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Festival season, offering exciting concerts, is one of the highlights of summer in Latvia, held in the most beautiful locations – on the beach in Liepaja, in picturesque Sigulda and other historical towns and, of course, in the concert halls and outdoor venues in the Latvian capital - Riga.
Latvia is the right place to enjoy truly fantastic festival atmosphere. Moreover, ticket prices are affordable compared to festival heavyweights that take place in, for example, United Kingdom and Denmark.
Positivus, the largest and most popular of music festivals in the three Baltic States, gathers an audience of 35,000 in the coastal town of Salacgriva in July every year. Groove to good music in great company, breathe in the refreshing aroma of a pine forest and catch the lazy sunsets on the beach. Headliners in previous years have included Muse, Scissor Sisters and Fatboy Slim. The festival’s atmosphere is “relaxed and international” as it well-attended by fans from the neighboring Baltics, but not only.
Fancy a party right on the beach? Summer Sound, held in July every year on the white sand of Liepaja, is the place to enjoy summer to the fullest. Listen to local and foreign performers and dance till dawn!
Skanu Mezs, called the festival of adventurous music and related arts, every October gathers experimental music performers, artists and filmmakers from many countries. The festival has a diverse program open to both pop musicians and performers of classical music. It moves to a different location every year, taking the audience to new places not yet overtaken by the mainstream public, such as the historical movie house Splendid Palace.
In June, the Riga Opera Festival, featuring local and foreign star performers, is traditionally hosted by the Latvian National Opera at the close of the season every year. Also, in August, picturesque Sigulda becomes a focal point for opera fans when the ruins of the majestic castle there serve as backdrop for outstanding opera stars, choirs and orchestras during the Opera Music Festival.
Song and Dance Festival
The Nationwide Latvian Song and Dance Festival is the most magnificent choral music and folk dance event in Latvia, actually the apex of all events. The Grand Finale concert at the Mezaparks Open-air Stage in Riga boasts about 400,000 participants. No doubt that during the festival the Latvian capital is completely swarmed by singers and dancers in Latvian national (regional) costume. Interesting souvenirs and ethnic and modern Latvian arts and crafts can be purchased at the Song Festival’s fair. The next Song and Dance Festival will be held in 2018.
Folk and Early Music Festivals
The three Baltic States take turns hosting the international folklore festival Baltica, which is an opportunity to get an idea of the time-tested traditions of our ancestors.
The Early Music Festival and the Riga Historical Music and Dance Festival in Riga and Rundale take place in summer. Don’t pass up a chance to enjoy Medieval and Baroque music in opulent Rundale Palace, rightfully dubbed ‘Latvia’s Versailles’! Getting immersed in Medieval atmosphere is not something one experiences every day.
If you prefer rock music, go looking for adventure in Liepaja, the Latvian rock music capital and the home of Fontaine Festival. Stay overnight in one of the many hotels and explore the city called the ‘Windy City’ - for the blustery conditions that seemingly never cease. Klang! Festival will shake the Kekava Region awake in July, and the rock festival known as Saldus Saule, a longtime tradition, takes place in early August.