Colours Of Ostrava might be renowned for its occupation of a UNESCO's worldwide heritage listed site, but the festival's consistently eclectic and impressive lineups carry an equal portion of its reputation.
Since the multi-genre marvel's move to Dolní Vítkovice in 2012, The Cure, Florence + the Machine, Tame Impala, The xx, Björk, Jessie J, and Imagine Dragons have all breathed new life into the industrial relic; similarly, 2020 will welcome headline performances from global icons The Killers, twenty one pilots, Martin Garrix, and LP.
And while the aforementioned names warrant your attention, there are countless artists spanning countless genres that make Colours Of Ostrava's lineup as much of a continual discovery as exploring the 24 stages dotted around its labyrinthine locale.
It's a sure-fire certainty you'll find your favourite new artists as well as seeing your current idols, so let's delve further into the lineup.
This soul duo from Austin, Texas are the 'real deal' so to speak. Evoking the acid-soaked soul music prevalent in the late 60s/early 70s, their eponymous debut album garnered widespread critical attention, with the duo receiving a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist this year.
It's live where the Black Pumas shine, however. Vocalist Eric Burdon plied his trade as a busker for nearly a decade before being recruited by guitarist and producer Adrian Quesada, and for good reason. Pulling shapes like James Brown in his heyday, Burdon merges effortless showmanship with powerful, gut-wrenching, and earnest vocals. It's soul music for the purists, but with enough invention to forge their own distinct style, drawing from psychedelia, Spaghetti Westerns, and heart-breaking balladry.
Another Grammy Award nominee, this time for Best World Music Album, Ivorian-born Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara has combined the traditional wassoulou music of her country with broader global influences for nearly a decade now.
Finding an admirer in Damon Albarn, Diawara has frequently collaborated with the likes of Gorillaz, Africa Express collective, and even Disclosure, likely due to her uncanny ability to collage sounds both old and new, be it via striking vocal intonations or guitar-playing virtuosity.
Tones And I
Easy-going indie-pop channelling the absurdist, playful stylings of Die Antwoord and Sia here from Australian upstart Tones And I; one of 2019's major industry surprises, her single 'Dance Monkey' became a bonafide phenomenon, topping charts in over 30 countries last year.
Clearly not one to take her meteoric rise to stardom too seriously, the former busker has an uncanny knack of writing frustratingly catchy pop songs that'll make you both chuckle and shuffle. One to see before her career goes interstellar.
This collective from the Democratic Republic of Congo have been making waves in Europe over the past year, bringing a communal, spirited energy to glitched out, rhythmic electronica. The result? A myriad of emotions and sounds that feel oddly frightening as it does exciting.
Meeting at a block party in their hometown of Kinshasa, each members individual contributions adds an altogether different vibe; KOKOKO! certainly feel like the kind of group that enter a party as strangers and leave as best pals.
Moon Duo (present. The Lightship)
Ripley Johnson plies his trade with both psych-rock band Wooden Shjips and spacey-electronic couplet Moon Duo, the latter being a duo with his wife Sanae Yamada which certainly helps with homesick blues and the toil of touring.
Clearly both a fan of cosmic day-tripping, the psychedelic pair interweave dizzying melodies with kaleidoscopic instrumentation and motorik rhythms; a perfect marriage. Prepare to explore another dimension with their A/V show 'The Lightship' at this year's festival.
Colours Of Ostrava 2020 takes place in Ostrava, Czechia on 15-18 July. Book your tickets and accommodation here.