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Rock for People Festival 2024 Review

News Rock For People 2024 Review

Are you ready to rock… for people?! From Bring Me The Horizon and Parkway Drive to Avril Lavigne and YUNGBLUD, this year’s Czechia alt. mega-fest is bigger and bolder than ever.

Rock for People is one of the biggest and most popular outdoor events in the Czech Republic, providing the highest quality music in a peaceful and friendly atmosphere. It takes place in Park 360 near Hradec Králové, 100 km east of the capital Prague.


While those in the UK are contending with a very muddy Donington, Czechia's Rock for People is a sun-drenched extravaganza of all things rock, metal, punk and every shade in between. As a record-breaking 40,000 fans descend on the old Soviet airfield – with bunkers repurposed as merch areas and swanky VIP lounges – it's quite the festival.



From Bring Me The Horizon’s otherworldly experience to YUNGBLUD’s genuinely heartwarming performance, to Delilah Bon’s feminine rage and SOFT PLAY’s rabble-rousing punk, to Dogstar’s leisure dad rock and Body Count’s all-out aggression, the four-dayer boasts one of the most exciting line-ups of the summer.

If you were there, then congratulations on having one of the best weekends of your life. If you weren't, you can relive it vicariously through our monster review below!


DAY 1 - Wednesday, June 12, 2024


Of Mice & Men

Of Mice & Men have been a band for well over a decade at this point, and their career-spanning set sure makes the audience know. Mixing new tracks like Warpaint and Castaway into other fan-favourites like Obsolete, O.G. Loko and Second & Sebring, those who grew up with the California metalcore crew can barely ask for more. As frontman Aaron Pauley commands – actually, demands – circle-pits from the enthusiastic crowd, the energy onstage and off is almost tangible. What better way to kick off a festival?



Aaron Charles Pauley of the band Of Mice And Men performs at Rock for People Festival 2024.
Aaron Charles Pauley of the band Of Mice And Men performs at Rock for People Festival 2024.

Enter Shikari

To a picture-perfect backdrop – a glowing sun and clear skies – Enter Shikari bound onto the main stage with almost lethal amounts of adrenaline and vitality that it sends shockwaves through a crowd still easing into the first day afternoon. Now filling Corey Taylor's slot after the Slipknot singer had to cancel last-minute due to illness, the St Albans electro-punks put the crowd's pent-up energy to good use with pits whirling like Catherine wheels for the entire set. Harnessing the power of the people, frontman Rou Reynolds tears his shirt off before hurtling into new setlist staples Giant Pacific Octopus (i don’t know you anymore), The Void Stares Back and A Kiss for the Whole World x. Truly one of the best live bands right now.



The Struts

Amongst all the Technicolor fury of the bill, there's still room for tradition, as The Struts bring the glam to Czechia. Harking back to the pomp and righteous rock’n’roll of Def Leppard or even The Darkness, campy and dramatic frontman Luke Spiller leads the show with unbridled charisma and a commanding presence. But beyond just the Derbyshire man's demeanour, his voice is surely the star of the show, showing both incredible vocal control and strength throughout as he switches between clean and gritty, including some jaw-dropping falsettos. Come for the frontman, stay for The Struts' fun and refreshing old-school sound.



The Prodigy

The sun is setting over the festival, and the moody, red tones create an an intriguing and almost mystical energy for Wednesday’s headliners. As The Prodigy enter the fray, the ambience heightens, as dark purple and blue lights cast an opposing hue on the audience, before the raving mega-anthem Breathe kickstarts an ironically breathless hour-and-a-half cacophony of chaos. Lasers dart around the stage, proving just how formidable a force Liam Howlett and Maxim are, with the latter getting amongst the crowd.

Firing through a 19-song set, momentum does start to dip as we enter the final third and the crowd start running on fumes, but the sheer intensity of tracks like Invaders Must Die, Poison and the timeless Smack My Bitch Up acts as a firm reminder of why The Prodigy remain so special.



