“Adventurous music festival” Pop Messe brings big alternative names to Brno
One of Czechia’s biggest alternative music festivals, Pop Messe, takes place in Brno this coming Friday and Saturday. The third edition of the event has a slightly different venue but, with names like Spiritualized and Young Fathers, boasts perhaps its strongest lineup to date. I spoke to Pop Messe’s founder Tomáš Kolar.
“It’s an adventurous music festival of popular music – and music that challenges the notion of pop music – kind of situated against an urban dystopian backdrop. That’s the festival in a nutshell.”
This year who are some of the biggest acts people can look forward to?
“The biggest acts are Young Fathers, who’ve just done a really storming show at Glastonbury for a huge massive crowd, and Spiritualized, which is a kind of a space rock band from the UK.
“Ireland are sending over a fantastic band called Gilla Band, formerly known as Girl Band. There’s also Hudson Mohawke from LA, a Scottish producer now living in LA.”
What about you, who are you most looking forward to seeing?
“I’m looking forward to seeing Tommy Cash again, because we kind of got really friendly last time and we’ve invited him over again. He does a storming show, so I’m looking forward to seeing him.
“Also I’m looking forward to the aforementioned Gilla Band, and Spiritualized, because I’ve been listening to Spiritualized since the age of 15 really.”
Previously the main venue for Pop Messe was the pitch of this old stadium in Brno, Za Lužánkami. Is it the case that you no longer have the use of the stadium?
“Yes, we’re not allowed to go onto the pitch itself, although that’s not really a pitch any more, it’s a jungle. And due to the fact that it’s become kind of dangerous to use some of the parts of that stadium the Town Hall has decided to close the stadium for these purposes. But they have kindly given us the surrounding area – the car parks and various other nooks and crannies of that site; it’s quite a big site.”
So where will the main stage be for the festival?
“The main stage will be just next to the stadium, facing the ‘90s relic Bobycentrum, which is a big 2,500 capacity hall for concerts. So we will have an indoor and an outdoor large capacity stage at the festival.”
Putting on a festival like Pop Messe is obviously a major undertaking. Do you get much support from the city or the region, or anybody like that?
“Yes, it is funded primarily by the city, although funding has been reduced, like I presume anywhere else in Europe, due to the situation that we’re in currently.
“But yes, it still remains the main donor of funds for the festival. So that is a great help and that basically helps us build this size festival. Without that funding we wouldn’t be able to build any of those stages or have a festival this size.”