When: February 20-21 Where: Rīga What: “Having grown from a small grassroots movement of like-minded tech enthusiasts, TechChill celebrates the best of the Baltic startup community by annually bringing together 2000 attendees, including the fastest-growing startups, most innovative corporations, investors active in the region and talented tech enthusiasts. TechChill is organized by a non-profit foundation of the same name, empowering the Baltic startup ecosystem throughout the year. This year is no exception – the two-day agenda at TechChill 2020 will feature 90 speakers and 15 side events, as well as some legendary afterparties.”
When: March 6-April 26 Where: Various venues across Latvia What: “From March 6 to April 26, the 25th International Baltic Ballet Festival will take place in Latvia. Celebrating the festival’s significant anniversary, this year’s dance variety will surprise viewers from both domestic and neighboring countries, as well as ballet stars from Cuba, USA, France, Finland and Germany.”
When: June 5-14 Where: Latvian National Opera What: The Oera Festival rounds off the season and is an excellent opportunity to see a great variety of top-class operatic performances in a relatively short time period. Early booking is advised. This year’s offerings include Don Giovanni, The Queen of Spades, Verdi’s Requiem and a Gala Concert.
When: June 19-20 Where: Cēsis What: “The Conversation festival LAMPA creates an environment and an impulse for personal growth. The festival offerings enable one to overcome apathy – two uplifting days, during which one can sharpen one’s mind, expand one’s horizons, challenge one’s assumptions. It is an inspiring and energizing platform for everyone, who has something to say. Everyone, who wants to learn and talk about issues important to Latvia, Europe and the world. The festival home is the Cēsis castle park. Many organizations and activists are involved in its creation, cooking up festival events and offering financial support. Admission is free.”
When: June 23-24 Where: Everywhere What: The most important festival on the Latvian calendar by far, making Christmas look like a minor distraction.
When: July 1-4 Where: Rīga, VEF cultural center What: “Rigas Ritmi Music Festival is one of the most visited and beloved music festivals in Latvia, which brings together high class jazz and world music artists. The festival’s venues in various venues in Riga invite both world-renowned and award-winning artists, as well as new musical talents.”
When: July 3-4 Where: Bauska What: “The first Bauska Country Music Festival took place in 1999 on Pilskalns Stage, a picturesque place between the river confluence and the 16th century Bauska Castle . Since then, the festival has taken a stable place among the biggest events in Latvia and has proved itself as a long-term resident. Over the years, 26 Latvian groups and 47 foreign groups from the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Sweden, Germany, France, Poland, Slovakia, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Russia, Estonia and Lithuania have participated in the festival.” Expect to see Stetsons in abundance!
When: July 10-August 30 Where: Rīga and Jūrmala What: “With concerts taking place in the historic cities of Riga and Jurmala, the Riga Jurmala Music Festival features four weekends throughout the summer. A leading international orchestra and conductor anchor each weekend, offering a range of symphonic concerts and recitals that feature leading stars and young up-and-coming talent.” This year Andras Schiff is among the headliners. The European Festival Association has awarded the Festival with the EFFE Label, an accolade rewarding the Festival for the quality for its artistic output, audience accessibility and international reach.
When: July 13-19 Where: Saulkrasti What: A highly-regarded fixture among jazz fans, the coastal resort of Saulkrasti provides a suitably relaxed backdrop. But it’s not just about listening – at the jazz workshop camp, young musicians from Latvia and neighboring countries will be developing their talents and polishing their skills supervised by experienced teachers from around the world. The participants of the workshops will be spend the whole week at the festival campus attending intensive workshops and playing in combo ensembles, preparing for the Students’ Concert.
When: July 17-18 Where: Salacgriva What: “Positivus is an annual music festival taking place in Latvia, Salacgrīva since 2007. It offers its visitors a wide array of amazing performers, plentiful entertainment options and a lively atmosphere, creating an unforgettable experience.”
When: July 24-26 Where: Liepāja What: “With an annual gathering of over 20,000 visitors on the Liepaja beach, the Summer Sound festival has become one of the most significant music events in the region. For two days, festival-goers have the opportunity to watch concerts by over 50 domestic and international artists, enjoy extra attractions, shows, and finally relax on one of Europe’s most beautiful beaches!”
When: July 31-August 2 Where: Daugavgrīva fortress What: “Kometa is a unique open-air festival – a three-day social and cultural experiment that invites you to practice mental freedom by listening to lectures and workshops, dancing and enjoying music from around the world while on the island of Daugavgriva Fortress. As usual, the Kometa festival’s last day will be open to all, free of charge, especially inviting local people to enjoy the music and festival atmosphere.”
When: August 7-9 Where: Līgatne What: “The main idea of the LABADABA festival is an unconventional program which continuously searches for and offers something new and unseen so far in the music festivals in Latvia. The aim of the festival organizers is to create an atmosphere which would reflect the festival’s name. Therefore, LABADABA is a summer festival which is always characterized by a welcoming attitude towards people, events and nature.”
When: August 14-16 Where: Rīga What: The official city festival of the Latvan capital with numerous events of all kinds at locations around the entire city – plus free public transport.
When: September 1-6 Where: Rīga What: “This international event for professional documentary filmmakers is the only one of its kind in the Baltics and is held in high regard throughout Eastern Europe. Every year, the BSD gathers over 100 professional filmmakers from the Baltic Sea region, as well as from Eastern and Central Europe. Participating in the forum is an invaluable way for filmmakers to find funding for the production of their projects and to further ensure that their films reach a wide audience across Europe. The forum is held in English and participation is free of charge.”
When: October 15-25 Where: Various locations in and around Rīga What: “Riga International Film festival was launched in 2014. RIGA IFF has since developed a programme structure that paints a wholesome picture of the most daring and important European cinema today and allows for successful curation of Latvian film within a larger context. Part of the festival’s infrastructure is the legendary cinema house Splendid Palace (member of Europa Cinemas), it hosts most of the film programme and events. The festival features several international competition programmes, headed by a multi-genre feature film competition within which an international jury chooses a title for the RIGA IFF Award each year.”