August 3, 2021

On the roof, but with the comfort of a park: such was the Karlovy Vary Top RoofTop fest. The Vltava and Beata Hlavenková also played

Carlsbad. The city of healing springs, tourists, spa wafers, cash payments, … but also the home of the Top RoofTop fest, which took place for the sixth time this year. This time on Milady Horáková Square, right in front of the city hall. And even though it didn’t look like it at first glance, it was still on the roof.

Under the square – or perhaps a park – there is a parking house. As stated by the organizers, this was the only place in Vary where the postponed sixth year of the festival could take place without embezzled your name. In this respect, definitely a happy choice – even from an epidemiological point of view, which measures still hang over the organizers like the famous Damocles’ sword. The result, however, was enough space for everyone, a relaxed atmosphere, comfort and well-being. And even the luxury of two separate stages – the main one, the classic one, and the side one, which was created in the City’s Architect’s Office. It was actually a glass cuckoo, which also served as a small gallery. In addition, there was plenty of space for movement and stalls, for example with the Supermarket WC recycling workshop.

© Jiří V. Matýsek /

The dramaturgy of Top RoofTop was – for the festival with a voluntary entrance fee and in the city center, where passers-by should also be attracted – pleasantly brave and avoided poster-attractive names. Although some performers, especially those hidden in glass aquarium, they had to fight for a bit of attention and unfortunately even broke through through the constantly sounding tuc-tuc from the food stand (excellent by the way!). It started right there, with the local The Sidewaves, the discovery of the talent competition Top RoofTop Talents 2021. They were content with little – only guitar, cajon and ethereal singing. Their pleasantly absorbing clever pop deservedly garnered enthusiastic applause from the audience. We will hear more about them. As well as the seven-member group Funky Monx, which did not lack drive or enthusiasm, but before they were able to switch from rehearsal mode in ZUŠ to concert mode, it took them a while. Back to the cocoon, to Aiko. This globetrotter crosses geographical and musical boundaries, and in Karoly Vary she played a captivating set, the atmosphere of which was also helped by the play of light and shadow, which was conjured by the sun leaning to the west. This mood, albeit in a slightly different style, was followed on the main stage by Beata Hlavenková and her Band of Dreams. It was played from the still current album “Sně”, but also from the repertoire of the older project Eternal Seekers. The relaxed, supra-genre performance blended beautifully with its dreaminess with the evening atmosphere, but it seemed to have to fight too much for the audience’s attention. That was, after all, a small problem all afternoon and evening. With the exception of the final Vltava, the music served quite often, except for a handful of faithful under the stage, as a pleasant backdrop for the opportunity to meet, to be outside again, to enjoy it.

Top RoofTop Fest 2021 - Vltava
© Jiří V. Matýsek /

The penultimate performer was Mirka Novak, a jazz singer, but this time she came with a one-woman show and only managed with her own voice and its layering with a looper. Also very captivating, fresh, but mainly evoking enthusiasm both for the gradually growing group of listeners and for the concentrated performer herself. The Vltava is a certainty and did not disappoint even in Karlovy Vary. Her performance was different in at least two respects than the previous one. The backbone of the set consisted of songs from the new, as yet unreleased album “Spass Muss Immer Sein”, which should be released in the autumn. They worked live on the first good, as well as already proven hits, which is a good sign. The second element was an improvised jam with the working title “Robert changes the string”, by which the band filled the technical break needed for the activity mentioned in the name. The jazz nipple was as entertaining as the bittersweet world of Vltava songs. Great point and actually the only well-disassembled big beat that was performed at the Top RoofTop fest. After last year’s break, the return of outdoor concerts is a pleasant refreshment. Let’s enjoy it. These smaller events have their unique, relaxed charm, which summer monsters can no longer completely draw. And the Karlovy Vary Top RoofTop fest is a relaxed show that fulfills the definition of a pleasant family festival perfectly.