The tradition of the International Folklore Festival “Baltica” was started in 1987 as a significant expression of traditional culture in the Baltic States and played a vital role in the promotion of national self-consciousness during the period of renewal of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia as independent states. With the continued growth of interest in folklore “Baltica” has developed into a stable and integral part of the Baltic cultural calendar.
The “Baltica 2006” festival will include 119 groups from all over Latvia and guests from Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Norway, Udmurti (Russian Federation), Croatia, Georgia, China, Poland and Bulgaria, as well as a Latvian folklore group from England. Following previous successful collaboration with the festival organisers and with a desire to promote the knowledge and development of Latvian traditional culture, the President of Latvia Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga has agreed to be the patroness of the festival once again.
Our Home is the principal theme of this year’s festival and this will be reflected in the colourful and vibrant concerts performed by the participants. “The festival’s theme invites us to learn about the traditions of our families, villages, towns and regions in more depth, as well as elevate the oral folklore of our native regions”, explains the director of the festival programme Andris Kapusts.
The festival events will take place in Riga and other locations in Latvia. Every day from July 12 until the end of the festival a Festival Court will be situated in Dome Square and will act as a central gathering point. The official opening of the festival will take place on the evening of July 13 on Dainu Hill in Turaida, where various events will take place throughout the day. On July 14 a festive parade will take place in Riga from Town Hall Square via the Freedom Monument to Dome Square, as well as various concerts in Riga’s concert halls – Small Guild, Ave Sol, Reformation Church, Riga Navigation Museum and Riga Congress Centre.
On Regional Day on July 15 the festival participants will travel to Kurzeme, one of Latvia’s most beautiful regions, where they will perform in eleven different towns and parishes. The Closing Concert will take place on the open-air stage in Kuldīga on July 16.
From July 12 until August 1 the 1st International Applied Arts Exhibition will take place in the Riga Congress Centre with the participation of studios from the Baltic States and promises to be a very colourful event.
The organisers of “Baltica 2006” are the Latvian National Centre for Traditional and Performing Arts together with local municipalities, the Culture Capital Foundation and the national branch of the CIOFF – the UNESCO supported International Council of Organizations for Folklore Festivals and Folk Art, which is active in 76 countries in the world.
Song and Dance Festival 2008
Public Relations Coordinator
Latvian National Centre for Traditional and Performing Arts
+371 9118867, +371 7228985,
Pils laukums 4, Riga, LV 1365