CzechTek was an annual teknival normally held on the weekend at the end of July in the Czech Republic. It attracted thousands of free tekno dancers from several European countries (40,000 people attended in 2003 and 2006). Open invitations were usually made to all sound systems, performers and all people with positive thinking.
Every year the festival was held in different locations around the Czech Republic. The festival was not the same as more commercial festivals such as the Love Parade or the Street Parade. It was usually set on ex-military land or in a meadow near a forest.
There was little or no organisation, since the idea of free tekno is based on personal freedom and responsibility. Although later teknivals required organisation due to large numbers of attendees. The style and image of the people was also different from that of the Love Parade's participants, it was more underground. Festivals were held on an illegally occupied grounds as well as properly rented. The location of the meeting was always revealed one day before the event on Czech rave websites.
The first CzechTek was held in 1994 at Hostomice, it was organized by the Spiral Tribe sound system and a group of artists called the Mutoid Waste Company, foreigners also prevailed among participants. Next year at the same location have already played the first Czech sound systems, especially still functioning Cirkus Alien sound system. It later developed into a great festival for tens of thousands of people from many different countries in Europe.
|Date||Location||Number of people|
|28 July – ? 1994||Hostomice pod Brdy||legal||at least 1,000|
|26 July - ? 1995||Hostomice pod Brdy||legal||at least 3,000|
|26 – 28 July 1996||Hostomice pod Brdy||legal||1,500|
|25 – 27 July 1997||Stará Huť near Dobríš||legal||5,000|
|30 July – 4 August 1998||Stará Huť near Dobríš||legal||5,000|
|30 July - 4 August 1999||Hradčany nad Ploučnicí near Ralsko||illegal||5,000|
|28 July – 2 August 2000||Lipnice near Třeboň||illegal||10,000|
|27 – 30 July 2001||Doksy||illegal||10,000|
|26 – 31 July 2002||Andělka near Višňová||legal||20,000|
|25 July - 3 August 2003||Letkov near Kopidlno||legal||40,000|
|30 July – 3 August 2004||Boněnov near Chodová Planá||illegal||20,000|
|29–31 July 2005||Mlýnec pod Přimdou||legal*||5,000|
|27 – 30 July 2006||Military Area Hradiště||legal||40,000|
In 2005 shortly after the start, the CzechTek festival was broken up by police. There were hundreds of injuries, and the police confirmed the death of a young participant. Reportedly he was "killed by a truck which left the site" but no witnesses were found to verify the police statement. The organizers of CzechTek claimed to be permitted to set up the event around Mlýnec (Tachov District), in the west of the country close to the German border.
However, around 1,000 riot police arrived, using heavy equipment including tear gas, water cannons and the military BVP vehicle stating damage of private property. They damaged cars, electronic equipment and other property. The standoff between police and public resulted in multiple injured on both sides. Police used massive amounts of tear gas and stun grenades, broke car windows with iron bars or threw gas grenades in. Protests arose outside the Czech interior ministry. The Czech president criticized the heavy use of police force. The Prime Minister, Jiří Paroubek, defended the action, stating that the tekno fans were "not dancing children but dangerous people".
Several months after the clash, all charges against police were dropped, in most cases this was due to failure to identify a policeman, some because there has not been considered an offense. In April 2006, there was a march followed by a free party in Strasbourg, France to protest against police repression in general and against the actions of the Czech police in closing CzechTek specifically.
On 14 June 2006 an agreement was signed between the Military of the Czech Republic and the Association of Czech Sound Systems. The festival was held on land which was part of the Hradiště Military Region. Close cooperation with the state administration caused some resentment on the part of the freetekno community. It took place without any repeat of the previous year's violence.
|Type of DIY party|
|Free party / Squat Party||Teknival|
|Music Played at the Parties|
Also see Rave music
|free tekno - drum and bass - drumstep - hardstyle - dubstyle - gabba - moombahcore - raggacore - jungle - industrial hardcore - breakbeat hardcore - breakcore - speedcore - aggrotech - hardbag - goa trance - bouncy techno - mákina - techno and trance|
As the co-ordinators stated (on the official site of CzechTek) after the last event in 2006, Czechtek has been discontinued.
In regard of fact that situation around Czechtek isn't bearable anymore, the representatives
of czech freetekno community came to this radical decision. This year, and very probably even never again, any action of size and under name Czechtek won't be realized.
And these are the reasons:
- step-by-step abolition of original thoughts of freetekno
- parasitic behavior of subject not connected to the scene including major part of visitors themselves
- disability and reluctance to respect elementary principles of behavior in shared space
Signed by: Oktekk, Strahov, NSK, AKA.IO, Komatsu, Spiritual, Mayapur, Layka, Pentatonika, Merkur, Fatal Noise, Matchbox, Luxor, Cirkus Alien, Vosa, Bazooka, Koryto, Shamanic, Zuqwa, Czajovna, Figura, Machine Works, Metro, Ultimate Crew, Basswood, Mutaphone, FDM, Jednota, TMC, NabaziGangoo, Massive Elementz, UANDU Tribe, MHD, Hondzik Sound, Witacid, Iluzor, Detox23, Pandemic, Spectro, Radiator, Swampsound, Gummo, EskanoiZZe, Tsunami, Yaga, Synthetik, MiMiK, Squakka, Mandala, Alkaline, Dynamodestroy, Triptekk, Tekkirk, Remek, FSS, Shadow cabaret, Invaders, Mushroom, Bassmekk, Swazarm, Techamin, Laydakk, Othersidesystem, Inkognito, T2B ...
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to CzechTek.|
- "Czech PM defends rave crackdown" BBC News, August 2, 2005, retrieved September 29, 2006
- "CzechTek 2006 to be Held Within the Hradiště Military Region" Czech Ministry of Defence, June 15, 2006, retrieved September 29, 2006
- One dead and over 50 injured as police spread chaos at Czech Tekno Festival "UK Indymedia", July 6, 2005, retrieved July 14, 2012
- "Policie po zásahu na CzechTeku vyhrává 9:0" (in Czech). iDNES.cz. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
- Official website
- Photos, maps and reports from all years of Czechtek (e-book)
- Photos of first party in Hostomice in 1994
- CzechTek WebLog CzechTek 2005 & Police intervention (Czech)
- CzechTek WebLog in English English section of CzechTek 2005 WebLog
- Czech freetekno party ended by police assault
- Techno festival turns to protest – Police, audience injuries show need for a tactics review, by Matt Reynolds, 3.8.2005, The Prague Post