Rīgas vasara

Continuing the concept of “Riga's Summer of Courage and Joy” launched last year, this year the capital will also host an extensive programme of cultural events from June to September in the city centre and various neighbourhoods, during which we will also celebrate Riga’s birthday in August. The aim of the programme is to introduce the residents and tourists to the cultural diversity of Riga and the creativity of its citizens.

The Education, Culture and Sports Committee of the Riga City Council on Thursday, 13 April, heard a report on the preparation and planned implementation of the Riga Summer Culture Programme 2023. According to the programme organisers, dozens of events are planned in the capital during this summer, as well as a magnificent presentation of the urban environment.

“The motto of the Summer Culture Programme reflects the city's desire to bring together Riga's citizens, residents and visitors in diverse and lively events in the city centre and its neighbourhoods throughout the summer. The moment we meet, we are born with courage because we support each other and joy because we celebrate the opportunity to be together physically, to enjoy the freedom of gathering. Until recently, this was not so obvious. I would like to thank all those who day and night make Riga a vibrant, colourful, modern and diverse capital of Northern Europe! See you at Riga Summer Events!” invites Laima Geikina, Chair of the Committee.

Throughout the summer there will be contemporary cultural events, the programme of the cultural-historical complex “Stropi”, festivals, an urban exhibition in cooperation with the Latvian Academy of Arts, ten neighbourhood festivals, a programme of cultural events in Vērmanes Garden and Nordeķi Park, as well as larger-scale events – on June 10, the Ice Cream Festival in Vērmanes Garden, on June 23 – Midsummer celebrations in Dzegužkalns, Grīziņkalns and Mežaparks Green Theatre, from 30 June to 9 July – the General Latvian XXVII Song and XVII Dance Festival, from 14 July to 15 July – the “Positivus” festival in Lucavsala, and on August 19 – Riga’s birthday celebrations in Old Riga.

Neighbourhood festivals are planned from the second half of July to the end of August in ten neighbourhoods – Ķengarags, Zolitūde, Čiekurkalns, Dreiliņkalns, Ziepniekkalns, Jugla, Torņakalns, Daugavgrīva, Brasa and Vecāķi.

In July and August, Nordeķi Park will host talks and meetings with the residents of the neighbourhood, where the history and cultural values of Dzirciems and Ilģuciems will be discussed, as well as four musical evenings. Eight concert programmes will be held in Vērmanes Garden for different musical tastes – for both academic and popular music lovers, to delight Riga’s citizens and visitors of different generations.

Riga’s birthday celebrations on 19 August in the Old Town will include a diverse and contemporary cultural programme, creativity for different audiences, contemporary scenographic solutions, picnic areas and a musical culmination in Riga’s Dome Square.

From 1 June to 1 September, the events of the cultural-historical complex “Stropi” will take place at the Riga Central Library (RCB) Bolderāja branch library, RCB Beach Reading Room in Lucavsala, Pļavnieki Green Grove, Latgale Suburb Music and Art School, RCB Čiekurkalns branch library garden, Pāvuls Jurjāns Music School open-air stage and Latvian National History Museum “Dauderi” Park.

A call for contemporary cultural events will be organised to support cultural events of high artistic quality, innovative, contemporary formats and engaging participation. The competition is open to applications of all genres and formats, but priority will be given to events planned to take place in public open spaces.

All events will be free for the public.

The motto of the Riga Summer of Courage and Joy this year is “Courage and joy arise when we meet”, with a special emphasis on the message “We defend others in their struggle for freedom, because we know it is ours too”.

The Summer of Courage and Joy is curated by “Mākslas birojs”.

Information was prepared by: Mārtiņš Vilemsons, Project Coordinator at External Communication Division of Riga City Council Communication Department, e-mail: martins.vilemsons@riga.lv