Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Song festival: sold out

Latvian Song Festival is the biggest cultural event that Latvia has. It is rooted in Latvian national movement of late 19th century and is held once in 5 years. Choirs and folk dance groups from all over Latvia come to Riga for concerts featuring joint performances by 12,380 singers and 13,400 dancers (numbers from the 2003 festival). Almost everyone in Latvia who sings in a choir or dances in a folk dance group is there. It's very large and very impressive.

The tickets for this year's festival went on sale on Monday. I learned about it Monday afternoon. But then, most of the tickets were sold out. Every ticket allocated for sales over Internet was gone. Ticket offices had long lines. 36,000 tickets sold out by 3pm on the first day.

The Song festival has always been a popular event but not like this. Five years ago, I was able to get good tickets just a few days in advance (and, for one event, even a few hours before). Now, with everyone rushing to get the tickers... I'll be left with watching all the main concerts on TV.


stefan said...

Sounds to me there could be a second market for those tickets...

Anonymous said...

There is DEFINITELY a "second" market. All travel web sites refer back to "bilesuparadize", the ticketting agents. So, somewhere "below the radar" there is access to tickets by travel agents with "contacts" within Latvia.
Very sad to have to acknowledge such a situation.

*uri said...

If you miss the party in Riga, you can visit the national song and dance festival in Tallinn in 2009. 35 000 singers and 12 000 dancers have registered for the event. Unfortunately our festival grounds have room for only 25 000 singers, so regional competitions will take place to select the choirs that will perform in Tallinn next July.
It is a great event indeed!