5 stages with live music and 3 DJ stages. Over 120 artists will perform at this year’s Mighty Sounds festival. Although, apart from Dub Pistols, the headliners are mainly punk bands, ska fans will also have their share of fun.
Ska and reggae at Mighty Sounds vol. 16
If we look only at bands from our scene, it will turn out that the organizers of Mighty Sounds have prepared a set of well-known artists.
There’s no need to introduce the veterans of American ska, The Toasters. The slogan of their tour this year is “Four decades in ska”. Its European part, planned for spring, was canceled due to the pandemic. It’s a pity because Bucket and company were supposed to play several gigs in Poland. Let’s hope that in the summer they will perform with doubled energy. The Toasters plan to release a new single this year, so keep your ears open.
Another legend of the third wave ska, Mephiskapheles, also comes from the United States. They released their best-known albums in the 90s – “God Bless Satan”, “Maximum Perversion” and “Might-Ay White-Ay”. Last year, they recorded a self-titled EP and this year they’re working on new songs.
Mark Foggo has also been active on stage for a long time. Last year, he put out a new album, “Ska Pig Returns”. Its title refers to the singer’s debut – the album “Ska Pig” from 30 years ago. Mark has been living in Thailand for some time and he recorded a video for an absurd song “Dum Diddy Die” there.
Ska-punks from The Offenders also released a new album last year. “Class Of The Nations” sounds more street punk than its predecessors, has a lot of folk elements and for the first time in the band’s history mandolin plays one of the main roles on the record. We’ll probably hear some new songs during the festival.
Yellow Umbrella has many fans on this side of Europe. They will be pleased not only with the band’s festival performance, but also with information about the new album. The German ensemble has been working on it since the beginning of the year.
It’s impossible not to mention one of the festival’s headliners, Dub Pistols. Although this is not the kind of Jamaican music we like best, their shows are an amazing experience.
After 20 years in the music business, the Swiss band Open Season has returned to its roots. Their new record, “Rocksteady” (released in February), reminds their fans that they started their career playing old-school Jamaican rhythms. In the following years they added other inspirations to this base – dancehall, electronic sounds and, as on the previous album “Boombay”, Indian music. Which ones will they emphasize during the festival set? We’ll find out in July.
Slovaks from Polemic are also a team proven in battle. They have been playing ska for over 30 years and are one of the most recognizable Slovak bands in the world. In their homeland they are as popular as No Doubt in the United States. They also have a large group of fans in neighboring countries, so it’s not surprising that from time to time they come to Mighty Sounds.
Finally, it’s time for local bands. Green Småtroll can also be seen quite often at Mighty Sounds. Which is not a reason to miss their performance. This is the only opportunity to hear early reggae and rocksteady infused with ska-jazz at the festival this year.
In turn, United Flavor‘s music is a real cauldron of various inspirations. Central Europe meets Spanish and African influences, and music of Latin America meets soul, reggae and hip hop. On a daily basis, I don’t look for this type of sound, but I’d like to check out how the band performs live.
Other concerts worth seeing
The list of bands from our scene isn’t very long, and the festival lasts 3 days and also has a lot of other music genres to offer. My must-see set besides ska and reggae consists of Social Distortion, Dropkick Murphys, Royal Republic, Dwarves and The Baboon Show.
Mighty Sounds – essential info
This year’s festival will last from 10 to 12 July. It takes place at the airport in the suburbs of Tábor, which lies south of Prague. You will find accommodation in the city or at the festival campsite, which offers several options (including one that allows you to come to the Czech Republic without camping equipment). Drivers can use a large parking lot, but you can also get there easily by train.
The choice of food and drinks is always wide. Showers and hot water are available, which is not always so obvious at subcultural events (even in 2020!). I’ve been to Mighty Sounds many times and each time I felt it was a well-organized event.
All the detailed information, including ticket prices, can be found on the event’s website.
Photos: promo materials