This past weekend, over 40,000 were drawn to Ostrava, Czech Republic for the outdoor music festival Colours of Ostrava. The four-day long festival has grown in popularity each year since its debut in 2002. While locations have changed since its first year, the festival has been held at Dolní oblast Vítkovice, the site of a former metal factory, since 2012.
This year, the festival included a total of sixteen stages featuring multi-genre performances including music, slam poetry, film, and other various workshops. Festivalgoers wandered around the abandoned factory grounds and took in the towering chimneys and massive gas tanks left over from when the factory was in use. The rusted structures were decorated with glowing art pieces lit up by black lights, something that added a modern touch to the industrial scenery. Food vendors lined the rocky walkways offering a wide variety of foods ranging from Asian noodles to homemade cheeses. Along these pathways also stood small clothing vendors and artisans.
Among the many artists anticipated at the festival, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters attracted the most hype. The former Led Zeppelin lead singer attracted what seemed to be all in attendance Saturday night to the main stage during his hour-long performance.
While Plant held the spotlight with his distinctively aged voice, fellow band members Liam “Skin” Tyson and Juldeh Camara, playing guitar and ritti, respectively, contributed unequivocally to the performance. Among the songs performed were new tracks from the band’s upcoming album, “lullaby and...The Ceaseless Roar.” At the end of the performance, Plant emotionally thanked the audience for their support and enthusiasm and then apologized for being “cheesy.”
Among those in the crowd were young adults and older individuals who had likely come to the festival simply to see Plant perform. After all, entry for ages sixty-five and older was free.
Preceding Plant on the main stage was Angelique Kidjo, a Beninese singer with a powerful voice and contagious dance moves. Between songs, Kidjo spoke to the audience about empowering women and world peace.
Organizers and attendees alike were lucky to experience beautiful, sunny weather during all four days.