Latvia — Festivals and Events
Latvia’s festivals mostly originate from its love of music and dance. Relative to the calendar, many of the country’s major events are held in the month of July, the warm summer period that boasts excellent weather for partying. The Latvian Song and Dance Festival is a famous function held in Riga every five years that sees thousands flock to the capital for performances. At the end of July, Salacgriva is home to another popular music event called the Positivus Festival, which welcomes some of the biggest names in various genres.
Latvian Song and Dance Festival
Even though the Latvian Song and Dance Festival is only held once every five years, it is still one of the most prolific events staged in the Baltic. Around since 1873 in the city of Riga, more than 30,000 performers are brought together. Add in thousands of spectators, and the festival becomes one of the biggest events in Europe. It is held in July and the next one will be in 2013.
Latvia Beer Fest
The Latvian Beer Fest in May is a massive annual event in the capital. Contrary to its name, though all of the festival is not spent drinking. There are plenty of musical performances and competitions to enjoy. Latvians love a cold one so rejoice in the best food and drinks in the Baltics.
Riga Salsa Festival
Held in June every year, the Riga Salsa Festival is one of the more popular celebrations in Latvia’s capital. The event only began in 2005, but with each passing year sees more people coming out to celebrate. Today, famous salsa dancers from nearby countries like Spain and Portugal make their way to the largest salsa event in the Baltic Region, and one of the most popular in all of Europe.
Metalshow.lv Open Air
Metalshow.lv Open Air is a two day bonanza of rock and heavy metal performances, held in the township of Blome. The festival operates during the month of July, which is similar to many other events in Latvia due to the warm, pleasant weather. Europe’s biggest names and international favorites all join the lineup.
The Positivus Festival is a summer music event that began in 2007. Lasting for two days in the city of Salacgriva, there is a range of genres found throughout the course of the event, which attracts thousands of avid music enthusiasts, plus the world’s most popular musicians and bands. Held the third week of July smack dab in the middle of summer, there is a camp site across from the main venue for accommodations at your disposal.
Saulkrasti Jazz Festival
One of Europe’s most renowned jazz festivals, this says a lot seeing as there are so many throughout the year. Only running since 1997, the last decade has seen a dramatic increase in the popularity so be sure to book your Latvian accommodations well in advance. There is also a music camp and a concert specifically for musicians.
Although not overly commercialized, Zvera is still quite a popular music event held in the town of Lasupe. Rock bands from across the Europe play for crowds of thousands for three days in July.
Beginning September 2007, the Studentu Paradize was first established by university students to celebrate the beginning of the new academic year. Today, it embraces the same idea, but includes more than 25 colleges across the country. Over 10,000 students and visitors from across Latvia enjoy performances and partying to welcome the new school calendar, growing in popularity with every passing year.