In Olomouc, May is traditionally matched with the Majáles May Student Celebrations. This year marks the 11th year of the “reboot” of the festival, to take place on 2–3 May in two locations, at the courtyards of the Convictorium Arts Centre and the Armoury, with concerts by the groups Tata Bojs and 58G. There will also be theatre, workshops, talks, presentations by student and non-profit associations, and refreshments! One of the highlights of the programme will be a special Majáles “musical” tram. Theatre and film director and actor Miroslav Krobot is set to be crowned King of May.
“Spring is traditionally the time of youth and student merrymaking, and I’m looking forward myself to the positive energy with which our students charge the events. This year, the Majáles Olomouc Student May Festival will be part of our university’s 450th jubilee. Majáles is one of the high points in the calendar, together with September’s MeetUP, when we welcome the start of the new academic year,” said UP Rector Martin Procházka.
The main programme will kick off on Wednesday 3 May, but the organisers have already arranged a warm-up for the night before. The programme, located on the town bailey behind the UP Arts Centre (Convictorium) will offer a special thematic quiz connected with the 450th jubilee of the university, with a performance by the O.LI.V.Y improv group, and a concert by the group Mutanti hledaj východisko. Rapper and lyricist Jan Vejražka will be accompanied on the podium by instrumentalist Jiří Konvalinka and drummer Cyril Kaplan, members of the group Vložte kočku. DJ Endeeka will keep things hopping with a dance-after party.
The rich Wednesday programme of music, talks, workshops and presentations starts at 2:30 pm with the traditional coronation of the King of May. This year, the crown and sceptre will be handed over to theatre and film director and actor Miroslav Krobot. “We’re very glad that Mr Krobot has agreed to reign over this year’s student festival. In addition to the coronation in the Armoury courtyard, he will also take part in a talk show at the Convictorium bailey, where the moderator will be the Moravian Theatre Olomouc actor and former Queen of May Ivana Plíhalová. In honour of Mr Krobot, we’ve scheduled a screening of the film Kdyby radší hořelo [Somewhere Over the Chemtrails], in which he plays the fire chief,” said Barbora Plonka Schwarzbachová, head of UP Events, on behalf of the organizers.
The music programme in the Armoury courtyard will get off to a great start with the original melodic rock of Olomouc’s own Milenium, whose frontman is Daniel Režný, a fourth-year student in dentistry at the UP Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. Lead guitarist Juraj Marton is a UP alumnus and a practising dentist. “Sometimes we talk about changing our name to Toothenium,” jokes Režný. The Olomouc rockers will be followed by the Prague-Brno band Luciana, with their jazz and soul tones. “The genre mix this year is classic Majáles. Other guests Bert & Friends call themselves alternative pop, country, and jazz – whatever they are, there’s no doubt they’re original. They’ll be followed by rappers 58G who recently won a prestigious Czech music award. The stars of the show are Tata Bojs, a legendary Prague band still rocking on after an incredible thirty-five years through various genres,” said Anna Vytřísalová from the organisational team.
And music will be the driving force in an antique tram, which will ride the rails from 11 am to 3 pm on Wednesday 3 May on the no. 2/7 line from Neředín, taking on passengers to its rich cultural menu. “The antique Majáles tram will offer up a feast for the ears and eyes. The lead car will feature singers EvaH, Tomáš Krejčiřík, Pavel Košutek, and DJ Amathyst. The rear car will have a drawing exhibition, readings, performances by the student theatre group Kucmoch, and stand-up comedy against sexual harassment by the Konsent group,” said Daniel Kunz from UP Audiovisual Productions, who are arranging the tram’s programme.
An accompanying programme will take place in stands and tents on Bishop’s Square in front of the Armoury, housing presentations by student groups, university divisions, and non-profit organisations. Student “attendance books” will be distributed to be stamped at individual stands and then be entered for a chance at prizes. As mentioned above, on the Convictorium bailey there will be a talk show with Miroslav Krobot and a debate on destigmatising mental health, and workshops on street art and street dancing. A special programme for students on 2 and 3 May will be provided by partners of this year’s Majáles – the Proud Ropes Centre, Zahrada Bar, and Belmondo Club.
The programmes at the Armoury and Convictorium are free. More information can be found on the website www.olomouckymajales.cz.