Respect world music festival kicks off in Prague on Thursday


The Respect festival, which begins in Prague on Thursday, is probably the biggest world music event in the Czech Republic. Deirdre Bourke asked organiser Borek Holecek who were the biggest names on the bill, and how the Respect festival - now in its seventh year - had changed since it first began.

"It will be for example Shane McGowan and the Popes. We chose him because his punk versions of Irish folk tunes, influences, were kind of world music even before it was given that name.

"Then we have another, new project on the European world music scene, it's Electric Gypsyland, for the first time on the stage with a dj, so it's kind of a cross-over project. Another example are Sidi Goma, which is a black Sufi African tribe, which has been living for 800 years in Gujarat, India.

"I would say that even though we have Shane McGowan or Electric Gypsyland as highlights, the programme of the festival is not really made like one headliner and the rest. But I would say each band will play a full set, and each band has something original.

"At the beginning we were based at Prague Castle area, but those days are gone, so for the second year we are at Stvanice island. The other way how it's changed is generally, I would say, the beginnings were more oriented on music from the roots, the traditional music more.

"Now it's more open to crossover elements, with today's music. World music generally is too young here for this kind of specialisation, it should be much more open."

You can find out more about the Respect festival go to