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‘We take pride in hosting international talent’

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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Game on for Czech fest Rock for People

Organisers of Rock for People, one of the biggest music festivals in the Czech Republic, has announced plans for an interactive, 3D virtual festival, Rock for People in the Game, on 31 January.

Open to anyone with an internet connection, webcam and microphone, Rock for People in the Game will allow fans to explore the festival area, sing along with both Czech and international performers, dance in front of the stage and interact with other attendees and festival partners.

The festival will act as a complement to, rather than a replacement for, the main, 30,000-capacity Rock for People event, which is scheduled for 10–12 June with performers including Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Weezer and more.

“It is not a replacement for summer 2021, but a unique get-together in a gaming environment”

“We will move our festival to the online world for one day. It is not a replacement for summer 2021, but a unique get-together in a gaming environment,” explains Rock for People (RfP) festival director Michal Thomes. “Those who know the Festivalpark in Hradec Králové can look forward to well-known places, from hangars to the runway, stages or even RfP merch to buy. You can dance, sing out loud, go to a bar, meet other visitors and our team.”

Festivalgoers will be represented by custom-created virtual avatars, while artists including Nothing But Thieves, Crown the Empire, Calva Louise, I Love You Honey Bunny, KennyHoopla and RedZep will play short concert sets.

Despite the events of 2020, Rock for People promoter Ameba Production was able to organise some 25 club and open-air concerts, as well as the Rock for People Home and Kefírek festivals, while showcase event Nouvelle Prague went online. Rock for People, which celebrates its 26th edition this year, is sold out.

 


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Ticketmaster acquires Czech Republic’s Ticketpro

Ticketmaster has acquired Czech primary ticket agency Ticketpro.

Ticketpro, founded in 1992, is based chiefly in the Czech Republic and Poland, and has also licensed its TicketSoft software to agencies internationally, including in Hungary, Belarus and Chile.

The acquisition will, says global market leader Ticketmaster, offer it the “opportunity to extend its international ticketing business activities into another key central European market […] as well as complement the development of its existing business in neighbouring Poland”.

“The live entertainment industry continues to flourish,” says Ticketmaster International president Mark Yovich. “There are more events taking place and artists on the road than ever before, coupled with increasing demand from fans across the world. Acquiring Ticketpro enables us to better service our clients in central Europe while providing a world-class service to the many fans in these countries.”

“This is an exciting time for the business and the live entertainment industry in this part of the world”

Serge Grimaux (pictured), the outgoing CEO of Ticketpro, adds: “Having started our business in the Czech Republic, Ticketpro has established a proven track record in Central Europe and many emerging markets around the world. Combining this with Ticketmaster’s global scale and reach will ensure that Ticketpro continues to provide an even better experience to its current fans, while attracting considerably more.

“This is an exciting time for the business and the live entertainment industry in this part of the world. For me, it is the end of a ticketing journey which has lasted over 25 years.”

According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2016, Ticketpro rival Ticketportal is currently the largest ticketing company in the Czech Republic, “thanks largely to its exclusive deal with the O2 Arena in Prague”.

 


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