Baltic Reports: Weekend Edition

A beach like Palanga's is your best bet this weekend, likely to be the hottest of the year thanks to a heat wave blowing in from Russia. Photo by Luis Argerich.

Roasting, baking, sweltering. You could fry an egg on my stomach.

Yeah, it’s hot in the Baltics this weekend. To be honest, what I would recommend above anything else is to head to the seaside for the day.

Like most of Europe, in the August events in the Baltics wind down a bit as pretty much everyone goes on vacation, typically to relax in the countryside at the family country retreat.

However, there’s a smattering of local music festivals and Rock Nights in beautiful Zarasai, Lithuania, located right next to the Latvian border about halfway between Vilnius and Riga, which will feature Brit alt-rock trio The Subways and the cosmopolitan metal act Killing Machine as well as perennial local favs Bix and Happyendless.

So, get some sun and if you’re not zonked by the heat there’s plenty of music in the evening.


Aug. 6-7

Rock Nights, Zarasai

UK’s alt-rock trio The Subways and metalheads Killing Machine will bring the noise to Zaraso Island, in the middle of a gorgeous lake in northern Lithuania. Worthy local acts Bix and Happyendless will also play. Totally reachable from either Riga or Vilnius. Campsites or nearby hotels available. Tickets: 70 litai (€20) for both days

Aug. 6, 8 p.m.


Vilnius Teacher’s House Courtyard, Vilnius

Latvian cello trio Mello-M, who play rock and pop songs on three cellos, bring their odd but compelling act to Lithuania again this summer. Tickets: 22-62 litai (€6.30-€18)

Aug. 9, 8 p.m.

XYZ Electronic Symphony

Loftas, Švitrigailos g. 29

Do you remember the “A Clockwork Orange” soundtrack? Classical synthesized by Wendy Carlos at Kubrick’s behest. Well, if you thought that sounded cool you may enjoy the XYZ Electronic Symphony show, which features some of Lithuania’s top electronic music producers taking a stab at classical music while mixing in poetry and vocalists. Tickets: 55-160 litai (€16-€46)


Aug. 6, 7 p.m.

Līga Ivāne

Dome Cathedral, Riga

Talented local soprano Līga Ivāne sings Mozart and Haydn in the largest cathedral in the Baltic states. Free admission.

Aug. 6-7

Cocktail Festival

Konventa Sēta Hotel, Riga

The Latvian Bartenders’ Federation is putting on a cocktail party, one that you’re guaranteed not to get scammed at, in the Konventa Sēta Hotel featuring local DJs and a wide variety of off-the-wall cocktail choices. Free entrance.

Aug. 6-8

Labadaba Festival

Ratnieki Recreation Center, Līgatne

In central Latvia, the Labadaba Festival features a number of regional bands and DJs on four stages and a number of family-friendly activities, including an interactive installation “audio bike park,” films, dance studios, photo expositions, horse riding, sport games and competitions, nature trails of Ligatne, bicycling, and various creative workshops. Yes, it packs a punch. Tickets: 10-18 lats (€14-€25)


Aug. 6, 4 p.m.

Rock Ramp Festival

Viljandi Song Festival grounds, Viljandi

After the folk festival last month, a slew of local rock acts with names like Toe Tag, Recycle Bin and Winny Puhh. See what Estonian rock has to say for itself. Tickets: 150-300 krooni (€10-€20)

Aug. 6-8

Leigo Lake Music Festival

Leigo Lake, 20 km south of Tartu

Check out choir and jazz acts next to the beautiful Leigo Lake next to the Latvian border. Very relaxing and atmospheric. Ticket price varies by day.

Aug. 6-8

Viru Folk Festival

Various locations, Käsmu

Meanwhile if you’re still pining for more folk music after Viljandi last month, there’s more Estonian egivärss and kannel on the coast this weekend in little Käsmu. Ticket prices vary by which shows you’re seeing.

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