Latvian Song and Dance Festival 2018
For a whole week in the summer 2018 Riga will be taken over by the most grandiose festival in Latvia – the "Latvian Song and Dance Festival" gathering tens of thousands of singers and dancers from everywhere in Latvia, who will fill the city with sounds of folk music.
Photo by Aivars Liepiņš (Latvian National Center for Culture Archive)
This festival with its greatness, quality and diversity is a unique event on a world scale; therefore it has been included in the UNESCO list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
As from 30 June every day Riga will experience exciting singing and dancing performances, starting with the opening concert at the Song Festival Park (Viestura dārzs), choir contests, dancer and brass band concerts and, of course, the most spectacular of all events – gala concert at the Mežaparks open-air stage.
This concert is considered to be the main part of the festival – it is a unique experience to listen to voices of more than 10 thousand singers. When singing generally beloved songs the choir becomes even bigger when the listeners join in creating euphoric atmosphere and indescribable feeling of togetherness.
Songs and singing are a fundamental part of the Latvian identity since the times, when the nation did not even have their own state. The first Latvian Sing and Dance Festival was held in 1873 and ever since this festival has gathered singers and listeners from all around Latvia. Thanks to this festival Latvians have developed choir singing traditions and Latvian choirs regularly win international choir contests.
Latvian Song and Dance Festival is held every five year and on 2018 it will be held already for the 25th time. Along with the Song Festival there will be many various activities in Riga – folk art fairs, amateur theatre performances and popular music concerts.