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Closer to festival season

May 5, 2010


Sanita Medne

Latvia is building up its very own tradition of festivals and summer fests. The most popular Latvian festivals are Positivus and Baltic Beach Party which were both

Photo: from A.Grigorjevs’s archive

nominated for European Festival Awards this year along with other European festivals. Other festival dates in Latvia can be found here.

Baltic Beach Party (BBP) is celebrating its tenth anniversary this summer taking place in Liepāja in July. Many festival goers follow its motto – ‘No beach party, no summer’. “Yes, it really represents the spirit of the event,” admits Ginta Kārkle, who attended BBP in 2008.

Positivus will be held in Salacgrīva for the fourth time and has earned a good reputation. “I went to Positivus in 2008 with my daughter because I wanted to see Manic Street Preachers perform live,” says Inga Lieljukse, a manager. “We really enjoyed all that Positivus offered – the art crafts, the cinema and the beach, of course,” she adds.

“I liked Positivus too, but I wouldn’t hesitate a moment to go to the other side of the planet to see Nine Inch Nails live,” says Aleksandrs Grigorjevs. “The festival that has the best artists is worth attending no matter where it is located,” he adds.

Aleksandrs attended Rock Werchter in Belgium in 2008 to see his favorite artists perform. “Some bands just don’t perform here, so I packed my backpack and spent four days with hundreds of thousands of other fans,” he says.

Those who are looking for an international festival might find this and this TV useful. The European Festival organization Yourope is now more active than ever for the number of festivals is growing. Glastonbury in the UK and Roskilde in Denmark have a history of several decades but there are newcomers too.

European Festival Awards named Heineken Open’er the best major festival last year. Other nominees for the European Festival Awards included

Among the winning acts The Prodigy was announced The Best Headline Artist in 2009 – watch them live at Rock Werchter.

Medium and small sized festivals are growing in number and popularity. Last UK Festival Awards named Bestival the best medium sized festival and Beach Break Live (BBL) was heralded as the best small-sized festival. Both of them entered the scene just few years ago – BBL in 2006.

The number of people who attended Woodstock in 1969 still hasn’t been surpassed. Many festivals claim the profit is still good, but the numbers of attendance are dropping. Nevertheless – Roskilde sold 67,000 all week tickets in 2009.

Rock Werchter and Roskilde are just a few to name in the list of doing it “the green way” reducing the impact on the environment. Social marketing also involves different charity activities and donating the income to social purposes. Some festivals, Positivus included, involve volunteers in organizing the festival.

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