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United Islands, Nine Gates and Český Krumlov turns 700

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Prague’s islands and the surrounding areas will host three days of music from 18 June during the annual United Islands festival. The venues are Střelecký island, Žofín, Mánes Hall, Kampa and Jazz Dock on Janáčkovo nábřeží. Among more than 90 performers coming from all over Europe are the German ska band Yellow Umbrella, the Luxembourg-based saxophone quartet Saxitude, Hungary’s Mitsoura band, known for a unique sound that blends Gypsy and Asian rhythms with electronics, and the Almasäla project, which offers a new approach to flamenco. Entry to all events is free, including the club Night shows at selected nightspots on 18 June. You can also bring your bike and visit four of those spots as part of the June critical bike mass, which starts off from Jiřího z Poděbrad at 6pm.

You should be quick to catch up to the World’s fastest man, sprinter Usain Bolt, who will participate in Zlatá tretra 2009 (Gold Spike) athletic meeting, aside from other World famous athletes Czech Roman Šebrle and Barbora Špotáková. The event takes place in Ostrava today.

It’s a long way from Ostrava but you still feel like going out tonight? If you´d like to meet Czech rockers, come to Vyšehrad to see the line up of the final concert of the festival Vyšehraní. We recommend to wait for Vladimír Mišík, Ivan Hlas and the Blue effect´s performance.

If you are not tempted by rock but are still interested in contemporary Czech music scene, you should visit Thursday´s concert of Lenka Dusilová and Eternal Seekers starting at 8pm at Zahrada Kulturní centrum as a part of music festival of South Town in Prague starting today and ending Saturday. Their production is known as “new music” incorporating elements of classical music, world music and jazz.

Toxique, a Prague band playing a mix of retropop, souljazz, grooverock, is very fresh and new. Inspired by Amy Winehouse, Gwen Stefani, Moloko, Morcheeba they come to Šapitó in the park at the FK Victoria stadium Tonight at 8pm.

Bratři Ebenové band, three brothers who play folk music, and are also original and fun, play at Šapitó on Thursday. Both performances are part of the concert series Tribute to Zuzana Navarová (Pocta Zuzaně Navarové) taking place this week.

If you prefer Jewish music, you can take part in one of the concerts and theatre performances of the Festival NINE GATES 2009, which is dedicated to Czech-German-Jewish culture. Starting at 7pm at the Valdštejnská Garden on 24 June you can visit the performance of BURNING BUSH, a British group interpreting Jewish music playing traditional instruments or CHASSIDIC SONGS PROJECT from Slovakia. The festival runs from 15 until 26 June .

If music is not what you’re after, check out some of the films that have just come to Czech cinemas: The Hangover is a road movie about a group of friends coming to L.A. for a stag party. You will laugh from the start until the very end.

Bigger than ever, the Prague Museum Night will provide free entry to 25 cultural institutions and 51 sites around the city starting at 7pm on 20 June. Free transportation will shuttle visitors between venues, which, in addition to regular exhibits, will offer other features, including marionette performances, a fashion show, a short film presentation, theatre and midnight jazz music at the National Theatre. The doors will close one hour after midnight.

If you are ready for a trip outside of Prague for the touch of Czech history, you can visit two events taking place during the upcoming weekend: Český Krumlov is definitely worth seeing and particularly in this time of year as the town celebrates its 700th anniversary. Slavnosti pětilisté růže (Five-Petalled Rose Celebrations, part of coat of arms of the town) brings town back to the 14th century. Krumlov bursts with historical music and dance, there are parades in historical costumes, fireshows, medieval market. You can meet charming ladies from old days and their knights, skillful jugglers and poor beggars. The events take place from 19 to 21 June.

A similar event takes place west of Prague on the same weekend. The Royal Silvering of Kutná Hora (XVIII. Královské stříbření Kutné Hory) is an annual Gothic festival taking place in Kutná Hora, famous Bohemian medieval mining town. Spectacular scenario brings the royal mining town of Kutná Hora 600 years back to the beginning of the 15th century.

Can´t make it to the medieval celebrations but you still want a bit of history and to get closer to the nature? The celebration of the summer solstice Finlandia Midnight Sun might be the thing for you on June 25th at Branická louka close to the Vltava river. In the company of Finnish metal rock band Apocalyptica playing on chellos; Support Lesbiens, a Czech rock band and followed by DJ Lucca’s spin.

And finally, wine lovers might appreciate the Wine festival Open Cellars – Otevřené sklepy. To enjoy wine tasting of Moravian wines come to Moravská Nová Ves during the upcoming weekend.

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