DAY 2 - Thursday, June 13, 2024


Pinkshift

Despite being awake for 24 hours straight, filled with “manic energy” after a series of events that threatened to scupper Pinkshift’s performance, the Maryland pop-punks are nothing short of excellent. Their set is littered with old-school guitar solos and screaming vocals that almost tip the trio into post-hardcore territory, while also bringing a fusion of riot grrrl energy, tribal drums, killer breakdowns, and an incredible voice, Pinkshift blow their set out clean of the water – landing them straight into a gloriously hot spotlight.





WARGASM

People are flocking to the YouTube Music Stage for WARGASM; some walking, some jogging, a few even running. Fuelled righteous anger and rage, Sam Matlock and Milkie Way rampage through killer screams and dirty vocals in a hellacious harmony, and bring a new level of ferocity to an already rowdy crowd. With Sam calling for some of the biggest pits of the weekend – “Men, I’m sorry. I know you’re trying but size does matter… bigger is always better” – the pure entertainment of WARGASM is accentuated by the wit and attitude brimming between the pair.



Against The Current

Let’s take a moment to praise Chrissy Costanza, because she sounds exactly the same live as she does on record. Rocketing through a set that spans their pre- and post-major label output, Against The Current are playing like they have something to prove, as Chrissy provides some context before jumping into Blindfolded, talking about their less than ideal experience, and how it was the first song they wrote after becoming an independent band again. The chemistry between members remains unaffected, however, able to transform what's originally a lacklustre crowd into one that can't stop bouncing. The new era is here.



Bambie Thug

Our favourite Irish witch and activist takes to the stage for an artistic and theatric performance that is peak Bambie Thug. With fluid choreography, costumes and colourful lights strobing and changing with each song, the emerald enigma brings a show. We've long know the self-proclaimed ouija-pop artist is more than just a Eurovision curio, and with bangers like P.M.P. and Tsunami (11:11), alongside an impeccable cover of The Cranberries’ Zombie, they more than prove it. Making a moving statement regarding the tragedy happening Palestine and holding up a Palestinian flag throughout the entire song, they call upon the crowd to sing along as one. A highlight of the entire day.



Parkway Drive

As the weaponised audience kick up so much dirt that a thin layer has cast over the entire crowd, Parkway Drive have one mission, and one mission only: to get shit moving. And boy, do they. From their pyrotechnics to a raining halo of sparks, it's a set worthy of being on the main stage. With five separate circle-pits breaking out at once and drummer Ben Gordon giving it all like the rent is due, the Aussies' chunky and intense riffs lay down the ideal environment to fling some turf into the air. Accompanied by an entire string band and basically setting the whole stage on fire, this is Parkway at the very top of their game.



The Offspring

Merging the old with the new, The Offspring revel in their legacy while also unveiling some new cuts for good measure. Covering the Ramones’ iconic Blitzkrieg Bop before unloading their own classics, Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) and The Kids Aren’t Alright, the band are bringing something for everyone.

Popping that nostalgia bubble with the live debut of new track, Make It All Right, The Offspring are unpredictable yet enjoyable. The passion and intensity with which they play show they still love what they do, 40 years after their inception. Blasting out the evergreen hits in Original Prankster and Want You Bad to a deafening reception makes up for the lack of movement from the band onstage. Mind you, most people are too busy headbanging to see the stage, anyway.



DAY 3 - Friday, June 14, 2024


Hot Milk

Kicking off with HORROR SHOW, Hot Milk open the main stage with booming charisma that enraptures the gathering hordes. An incredibly cohesive music duo, singers Han Mee and Jim Shaw shine in their own right. Han in particular is energetic yet commanding with her commentary, letting the crowd know that they are, in fact, making her “wet”, before telling people to put their phones away before she “stomps” on them. Powering through tracks like BLOODSTREAM, OVER YOUR DEAD BODY and PARTY ON MY DEATHBED, it's a pure pop-punk party.



