Czechia is a festival republic. Seriously, if there was one place in the world that benefited from the knock-on effect of the Criminal Justice Bill and Prague’s synchronous acquisition of the crown of global 1990’s slacker capital, it was here.
Summertime in the Czech Republic is one festival after another, but one of the few to actually take place in Prague itself is the Mystic Skate Cup on Stvanice island. What started out as an open-air skate contest directly outside the Mystic Clubhouse tucked away under the railway arches back in 1994 has developed into an affair which also now takes in the vast lower plain of the island too.
The skating side of it consists of the massive street arena and elevated wooden bowl arena, both now mercifully protected by vast awnings.
Dropping down from the skatepark area, the festival stage relays the live action during the day and plays host to international live acts all three nights of the festival weekend.
The beauty of the Mystic Skate Cup is that it is not a pure festival experience: if you want to hit the trapdoor for two hours to get a beer in a riverside bar in the city proper, you can be clinking glasses in 30 minutes from floating the idea.
The crescendo of the skating always comes on Sunday’s finals, where the thousands of litres of ice-cold golden Pilsner get the heaving crowds sparked on every stunt and slam.
The organisers have already announced their dates for 2020’s summer extravaganza as being 26 – 28 June.
Don’t worry who the bands will be: it will be great anyway. History suggests someone who were big in the 90’s and a cult hip hop outfit followed by a local hero rounding out the weekend.
The clubhouse parties continues through Sunday night until Monday morning, but you are not contractually obligated to do likewise.
An easy and affordable way to see Prague and get a sense of the place as the locals experience it, I have lost count of how many Mystic Cups I have been to and wholeheartedly enjoyed every one.
My tip is to check in at Mystic late-ish Friday for a quick one (two) and see who is around before doing whatever takes your fancy in the nearby Florenc/ Karlin district where there are an abundance of decent restaurants and bars.
Saturday get to the park for late afternoon and make a session of it.
Sunday, stay for the finals and then hightail it into town for Sunday evening in the city to wind down.
Sunday evenings in European cities are a genre unto themselves, and Prague’s must be among the top three.
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