The Festival Must Go On: Prague Spring Festival To Welcome Live Audiences

Source: Prague Spring Festival

The Prague Spring Festival (Festival Pražské Jaro) is part of the Czech Ministry of Culture’s pilot program to reintroduce concerts with live audiences, under strict guidelines set by the Czech Ministry of Health.

The Prague Spring Festival concerts set to have live audiences are the opening concert on May 12th, followed by a rerun of the opening concert on the 13th, its annual debut concert on the 26th, and the closing concert on June 3rd.

“I’m happy that we will be able to organize a few pilot projects involving live audiences in the coming days, including the Prague Spring Festival concerts,” said the minister of culture Lubomír Zaorálek. “I’ll be even happier, however, when similar events become the norm, again, after this long covid break. While following certain hygienic guiltiness, of course. If all goes well, we may be able to enjoy these events outside towards the end of May.”

“The opening concert of this year’s Prague Spring Festival will be extraordinary in many ways,” said the director of the festival, Roman Bělor. “Artistically, because of the unique interpretation of Bedřich Smetana’s My Country by the Collegium 1704 ensemble under the baton of Václav Lux. In terms of its role in the pilot project, it is to become an example of how, despite the pandemic, it is possible to have live concerts – that, too, makes it unique.”

He added: “We trust that the very strict regulation and restrictions of these concerts will gradually be loosened, should the infections recede, and that we will eventually be able to return to regular concerts and social interactions.”

The number of audience members allowed in the auditorium is severely restricted. Audiences had already purchased tickets for the events, and were offered places in the reduced audiences based on how early they bought their tickets. All audience members will be tested through the laboratories contracted by the festival in such a way that their ticket is matched to their PCR test. An FFP2 or KN95 respirator must be worn at all times while in the venue. The audience members who agree to taking part in the pilot project are allocated new seats which are appropriately far apart.

“We will fully respect the decision not to participate in the pilot project. In those cases we will refund tickets in full,” the Prague Spring Festival’s spokesman, Pavel Trojan, assured.

The Prague Spring offers over 20 concerts this season, all between May 12th and June 3rd. The concerts will all be available online for free, some will also air on Czech Television and Czech Radio. Regardless of the success of the pilot project, all concerts will take place, even if only through livestreams.

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