For those who thought Hip- Hop was dead, think again, it lives and breathes in the Czech Republic, where every August some of the greatest names in the industry gather for one of the biggest Hip Hop festivals in Europe, Hip Hop Kemp. A true feast of Hip Hop Culture, the festival has come all include all elements in its 12 year span, from emceeing, deejaying, beatboxing and graffiting to break dancing workshops and open mic sessions
First starting in 2002, its capacity has grown year on year, and now sees as many as 20,000+ visitors annually. Reaching out to an international audience, hosts include not only big time US and UK acts but also local talent from Czech, Poland, Germany and the like. Notable artists down the years have included, Wu Tang Clan, Foreign Beggars, Redman, Talib Kweli, Kano, Roots Manuva and Skinnyman.
Located in an old communist era airfield turned camp site, where gloomy hangers serve as stages, it’s a nostalgic reminder of Hip Hop’s dark, underground beginnings: where boom box’s were an essential, baggy jeans the in-thing and weed smoke a source of oxygen.
Attendees have the option of standard class and VIP tickets- the latter promising shower access, and entry into a number of exclusive bars on –site. Prices start at a mere €47, increasing as little as €5 month on month. Come August, you’re still looking at paying a measly €64 for a regular ticket, and €114 for VIP, which pound for pound makes it one of the cheapest festivals around. Comparable festivals worldwide include Splash (Germany), Rock the Bells (USA) and Boom Bap (UK)- neither coming close to Kemp in affordability nor variety.
This year’s star studded line-up ranged, Ce Lo Green, KRS One, Action Bronson, The Pharcyde, with generous doses of Neo Soul from the likes of Bilal and Madame Pepper. For those wanting a break from the performances , there is fun to had on the basketball courts, bungee jump rope, BMX park, merchandise areas, and three beautiful open air lakes.
To all you true Hip Hop heads out there who are only just discovering Kemp, make sure you rock down to Czech next summer!
For further information on the festival including how to buy tickets please follow this link: