Date:30 June to 8 July 2018

Place: Riga, Latvia


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Today is a big day for song … Fanfares will play! And the flags of the Song and Dance Celebrations of 1873 and 2018 will fly, divided and united by 145 years. But the feelings are unchanging-pride in our people, our country, our traditions. Even through the most difficult periods of history, the Latvian people have come together, united in our joy of music, song, and dance. The Song and Dance Celebration-an unforgettable amatuer artisitc phenomenon with a century-and-a-half of tradition.


The XXVI Latvian Song and XVI Dance Celebration 2018
The XXVI Latvian Song and XVI Dance Celebration will take place in Riga from 30 June to 8 July 2018 in the spirit of the Latvian Centenary. The Celebration week is the culmination of what the organisers—the Latvian National Center for Culture—and the amateur ensembles have been preparing for since the XXV Latvian Song and XV Dance Celebration.

During Celebration week, Riga will host 40 000 participants from 118 Latvian municipalities, and from many other countries where Latvians continue to uphold and develop the traditions of the Song and Dance Celebration. For seven days they will take part in more than 54 events—choirs, dance ensembles, brass bands, kokle players, folk musicians, vocal ensembles, folklore ensembles, and others will perform in various events, the Latvian folk costume exhibition, the Latvian applied art exhibition, and amateur theatre performances. 500 000 celebration-goers (roughly ¼ of the Latvian population—1,96 million) will be able to attend (ticketed and free) events.

The Main Events
The XXVI Latvian Song and XVI Dance Celebration will open on 1 July 2018 with the traditional sacred music concert at the Riga Cathedral, followed by the Celebration Procession throughout the streets of Riga. Participants showing off their rich folk costumes will walk a route that takes several hours through the streets of Riga. The procession will conclude with a special opening event dedicated to the participants.

The most anticipated events are the great dance performance Māra’s Country and the closing concert Following the Starry Path. Approximately 17 000 dancers in the Daugava Stadium will tell the rich history of Latvia through music, energy, movement, rhythm, color, and the patterns created by the steps of their folk dances.

Celebration week culminates in the closing concert Following the Starry Path, in which the voices of 12 000 singers on the Mežaparks Open-air Stage will enchant their listeners in three hour concert of the most outstanding Latvian professional choral music. As the prepared concert ends, audience members will be invited to add their voices, and the Nighttime Sing-along will continue until sunrise.

The Venues
The Song and Dance Celebration will take place throughout the city of Riga. The venues will be transformed with special scenographic solutions, ambitious stages will be built, and large screens will be set up in urban areas so that audiences can fully enjoy the Celebrations. The main choir and dance events will be held at the historical venues—the Mežaparks Open-air Stage and the Daugava Stadium. Both venues are currently undergoing reconstruction so that they will be ready to receive both participants and spectators of the Song and Dance Celebration in their new forms in 2018.


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