expect a pretty international atmosphere. Reggae is for many people not just music, but it is the whole lifestyle. That is why Uprising is also not only about music, but there are many other activities and performances included in the program.
There is something for everyone, whether you like hip-hop, rock, electronic music, indie or reggae. Festival season in Slovakia is pretty diverse, and all of the mentioned top five music festivals are the best in its category. Visiting one of the local summer festivals is a great way to truly enjoy the country, its people and art.
Cover Photo © credits to iStock/Cesare Ferrari
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