It happened ... Exactly 5 years ago, our Chief presented the U.S. President Barack Obama a gift – festival T-shirts...

April 8, 2009 15:47 |       PRAGUE - President Barack Obama received a gift from the Chief of Trutnov music festival Václav Havel and his warriors. The T-shirt bears festival symbols and the image of the Chief of the dissident times.

The photo of Václav Havel in a T-shirt with the words USS Forces was taken at the time of his longest imprisonment in the late 70s and 80s. In 2007, when Trutnov Open Air Music Festival was dedicated to Václav Havel, the organizers used the photo for the traditional festival T-shirt with the inscription Trutnov loves Václav, Václav loves Trutnov.

"We, the festival warriors, presented Barack Obama with a T-shirts with Indian feathers, Festival emblems, the Apache Chief Geronimo, who was the last resisting warrior on the warpath, and especially with who else but the image of our Chief Václav Havel," says the festival founder Martin Věchet. "In the 80s, the faded photo was hanging on the wall of the boiler room and only a few people knew who this guy was. When the boiler house was demolished in the early 90s, I took it off the wall and away."

"Only recently we managed to find out that the author is a friend of ours, the Jára Cimrman Theatre actor Jan Kašpar, who took it at the turn of the 70s and 80s of the last century," Martin Věchet says about the history of the photo. In 2007, when Trutnov Open Air Music Festival organizers dedicated it to Václav Havel, they got the idea to place it on the festival emblem with the words: "Trutnov loves Václav, Václav loves Trutnov." The T-shirt was given to Václav Havel as a gift of the organisers to their Chief, and it can only be bought at the festival.

Close and likeable

"We are fascinated by the fact that a country which was in its early stages based on the 'Holocaust',oppression and murder of its native inhabitants, the Indians, can a hundred years after the death of the last resisting Apache Chief Geronimo have a black American as its head, and that he is even ecologically minded. This indicates a great change in the thinking of America and the world. Especially the ecological issues of the great Obama are very close and likeable for us,“ say the organizers.

"Michelle, the wife of the U.S. president, and his children were also given T-shirts with a simple image - a small sign Trutnov Open Air Music Festival with Václav Havel´s signature and the typical heart," says the organizer of the festival Eva Navrátilová. How Obama himself commented the present is kept secret by the organisers, but they expect that their Chief Václav Havel himself will briefly mention it in the Festival samizdat, which is issued each year, or during the festival, which will take place at Bojiště on August 20th to 23rd. This year will be dedicated to Jan Palach, Jan Zajic, Ryszard Siwiec and Master Jan Hus and it will be subtitled “to Geronimo and all the people of the American Woodstock '69”.

Disconnect power, spray with liquid manure

Václav Havel is a regular visitor and he initiated the Open Air Music Festival Trutnov, the oldest and most legendary festival of its kind in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is the only festival in Central Europe that was in 1987 dispersed by the former Secret Police of the totalitarian regime and that still continues to exist. To this day it is visited by thousands of people every year. It enjoys widespread popularity and is mainly known for its unique atmosphere and community spirit. It is characterized by the fact that there is not only the music and distinctive dramaturgy, but that it also respects ecological principles, traditions and context.

In 1987, the Secret Police arrested the organizers, the house was cut off the electricity mains and the land was sprayed with manure. The apparatus was luckily hidden in the barn belonging to Václav Havel, who had a cottage nearby, and the participants, who had come from all over the country, were chased around by the police two days. In 2007, twenty years after, the Open Air Festival was dedicated to Václav Havel, who was on the stage decorated with a real Indian headband and proclaimed the festival Chief.