Magazine article Czech Music

Boskovice-Exhaustion?

Magazine article Czech Music

Boskovice-Exhaustion?

Article excerpt

When the Boskovice Festival began eleven years ago, its mission was clear: to draw the attention of the public to the town's Jewish quarter and to help towards its restoration. It was not so much a question of direct financial gain. What the organisers wanted was to hold an unconventionally conceived festival, scattered at various locations and appealingly cutting across the arts, as a way of increasing the interest of the public in the town.

This year's walk through Boskovice showed that the idea had succeeded with flying colours. In deliberately giving visitors more freedom, the festival has even become a model for many other cultural events. You don't have to be imprisoned for several days in one fenced enclosure. Instead you are always on the move. You run down from the theatre castle to the photographic exhibition in the museum, then you head for the acoustic concert in the synagogue maior, nip out for an authorial reading in the Sokol sports centre and finally stroll down to the main music performance in the summer cinema. And I haven't even mentioned the wonderful morning fairytales.

It's a model that still works reliably, but it has entirely reversed the relationship between the festival and its town. Earlier the festival drew attention to the town, but now it is Boskovice that serves the festival. In many ways it is a happy end for the town, but it can be a little disappointing for the visitor. Why? The reason is that the festival is suffering from stagnant choice of acts. Somebody tried to calculate the average age of performers, i. e. the age of the groups appearing. It turned out to be dangerously high. Which of the bands is supposed to offer us something fresh in the way of dramaturgy? Phil Shoenfelt, Znouzectnost, Cinna or Michal Prokop, for goodness sake!? The organisers Unijazz have even already presented us once before with the main star, the Hungarian Trottel Stereodream Experience, The name should be changed slightly and used as a subtitle for the festival, i. …

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