Pilsen commemorated the anniversary of the liberation by the US Army by seven hours lasting live stream on Sunday May 3.
The virtual Liberation Festival Pilsen being broadcasted from the DEPO2015 creative zone watched 45 500 people. It started at 11 AM symbolically reminding the time, when based on the original program, the military parade Convoy of liberty was supposed to set out. The studio offered interviews, discussions, fly past by the American single-engine advanced trainer aircrafts Harvard, remembered the Liberation Festival Pilsen after 1989, the birth of the Convoy of liberty, stories of children of the American soldiers and of the Pilsen hotel owner Eugenia. The program highlight were the messages of the American and Belgian veterans, some of the being even live, for instance 95 years old member of the 16th Armored Division of the Army of the United States of America George Thompson, grandson of the legendary general Patton George Patton Waters or representing the 17e Bataillon de Fusiliers from Belgium, Luc Rensonnet, the son of the battalion commander George Rensonnet. For the very first time in the Liberation Festival Pilsen 30 years´ history the event had to be rescheduled into the virtual studio due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“To cancel this year´s celebrations being the half-round anniversary of top of that, was a really hard decision. We had to take this step for the very first time since 1990, when the City of Pilsen has started to commemorate the liberation by the US Army. In mid March the decision was taken to substitute the planned program by the virtual one. I would like to say thank you to all the people who watched the program and together with our, the most American city in the Czech republic, remembered the very tough regained freedom brought by the US soldiers in 1945. I promise, we will arrange the 2021 Liberation Festival Pilsen as prepared this year. Above all, I have got a personal wish, the most distinguished guests the American and Belgian veterans will celebrate the festivities with us”, said the Lord Mayor of the City of Pilsen Martin Baxa.
The virtual event could be watched at www.slavnostisvobody.cz webpage in Czech, English and French, on Facebook and youtube. 26 500 people saw the program on Facebook and Youtube, 17 000 was watching the webpage. “We were so happy for the 1600 followers from the USA and 450 watching in French”, added the Head of the marketing department of the Municipality of the City of Pilsen Jana Komišová.
Studio zamĺklých mužů was in charge of the technical program of the studio. “The entire staff taking care of today´s broadcasting consisted of 28 people, seven cameraperson, three sound engineers and two lighting electricians”, said Petra Krákorová. The 700 square metres space was divided into three stages, designed by Pavel Liška. One of them was arranged for interviews, the other for military vehicles and the third one provided background for Pilsner Jazz Band.
Part of the program was live wreath laying ceremony at the 16th Armored Division Memorial and the Memorial to the Czechoslovaks who fought on the Western front at Husova street and the 2nd Infantry Division Memorial at Chodské square. The wreaths were laid by the the representatives of the local government, the Lord Mayor Martin Baxa and Deputy Mayor Michal Vozobule.
The studio record may be played in Czech, English and French at https://vimeo.com/showcase/slavnostisvobody