What events should you get excited about in the first half of 2022?

Although Pilsen was the European Capital of Culture back in 2015, it remains a city that never sleeps and always has something exciting going on. All year long it offers an assorted range of cultural events. We’ve chosen a few of them in advance that you definitely shouldn’t miss out on in the first half of the year, and that’s whether you’re travelling alone or with the whole family. Pilsen will soon be offering extraordinary experiences, starting with cultural and music festivals, and continuing with gastronomical and beer celebrations.

Smetana Days (March 3-23)

The first to get lovers of classical music and art excited is the festival Smetana Days, which, as one of the leading cultural events in Pilsen, commemorates the legacy of the composer Smetana, who’s known all over the world chiefly for his symphonic poem The Moldau. You can choose from the varied programme of well-known local works with a traditional flare as well as intimate and genre-free concerts. This year’s festival will begin with the symphony From the New World by Antonín Dvořák, performed by the outstanding violinist Alban Beikincher and the Pilsen Philharmonic.

BLIK BLIK Light Festival (March 25 -26)

The BLIK BLIK Light Festival is a unique experience from the world of contemporary visual arts, thanks to which various parts of Pilsen are brought to light each year. Don’t let this unrivalled spectacle pass you by while out on a night stroll. For this year’s festival, a path awaits you that joins the cultural area of DEPO2015 with Republic Square. And it’s here, right in the newly reconstructed St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, that you’ll find the largest and most distinct audio-visual light installation known as Metamorphosis.

Treffpunkt (April 22-23)

The Bavarian celebration we know as Oktoberfest is traditionally held in Germany as September turns into October. Since it’s not quite autumn yet, you can ease your time waiting by attending the Czech-Bavarian festival Treffpunkt in Pilsen. In DEPO2015’s creative zone, two Bavarian beer gardens come to life with delicious Czech and Bavarian beer, traditional sausages, pretzels, and other Bavarian specialties. Plus, there will also be a music and cultural programme from both sides of the border.

Liberation Festival (May 5-8)

Every year at the start of May, Pilsen imaginatively returns to the year 1945 during the Liberation Festival, where arriving guests and locals, together with war veterans and their family members, commemorate the city’s liberation by the American army. The Liberation Festival offers a diverse, multi-day programme that includes historical military camps with examples of the soldiers’ and civilians’ lives from that period, a convoy of historical military vehicles, thematic cultural events, and commemorative gatherings at the WWII memorials.

Fresh Festival (May 21-22)

The Fresh Festival is the largest gastronomical event in the region. Every year in the park behind the Plaza shopping centre, restaurant and bistro stands and food trucks appear, offering the best homemade, outdoor cuisine as well as current worldwide cooking trends. During this two-day festival, you can visit the wine zone with its taste testing options, the beer zone and its live music and beer tastings from the micro-breweries, and even the bar zone where you can enjoy delectable cocktails while relaxing on a beach chair.

Metalfest (June 2-5)

In Pilsen, the start of June belongs to the popular metal music festival Metalfest in the Lochotín amphitheatre. After having taken a pause due to the pandemic, this year lovers of heavy metal can make their way to Pilsen from all over central Europe. Here they can expect 4 days of the world’s best metal music. At Metalfest, world-renowned bands such as Running Wild, Eluveitie, and Slovakia’s Symfobia traditionally take the stage.

International Folklore Festival CIOFF Pilsen (June 8-12)

The multicoloured folk costumes, the live music, and dancing drive folklore companies from the Czech Republic and abroad to Pilsen for the International Folklore Festival. Visitors can listen to the traditional instruments and songs from around the world, revel in the colourful traditional costumes, and become convinced that folklore still lives on. Each year the programme also includes local ensembles, folk music from Moravia and Slovakia, and exotic guests with a completely different idea of folklore than us.

The Night of Opera (June 24 and 26)

Only once per year does Pilsen’s amphitheatre fill with both opera lovers and extraordinary experiences. The Night of Opera is a unique event put on by the J.K. Tyl Theatre and held under the starry sky. As the theatre season is coming to an end, this theatrical show not only offers a top-notch choir but also a magnificent scenic show. This year, a grandiose stage performance of the famous opera Macbeth by Giuseppe Verdi is on the programme. The Night of Opera will be followed by an open-air musical performance Elizabeth on June 26.