Concerts in the studios, the teachers’ room, or in the courtyard of a former school. In April, the sixth edition of the SHARPE music festival and conference will take place in the iconic premises of Nová Cvernovka in Bratislava. In addition to young musical talents from all over Europe, the organizers have once again invited numerous music experts. In this way, SHARPE creates a space in Slovakia for the presentation of music not only for fans but also for the professional audiences and organizers from all over the world.
The SHARPE festival will begin on Thursday, April 20, and will last until April 22, 2023. Visitors can look forward to concerts and music education. „I am pleased that we have been able to confirm the first wave of artists and professional conference participants several months in advance. For three days, six stages will offer a variety of alternative and progressive music genres, from electronica to synth and digital pop, to rock, postpunk, jazz, and experimental music. The conference will feature quality experts, and I am happy that we can bring a world legend of music mastering to Slovakia,“ says the SHARPE Festival director Michal Berezňák.
The first of the confirmed bands is the Polish duo Wczasy (PL). In their music, they combine Polish cold wave with synth-pop hits in the style of the 80s and 90s. Strong emotional Polish lyrics, original video clips, and live concerts have made them famous among fans of alternative music. Their debut album „Zawody“ was called a manifesto of the new generation by some critics. Their latest album „To wszystko kiedyś minie“ was included in many lists of the best albums of 2021, including a poll by Gazeta Wyborcza.
Another confirmed band for the SHARPE Festival is the German band HOPE (DE), which is considered the most promising German band of today. They are characterized by digital pop and resemble the intensity of Portishead. After their performance at the Eurosonic Festival, they were hailed by the media as a new avant-garde pop wonder.
Slovakia will be represented by the alternative and progressive band Vojdi (SK). The trio from eastern Slovakia will offer harmonic progressions full of soft vocals.
PLANETA POLAR (LT) will come from the Baltics to make the fans dance. A Lithuanian trio singing in Spanish will present a repertoire of Latin American carnival songs that one would rather expect to hear in the Caribbean than near the Baltic Sea.
The list of the first announced bands is completed by another interesting performer – Jozef Krupa Quartet (SK). „It is a truly unique fusion of avant-garde jazz, free improvisation, and contemporary chamber music,“ the Jazzport website recently said about them.
Germany will also be represented by PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION (DE). It is said that the German capital still remains mysterious, weird and strange thanks to their live performances in Berlin. PDOA go back to the fearless eccentricity discovered by Berlin-based artists and collectives in the 1980s. Their music combines soulfulness and sinfulness.
The garage-rock band Small Town Life (SK) is joining the Slovak representation at the SHARPE Festival. Their music stands on the border between the grime and hardness of the 90s and the naive pop melodies of the 60s. They complement their blend of guitar noise with raw vocals.
Young Matěj Dvořák will come from the Czech Republic to present his project BoLs/sLoB (CZ). In his electronic work, he draws inspiration from the British post-club scene, rap and modern pop. An authentic charge of genre mix makes BoLs/sLoB one of the most talented personalities of the Czech electronic scene.
The last of the names confirmed so far is the project of the Slovak duo Jana Drábeková Kočišová and Filip Drábek called Päfgens (SK). They were based in Slovakia, Warsaw and are currently based in Berlin, where they released the album Der Regen this year.
SHARPE differs from other music events in its vision to contribute to the quality of the domestic music infrastructure by promoting education, development, and cooperation. The organizers realize this vision through the conference, which is an integral part of the festival. In this way, SHARPE creates space for professional discussions, workshops, and both official and unofficial meetings between artists, music experts, and fans.
The first confirmed guest of the expert section is Vlado Meller from Slovakia, a world legend of music mastering. After emigrating from Czechoslovakia in 1969, he went on to become a leading sound engineer in the USA. During his lengthy career, Vlado has mastered thousands of hit albums for artists from all around the world, here is just a small sample mastered by Vlado Meller: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oasis, George Michael, Johnny Cash, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Julio Iglesias, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand and many, many more. „I read an interview with Vlado Meller in some Slovak newspapers and I couldn’t help but be surprised. That’s when Mišo and I said that this is exactly the story we are looking for and that we want to present to our visitors at SHARPE. Vlado Meller proves that it does not matter where you were born and that you can make it, even if you come from a country as small as Slovakia. How? Hopefully, Vlado will tell us at the festival in April,“ says Tatiana Lehocká, Festival Conference Director, about the confirmed guest.
The second confirmed guest of the SHARPE conference is Oliver Rehák, co-founder of the magazine 3/4 revue, the festival of contemporary music Next, and the cultural center A4 in Bratislava, where he worked as a music dramaturge. He played in the band Lunárne legendy, which is now called Regale. He works as an editor and reporter for the newspaper Denník N.
In addition to announcing the news, SHARPE has also launched the pre-sale of tickets for the 2023 edition in two variants. FESTIVAL PASS for the music section starts selling for €29 (early bird). PRO PASS, which allows entry to the entire festival, i.e. the music section and the conference, costs €59. Tickets can be purchased on the SHARPE Festival website (here).