That's not because of indignation on the part of Latvians about the Estonian city's year in the limelight (after all, Liepāja will follow suit in 2027) but because the launch will be accompanied by a 'Big Baltic Roast' featuring some of the Baltic states' best comedians.
Latvian comics Rūdolfs Kugrēns and Kalvis Trokša will be joined by Estonian funnymen (yes, there are such things) Aleksander Eeri Laupmaa and Maiduk, while Lithuania will be repesented by Lukas Bunkus. Admission to the Big Baltic Roast is free of charge.
Somewhat ironically, the venue will be 'Tu Jau Zini Kur' ('You already know where') which is located on Tallinas iela (Tallinn street), probably the second-best street for this event right after Tērbatas (former name for Tartu) Street.
"The slogan of the Tartu 2024 programme is Arts of Survival. We are convinced that the ability to not only laugh about others, but also laugh about yourself is both an art and a skill, which unites the residents of the Baltic States and gives us great strength. How many toes do Latvians really have? What is the speed of the average Estonian? And can Lithuania's famous basketball recover from its thrashing by brothers from Latvia? There are a lot of unanswered questions about the friendship of the Baltic States, and therefore Tartu 2024 invites the people of Riga to have a good laugh at the Big Baltic Roast, where masters of comedy will seek to outdo each other's comic mastery," says Kuldar Leis, Tartu 2024 CEO.
During the break in the roast, the Estonian group Gram of Fun will perform, while DJ Magnuss Eriņš will be responsible for the dancefloor. The event will be hosted by actor Toms Liepājnieks.
Event guests will be able to view works of art at the Tartu 2024 Art Mini Gallery, which is symbolically counting the number of weeks until January 26, 2024, and find out about the European Capital of Culture's program, plans and participants from Latvia.
Admission to the Big Baltic Roast is free of charge by pressing 'Going' on the Facebook event page.