Mezi Ploty (Between the Fences)

If you’re in Prague at the end of May, be sure to spend at least a day at the Mezi Ploty music and theatre festival. On May 28 – 29, the Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital is opening its gates to the public for two days of performances by some of the Czech Republic’s best musicians and actors. This year, Sunday’s line-up is, in my opinion, the strongest because of all its high-energy bands: Divokej Bill, Insania, and Southpaw, alt-dance bands Nana Zorin, Roe-Deer and Skyline (tres cool website!), music competition champs 100°C and Aneta Langerova, and the mighty Psi Vojaci, among many others. Saturday’s looking pretty good too, with Plastic People of the Universe, Buty, Ohm Square (no website) and November 2nd, again among plenty of others, on the program.

I can’t say much about the theatre because I just go for the music. But if you have a strong enough grasp on Czech, the hospital grounds are chock full of plays put on by small theatre groups from around the country.

There are also plenty of wares to buy at Mezi Ploty, from crafts made by Bohnice patients, through CD’s by independent Czech bands, to all the great (and gross and greasy) food – the Hare Krishnas represent brilliantly in this aspect. Alcohol is not sold on the grounds, but you can bring your own booze. Along with your bottles/cans/tetra-paks, be sure to bring rolling papers (if you are so inclined) and an umbrella (for some reason it usually tends to rain during the festival weekend).

One of the things that makes Mezi Ploty so special is the location (which, oddly enough is not indicated on the web site). Because it’s not a big stinking commercial affair, and because it’s on the grounds of a mental hospital. Some patients are permitted to get out and enjoy the festival, either with or without supervision. Some can be seen sitting in fenced off areas, staring, speaking, and waving at the passers-by. Then there’s the stage by the children’s ward – arms and legs and blank stares poking out of barred windows that get you thinking what put those kids in there, and wondering what they make of the brouhaha going on in their normally placid backyard (experimental hard rock and punk bands usually play here).

A ticket for one day is CZK 230 in advance (through Ticketpro, Ticketstream, or Ticketportal), CZK 260 at the gate. Proceeds go to the hospital. If going to Mezi Ploty for a day means skipping a meal or two, then give your gut a day off – it’s worth it.

May 2, 18:01 (Filed under: Prague events, Culture )

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