Hostyn Czech Festival

September 25. 2022

A few months earlier to the event, my niece said that she had found a place where Czechs gather for events and such, she had found it through a friend of a friend. After getting some info, they had mentioned that they have a coming event and are looking for musicians that play Czech music, and so she approached me. I took the info she gave and called them up… yup, they were having an event on the 25th of September, a Sunday. I offered my services and we made arrangements for me to perform for them, easy as that.

My next step was to pullout some Czech music that I had and get down to it… I had not been playing much for the last several months (what else is new), and I was very rusty. Setting myself down, I chose the program that I would be playing and got down to practicing as much as time, work and life permitted.

On the morning of the day of the event, rains threatened to ruin things, but then cleared up. The drive there was incident free and it wasn’t long before we found ourselves at the location on the “Rue Des Tczeches” (“Street of the Czechs”) lol. Once we found the location (a lovely location north of Montreal in a forested area, but complete with a nice covered stage), and oriented ourselves, I got right to the job of setting up my “bigger” setup with dual Bose 802-E speakers and my new all wireless setup. The sound test went perfectly and I was ready to go… almost. It was lunch now and people were starting to gather, but I had to build up my strength!

By that time my mom, sister, niece and aunt had arrived and we put ourselves in the right mood with a very traditional meal for lunch of dumplings, sauerkraut and generous slices of pork… and of course some nice Czech beer!

Time for me to play!

I wish I had taken some time to make some recordings, or at least have someone take some video, but that did not happen this time… but since I have been asked to come back next year, I’ll have more time to plan and make sure I have at least one video camera on hand to capture some of the event.

Bottom line was that my setup worked near perfect. It lost Bluetooth connectivity between the BK and accordion only once, and that was easily fixed by stopping the BK and playing the song “dry”, then taking 15 seconds to reconnect it in MIDIWRENCH and we were off again on the next song. Everything else worked perfectly. My one thing if I had wanted to improve the sound would be to add an external subwoofer for more bass and freeing up the Bose to play even louder, but I was loud enough for the needs… but a little more would not have hurt.

Real world use of my system… amazing, ZERO time lost between songs, in fact I can switch to the next song and next rhythm and 8X registration faster than I really need to, and it gives me time to interact with the people freely and without concern.

Things were going along super until the clouds arrived and the rains came, about 3 hours in to the gig. I was under a covered stage, so I was fine to continue, but the people dancing were getting wet. I thought “well, time to pack it up after this song”… but that did not happen. The more I played, the more the people sat there in the rain and applauded and danced and sang along right with me! After about an hour of that, and seeing that it was not going to stop, the afternoon was drawing to an end and we ended the set, thanked everyone as they started to leave and I slowly packed my things up.

It was a great day, very successful and we had a TON of fun!

I’m really looking forward to next year’s event and making some small changes and having more fun!