Tame Impala, rocking it out at Colours of Ostrava.
In the northern corner of Czech Repbulic, only a few kilometres from the border of Poland, one music festival has emerged over the years to become one of the most exciting and unique events in Europe.
Spread out between the rusted steel of the disused Dolni Vitkovice ironworks factory, 13 eclectic stages host a collection of artists from all over the globe.
Some are household names, with the headliners being among the biggest musicians in the world, while others are picked from obscurity, relishing in the opportunity to showcase their phenomenal talents in such a diverse concert.
Where the music stops other art flourishes – influential and inspiring speakers from a variety of fields gather to share information in a series of culture and media.
This is a festival that has it all, without losing its connection to its roots. This is Colours of Ostrava.
Colours Of Ostrava
Known as one of the best music festivals in Europe, and set in one of the most unique venues imaginable, Colours of Ostrava has developed an enormous reputation since its inaugural concert in 2002.
While the big draw is obviously the international bands that flock from the all around the planet to crank out their hits, it’s the opportunity to see local groups from around Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland that makes Colours so incredible.
Known as the Melting Pot and Crossroads Showcase, these two events run alongside the main festival, and are every bit as epic as Colours.
The venue for this spectacular music venue is Dolni Vitkovice, the abandoned coal mine and ironworks factory on the edge of Ostrava, Czech Republic’s third largest city.
With blast furnaces spewing fire at night and twisted pipes and structures weaving around the grounds, this industrial scene keeps people enthralled long after the music has ended.
We were lucky enough to be invited to Colours of Ostrava and can honestly say it was one of the best music festivals we have ever attended.
Besides the epic headliners, catching bands like Circus Problem from Czech Republic and Volosi from Poland proved to us that some of the best moments from events like this come from the groups you would never have seen otherwise.
Here are our 50 favourite photos from Colours of Ostrava. Hope you enjoy reliving the experience with us!
“Drumstick, please?” A girl busts out a sign during Songhoy Blues.
The guitarist of Electric Swing Circus rocks out on the Drive Stage.
The sun sets over Colours of Ostrava.
Volosi from Poland blew our minds at the Crossroads Showcase. They were the award winners from the event, and after seeing their eclectic classical music they stood out to us as one of the most talented musicians we have ever seen.
Rocky Dawuni at Colours of Ostrava.
The view over Dolni Vitkovice from the top of the Bolt Tower. This is one of the most interesting music venues we have ever seen.
Circus Problem from Czech Republic were the real highlight for us from the entire Colours festival. A crazy mix of gypsy, disco, brass and Balkan pop music.
A young kid cools down in one of the many water misters scattered around the venue.
2 Cellos from Croatia absolutely killed it!, and had some of the highest energy of all the groups. Incredible covers of AC/DC, Michael Jackson and plenty more!
It’s impossible not to dance at Colours!
Inside one of the micro dance tents that kept bumping long after the last band walked off the stage.
Some people went all out with their costumes at the festival.
Music festivals in Europe are a great place to update your wardrobe. You can find all kinds of styles and fashions spread out over the venue.
Veterans of the EDM scene, Underworld, close the event.
Food stalls and art.
Famous Slovakian reggae band Medial Banana busting out the hits.
One great thing about Colours of Ostrava is how family-friendly it is. So many people brought their kids along to enjoy some of the best musicians in Europe.
Noreum Machi from South Korea. Fascinating tribal drumming that kept everybody mesmerised.
Happiness, despite the rain!
The ironworks factories and blast furnaces of Dolni Vitkovice made for twisted and captivated venue for the Colours of Ostrava festival.
Treacherous Orchestra from Scotland – another highlight!
In 2015 there was a heat wave during the festival, but in 2016 it rained almost the entire time. Still some people made the most of this inflatable pool once it opened.
Tame Impala from Australia on the first night.
A lone lady walks next to the Science and Technology Museum at the edge of the music festival.
We have been fans of Electric Swing Circus for a long time, and finally seeing them live was definitely not a disappointment!
The kids love selfies!
During Al Jawala’s set they left the stage and wandered into the crowd to party with their fans. There high energy tunes just got better and better as they lapped up the excited atmosphere in the mosh pit.
Czech Republic is famous for its delicious beer, but if you wanted something lighter there were also tonnes of wine bars and cider stands scattered around the venue.
It was great being able to see Mariachi El Bronx at Colours of Ostrava.
Another young kid loving the music.
We had plenty of friends email us and say ,”Don’t miss Songhoy Blues”. So glad we caught them – they were sensational!
A pop-up bar set underneath one of the old steelworks factories.
There were plenty of spots to relax and drink all over the venue.
One of the blast furnaces lighting up.
Colours of Ostrava was this good.
Clear skies and happy punters on the second day of the festival.
Strobe lights and a DJ.
Cheers from the crowd.
The main stage at night.
Climbing up for a better view.
It’s quite surreal to be dancing to some of the biggest names in the music industry with this as your backdrop.
Polish band Freeborn Brothers busting out their “gypsy hobo trash grass metal rockabilly punk” style of music.
Looking back on the main stage from one of the chill-out areas.
The medical team at Colours of Ostrava was first class. One young man tripped and seriously injured his leg while walking back from Of Monsters And Men. Within a matter of minutes paramedics and an ambulance had arrived and were taking care of him. Not something you ever want to see happen, but it’s good to know that there are professionals on hand in case of medical emergencies.
French powerhouse electronic group M83 closing the first night.
Happy crowds at Colours.
Electric Swing Circus from the UK.
Thank you Colours of Ostrava!
If you’re looking at heading to Colours of Ostrava this year and want to camp there, check out these festival camping essentials from our good friend Jones Around The World!
Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award winning writers and photographers behind this blog, and we have been travelling the world together since 2008. Adventure travel is our passion, and through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook
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