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LATVIAN DAYS IN TARTU | Tartu 2024 Hosts Beloved Latvian Bands Carnival Youth and Sudden Lights 

Latvian Days at Tartu 2024 Car-Free Avenue will introduce the rich culture and traditions of our southern neighbors. The themed days will culminate with concerts by beloved Latvian bands Carnival Youth and Sudden Lights. Latvian Days will be held July 11–13 in Tartu.

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Laima Geikina, Head of Education, Culture and Sports Commission of the Riga City Council said, “Tartu is an old city with rich traditions. Education and culture are areas of excellence in Tartu, so the title of the European Capital of Culture is well earned and self-evident. Tartu is a city that inspires innovation and a source of youthful energy. The friendship ties between Riga and Tartu are recorded in history, for example, with distinguished Latvian personalities having studied at the University of Tartu, as well as being visible today – collaborating and visiting each other. May Tartu have guests from all corners of the world this year, and may the city create unforgettable moments for everyone.”

Valmiera Mayor Jānis Baiks said, “Thanks to our Estonian friends for this opportunity to participate in Latvian days in the Tartu big event “European Capital of Culture”. We are very proud that in the three-day cultural programme, visitors will get an insight into things we cherish – traditions, food and sports. Valmiera is referred to as the friendliest city to Estonians, and I can agree with that as we are expanding our offer to make Estonians feel at home. And I’m happy that we also feel like home here in Tartu, and have this chance to be here with Estonians as all of Europe is celebrating “European Culture Capital 2024”! Welcome to explore and enjoy Latvian cultural programs and of course – welcome to Valmiera – halfway on the way to Tartu 2024!”

The three-day cultural programme will introduce Latvian cities’ traditions, food culture, crafts, and activities. At the Valmiera stand, visitors can learn about the region’s cultural, tourism, and sports activities. The Valmiermuiza Brewery tent will be open, where visitors can taste local lemonade. Additionally, visitors can put on virtual glasses and wander the roads and paths of Valmiere on the Olympic champion Māris Štrombergs’ BMX track “Valmiera” hills and curves. Renowned Latvian masterchef Mārtiņš Sirmais will create a delicious masterpiece – ice cream sorbet – that the audience can taste on the spot. 

The European Capital of Culture invites visitors from all over Europe, especially from Latvia, which has the shortest distance to the cultural capital, said Kuldar Leis, Head of Tartu 2024. “This year marks ten years since Riga was the European Capital of Culture. Therefore, it is even more symbolic that Latvians are coming to Tartu this summer to celebrate the anniversary of Riga 2014 with their programme,” added Leis.

At the Cēsis stand, you can listen to exciting stories about the region and learn about next year’s events when Cēsis will be the Latvian Capital of Culture 2025. There will also be paper-making workshops, and steel tongue drum performances, where the audience can try the drums themselves. 

On July 11 at 19, the band “Carnival Youth” will take the stage. Their music mixes exciting melodies, bright energy and dreamy sounds. The band members are Roberts Vanags, Aleksis Luriņš, and Edgars and Emīls Kaupers, sons of Brainstorm singer Renars Kaupers. The band has released five albums, gaining recognition in Latvia and abroad. Since their debut album “No Clouds Allowed” (2014), the band has drawn attention with their compelling compositions and magnetic concerts.

On July 12 at 21:00, the indie rock band “Sudden Lights” will take the stage, characterized by captivating, rhythmic melodies with a soulful melancholic note and rock guitar riffs. The band members are Andrejs Reinis Zitmanis (vocals), Kārlis Vārtiņš (bass), Kārlis Matīss Zitmanis (guitar), and Mārtis Matīss Zemītis (drums). Their latest album received five nominations at the Latvian Music Awards, including Best Pop Album, Best Album Design, and Best Concert Recording. In 2023, Sudden Lights represented Latvia at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Latvia will be featured in the Tartu 2024 programme in Viljandi, with the joint production “Cosmopolitan” by Ugala Theatre and Valmiera Drama Theatre, set to premiere in September.

During Latvian Days, Lux Express will launch a regular line between Valmiera and Tartu, departing from Tartu to Valmiera at 08:15 and 11:00, and from Valmiera to Tartu at 14:35. 

Tartu 2024 Car-Free Avenue is open for five weeks, until August 12.

Check out the Latvian Days programme