Zizkov celebrations

We live 100 meters from the city hall in Zizkov (Prague 3) and Tuesday was Masopust in Czech which means goodbye meat – they last day before lent.

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In Zizkov this is celebrated with people dressing up and walking in parade from Jiho z Podebrad to Zizkov city hall where the city provides free food and beer. So we had to check it out.

As in other Christian celebrations, Masopust has elements of much older traditions involving fertility rites and celebrating the coming of spring. In Masopust these elements take form in the masks and costumes traditionally worn by revelers, representing various mythical characters and creatures. Like the guys in this video with wipes and strange face paint and costumes:

Later on the parade made it down to the town hall and the party got an extra lift from the free beers and food that plenty of teenagers and hobos also seemed to enjoy. Here is a cheeky Czech guy who offers Femi a drink of vodka and then later asks him for money:

Because of the cold weather (sigh!) we only stayed for one beer and by then we had seen a lot of the gimmicks. A funny thing was the odd mix of people with old women, students, young school children, expats and tourists – everyone with a big smile on their face.

Wednesday offered more entertainment in our neighborhood as Helge, a Danish friend, had invited us out to Akropolis. An Nigerian artist calledTony Allen was playing afrobeat with his band.

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It turned out to be a fantastic concert and Akropolis has great atmosphere much in the same way as Vega in Copenhagen. After the concert we all went to a bar to celebrate Helges birthday, more people joined and the good times continued. We were about 8 or 10 Danish speaking people so it almost felt like being home.

In 10 hours Im on the plane to Stansted. Ann and I are spending a weekend together in Cambridge :)

Great festival is over

LOC and friends

I think this was my 5th or 6th year at Roskilde Festival and this year was definitely one of the better ones. We had awesome weather, there was some great bands and some new discoveries and some well known artists that delivered more than expected.

My favourite concerts this year was probably Veto a fairly new Danish band (or new to me I should say).

The old rockn’roller Neil Young was amazing playing both his slow songs like Heart of Gold as well as the more energetic rock songs where the old man was jumping around on the stage. Rapper LOC on the picture above had a great show and loads of great songs.

Tina Dico and Teitur my two favourite singer/songwriters were both playing on Orange Stage, the biggest stage, which was not really a good choice in my opinion. However I enjoyed both concerts and they are both very skilled performers so they pulled it off in my opinion. Oh, and a reccomendation; Tina Dico has a cool Vlog/Tour Diary on YouTube – honest, funny and down to earth look into the life of an artist, start here.

Radiohead and Gnarls Barkley also had some enjoyable concerts.

Quiet Camp

I was at the festival for 9 days and lived in a tent which is always an interesting experience since the rest of the year I sleep with a roof over my head. Living outside you notice the clouds, winds, stars and birds a lot more. For the first time this year I stayed in the volunteers camping instead of amongst the commoners. Its a world of a difference. In the regular camping areas people live close, they put a lot of effort into their camps with flags, banners and even portable sound systems. However it also gets very dirty and a lot of places the party goes on all the night and I must admit that Ive gotten a bit older since I visited the festival the first time in 96. The coolest camp I came across this year was the cow camp.

The cow camp

Thanks to cousin Rikke for getting me the job, thanks to the rest of the people in our camp for good times we had and thanks to the people organizing for a great festival in general :)

Sunset over Orange Stage