United Islands one of many big music festivals this summer

Rock for People, photo: www.rockforpeople.cz

The United Islands music festival, which starts in Prague on Friday, is one of many such fests taking place in the Czech Republic over the summer months. Outside the capital there are big festivals in Trutnov and Cesky Brod, as well as numerous smaller ones, ranging from hip hop camps to folk music gatherings.

This year's United Islands music festival begins in Prague on Friday. It runs for over a week but, in an unusual twist, takes place at three different locations, each venue focusing on a different area of music. David Gajdecka is one of the festival's organisers.

"We decided to start it because Prague is relatively boring in the summer, with theatres and clubs closing their doors. W chose to hold in on three islands because then you don't disturb people and you can have music all day. And the different styles mean people can really choose to listen to their own kind of music."

The first island is Strelecky ostrov, with the accent on world and folk music. The second is the nearby Slovansky ostrov, where you can hear jazz and blues. And the last is Branicka louka, which isn't actually an island, though it is near the river.

The British group Franz Ferdinand are one of the main attractions at August's Love Planet, which this year takes place not in Tabor but at Prague's Vystaviste. The other main headliners are Pet Shop Boys.

Outside the capital there are many, many other music festivals, with the best known perhaps August's open air festival in Trutnov, which began as an underground gathering in 1987.

Another huge fest outside Prague is Rock for People, which takes place in Cesky Brod at the start of July - the biggest name there is Manu Chao.

Otherwise there are dozens and dozens of other, smaller festivals, ranging from, hip hop camps to folk music events to house music at a castle in south Moravia.

And this year's CzechTek should pass relatively peacefully - the organisers have just signed a contract to hold it on army land near Karlovy Vary, at the end of July.