Delilah Bon

Brat-punk Delilah Bon brings the fire and rage to Rock for People, fusing nu-metal and rap sensibilities with serious attitude. Donning matching costumes and using props over on the Europa 2 Stage, the group (aka the Brat Pack) put on a head-spinning set with tracks like Bad Attitude, Chop Dicks, Evil Hate Filled Female – which is by far the crowd favourite – and Dead Men Don’t Rape. A moving and intense performance, Delilah showcases her very best with her incredible clean vocals and gut-wrenching screams for all of the festival to see.



Dogstar

After a low-key start for Dogstar, it quickly becomes clear why so many people are gathered at at the YouTube Music Stage: to witness the one and only Keanu Reeves. And it’s completely understandable, John Wick is playing bass in front of us, but unfortunately, that seems to be the only draw. The music is fairly decent, but it's lacking any real oomph for a festival like this. Still, everyone gets to see Neo in a band, which does feel like a glitch in the Matrix when you think about it.



Avril Lavigne

Despite sub-headlining the main stage on a Friday night, Avril Lavigne doesn't look massively bothered. Rattling off hits like Girlfriend, What The Hell, Complicated, Here’s To Never Growing Up and Sk8er Boi with minimal enthusiasm, the highlights are found within the many instrumental breaks. In the midst of a tour for her upcoming Greatest Hits album, it's sad to see the princess of pop-punk seemingly so disinterested in her back-catalogue. When it comes to the epic finale of I'm With You, we're not so convinced by the sentiment.



Bring Me The Horizon

Seeing Bring Me The Horizon in 2024 isn't really like watching a gig – it's an experience. Their insane stage production fully welcomes you into their world, with sensational lighting, AI characters and giant video game screens. Oli Sykes' voice is pristine as he roars through Teardrops, Empire (Let Them Sing), and MANTRA, as the Czechia crowd respond with the wildest pits of the entire weekend – more and more somehow spring up in the blink of an eye.


Sum 41

An emotional yet excellent set, Sum 41 grace the stage for the last time in Czechia at the end of day three. Closing their performance with a mesmerising firework show by way of a well-earned send-off, the band are engaged, warm and energetic. Like The Offspring a day earlier, it's a heady mix of new material and golden oldies, weaving Heaven :x: Hell tracks Rise Up and Dopamine amongst rock club faves Fat Lip and In Too Deep – they even cover Seven Nation Army and Smoke On The Water for good measure. As Deryck Whibley’s infectious smile beams out from the stage, it's a set of laughs had and tears shed. You will be missed, guys.





DAY 4 - Saturday, June 15, 2024


Palaye Royale

A surprise set announced the night before, Palaye Royale claim the main stage as their own. With the great charisma and charm of frontman Remington Leith emphasised by his excellent vocal performance, Rock for People is wrapped tightly around his little finger. It's an emotionally-charged performance from the well-dressed trio, and one that sees Remington surfing on the crowd's shoulders in a dinghy and climbing the rafters like a madman, it's impossible to take your eyes off him. We can't wait to see what they come up with at Wembley.



iDKHOW

Channelling something akin to Arctic Monkeys and Pulp, iDKHOW give Rock for People the full indie-alt.rock treatment – with added funk flair. Frontman Dallon Weekes dons a big brown blazer and funky beach shorts for perhaps the most out-there fashion combo we've seen all weekend, as he serenades the masses with GLOOMTOWN RATS, WHAT LOVE? and Social Climb. As black beach balls are unleashed onto the crowd, Dallon gleefully sings about how it sucks to be an opening band. Don't worry, he gets the irony.



YUNGBLUD

YUNGBLUD’s main stage headliner is also a standout, thanks to the genuine love and passion that Dominic Harrison has for music and his fans, as well as the level of production and finesse that’s gone into this show. Czechia is in the palm of his hand as he rockets through FLEABAG, Anarchist, Lowlife and LONER, bounding around stager like Flubber on roller skates.

From getting off the stage and to the barricade to hug and high-five the audience, to bringing one lucky fan onstage to play with him – and later gifting them the guitar – to telling fans to “put on [their headphones], and I’ll be there,” the kind of positive energy pouring off the stage only emphasises the passion and love YUNGBLUD has for his music and his fans. The perfect way to close Rock for People.



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