About This Festival
The Premier Drum and Bass Festival
Let It Roll Open Air's organizers like to point out that their festival is the largest celebration of the drum and bass genre in the world. Impressive as that may be, it doesn't do justice to the more than 200 international DJs and electronic artists who descend on the festival each summer. For fans of electronic music who may be wary about attending their first festival in a foreign country, Let It Roll Open Air provides an ideal entry point into the global scene. Located just outside Prague in the Czech Republic, the fest's Central European location ensures a diverse fan base hailing from places like Spain, the Netherlands, and, of course, England, where drum and bass first took root during the early '90s. As with any festival that focuses primarily on a single genre, Let It Roll Open Air is constantly innovating new ways to spice up their lineups (not that three nights of hectic partying need much spicing up). To that end, the fest's organizers have invited iconic record labels like Hospital, Critical, Shogun Audio, and Dispatch to host their own stages.
Historic Open-Air Setting
When most people think of Prague, they think of historic Gothic architecture and landmarks like the Charles Bridge. Milovice Airfield, located roughly 25 kilometers outside the city, has an entirely different, but similarly fascinating, history. Though it now plays host annually to Let It Roll Open Air, the airfield was founded as part of a military base by the Austro-Hungarian Army in 1904. It went on to play important roles in both World Wars and was later used by Soviet soldiers before it was finally abandoned in the '90s.
These days, Milovice Airfield serves as the ideal home for a drum and bass festival that keeps growing every year. Easily accessible by train from Prague, Milovice's vast, wide-open expanses continue to keep pace with the festival organizers' outsized ambitions. The fact that the airfield area is free of mud, dust, and gravel is a nice perk, too.
Over the years, Let It Roll Open Air has become renowned for its visual effects as much as for the music itself, and the fest's late start times (the first acts tend to go on at 6 pm, while the last wrap up at 6 am) allows for plenty of strobes and laser shows to illuminate the night sky. As the festival continues to add new stages and test the limits of what might actually work, the visual component has evolved into one of the main attractions. In 2013, for example, the main stage famously came to life as a giant robot complete with flamethrowers and mechanical parts that moved in time with the beat. Now that record labels are regularly invited to host their own stages, the spirit of competition has only led to more wild light and fireworks shows, whether at the enclosed Madhouse stage or the expansive Factory stage.
On-Site Camping and Activities
Though Let It Roll Open Air is only about 45 minutes from the center of Prague by train or ticketed shuttle, many fans choose to camp out under the stars rather than trek back to the city in the early morning hours. While you might not get the best sleep in the world, the campgrounds offer some impressive amenities to help keep the party going, including drinking water, a non-stop bar, and large tents designated as "chill-out zones." Once inside the festival, fans can also take periodic breaks from the music and cool off with water-gun wars, table soccer contests, and tutorials on drum and bass dancing.
Winter and Touring Editions
More than 25,000 fans attend Let It Roll Open Air annually, but the three-day summertime festival isn't the only party the organizers have cooking. They've also begun to curate single-day Let It Roll Winter events, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The lineups for these events give the summer festival a run for its money. Let It Roll also holds smaller touring events throughout the year, popping up at clubs in neighboring countries like Germany.
The good news about being located on an ex-military airfield is that there's near-infinite room to keep growing. The organizers of Let It Roll Festival have accepted that challenge, curating a bigger and better event every year. The reason so many people keep coming back (and bringing their friends) may well be the consistent quality of lineups. Though DJs like Andy C appear nearly every year, Let It Roll has no trouble attracting new talent to its many stages. Some past lineup highlights include Chase & Status, Camo & Krooked, High Contrast, Netsky, Pendulum, Wilkinson, Audio, DC Breaks, Ed Rush, Friction, High Contrast, Black Sun Empire, Metrik, Noisia, Spor, The Prototypes, Netsky, Dirtyphonics, London Elektricity, and Matrix & Futurebound.
PVA Expo Praha