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‘We take pride in hosting international talent’

The Czech Republic's 40,000-cap Rock for People will welcome the likes of BMTH and Keanu Reeves' Dogstar in 2024

By James Hanley on 10 Nov 2023

Muse at Rock for People '23


Rock for People is retaining its four-day format and international focus after unveiling Bring Me The Horizon as its first headliner for 2024.

Promoted by Ameba Production, the 40,000-cap Czech Republic festival will return to Park 360 in Hradec Králové from 12-15 June. It expanded from three to four days last year when returning from its pandemic-enforced hiatus.

“Fans come first with us, so when they let us know that they wanted Bring Me The Horizon the most, we did everything we could to make sure they got their wish,” says festival director Michal Thomes. “Booking bands is not a simple thing at all, a lot of circumstances have to come together correctly, such as the band is touring that year, it suits the date and so on. So I am very happy that we managed to do it.”

Three headliners are still to be announced, while other acts confirmed so far include Avril Lavigne, Corey Taylor, Parkway Drive, Pendulum and Keanu Reeves’ band, Dogstar. Four-day tickets start at €156.

“Seeing Dogstar perform with the stellar Keanu Reeves on bass is a dream come true for me,” adds Thomes. “We tried to invite the band back in the 90s, but it didn’t work out and the band was not active for almost 20 years. We are even more happy that it finally happened.”

Founded in 1995, the festival featured in IQ Magazine‘s recent list of ten of Europe’s brightest independent gatherings. Its 2023 line-up starred the likes of Slipknot, Muse, Architects, Machine Gun Kelly, The 1975, Papa Roach, Billy Talent and Nothing But Thieves.

“We take pride in hosting more international talents than local acts, setting us apart from other Czech festivals”

“We take pride in hosting more international talents than local acts, setting us apart from other Czech festivals,” said booker David Nguyen. “Our event emerged as a charitable festival in the quaint town of Český Brod. Its inaugural edition garnered an unexpected attendance of 1,100 visitors, catalysing the journey that lay ahead.

“The resounding success of this modest beginning propelled Ameba Production to elevate the festival into a full-time pursuit, ultimately establishing it as one of the foremost festivals in the Czech Republic. Notably, the event’s evolution prompted a pivotal relocation to the former military airport in Hradec Králové in 2007, a decision that was driven by its burgeoning popularity.

Nguyen acknowledged the increased complications for independent promoters around rising production costs and “skyrocketing” booking fees, in addition to some artists choosing to work exclusively with multinationals, but also noted the benefits of staying indie.

“Remaining an independent entity offers us the freedom to execute our creative vision without constraints, enabling us to curate a unique and authentic experience for our attendees,” he said.

Ed Sheeran will also perform a standalone show at Park 360 on 27 July next year, staged by Ameba Production in conjunction with FKP Scorpio, as part of the Rock for People Concerts series. Tickets, which will include the Park 360 Fan Zone, located in the immediate vicinity, are priced 1,990-2,990 CZK (€81-122).

“I am very happy that we can organise a concert of such a personality and unique musician as Ed Sheeran. The fact that he has chosen Park 360 for his show in the Czech Republic, which is also home to our Rock for People festival, is a huge honour and a milestone for us,” adds Thomes. “It’s proof for us that we are really pushing ourselves every year and our venue can compete with the world’s great arenas.”

 


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