Velvet Revolution 2019 is, historically, the largest celebration yet. In Prague, the program of the Freedom Festival was attended by 200,000 people. Concerts, discussions, and screenings were also held in 50 other cities throughout the country.
One of Prague’s exceptional events this year was the Velvet Procession, in which 11,000 people followed the memories of witnesses. Albertov, Wenceslas Square and Národní třída were visited by the most people in the history of the Freedom Festival, organized by citizens’ initiatives in Prague and 50 other cities around the country for the sixth time this year.
“Thanks to the participants it was a very dignified and sophisticated reminder of this important historical event,” says Jakub Vedral, one of the parade organizers. The official part of the parade program ended at the Vltava River, where thousands of visitors continued to the all-day Korzo Národní program on Národní třída, and in the evening attended the Concert for the Future on Wenceslas Square.
A total of 200,770 people passed through all Prague events. The data was provided by the mobile operator O2. “We measure anonymous data on the number of registered SIM cards on mobile transmitters in the given location – in this case, Albertov, Narodni trida, and Wenceslas Square. We then recalculate the results to the whole population. One spent at least thirty minutes in the measured location – people who even just passed the trams [don’t] counted,” adds Lucie Jungmannová, a spokeswoman for the company.
Albertov had seen an unprecedented weekend. On Saturday the streets of Chinaski sounded with Tomáš Klus, Voxel and the band ONLY. The visitors enjoyed a truly relaxed atmosphere and the whole program was peaceful. On Sundays, singing was performed early in the morning, student clubs and civic initiatives filled the street, presenting their activities there. Almost two dozen speakers performed on the stage,” Michal Zima commented on the course of the event.
Concert for the future
Filled with Wenceslas Square right from the beginning of the program was a video mapping at the National Theater building and special lighting effects of Tata Bojs. There were fourteen musical performances. “The greatest success of this year’s Concert for the Future is, besides the attendance, mainly the feeling that all citizens are taking home with them. Positive atmosphere, many strong ideas, and great bands. Grumpy fest Jan Gregar.
At Národní třída, there were more than 125,000 people. In the afternoon, the organizers had to shorten or cancel some of the 120 program points for safety reasons. Nevertheless, the program of celebrations was a great success, especially the screenings of Memory of the Nation prepared in cooperation with Post Bellum, Prayer for Marta by Aneta Langerová, or the traditional meeting with personalities in the Václav Havel Living Room.