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.