Over half a million attended Latvian Song and Dance Festival events

The XXVII Nationwide Latvian Song and XVII Dance Festival in Rīga from June 30 to July 9 has passed calmly and smoothly, without major incidents, the festival organizers and services said at a press briefing Monday, July 10, which is an official post-festival holiday in Latvia.

Daina Markova, executive director of the festival, said that a total of 40,560 participants from a total of 23 countries participated in the festival.

The most represented age groups were 50 to 59 with 6,906 participants; 19 to 29, with 6,832 participants; and 40 to 49, with 6,828 participants. A total of 1,000 volunteers were involved in the festival. During the events, several proposals were made and a baby was born to a choir singer right after the dress rehearsal of the grand finale.

Markova also said that more than 174,000 tickets were sold, corresponding to the planned volume. During the festival there were a number of free events, and festival organizers estimate that more than half a million viewers attended different events.

On Sunday, around 65,000 people gathered at the closing event of the Song and Dance Festival in Mežapark, including both participants and spectators.

Live broadcasts of Latvian Television were viewed in 50 countries of the world.

Artis Velšs, Head of the Operational Management Group of the festival, noted that the festival had been “very and even surprisingly peaceful” due to favorable weather conditions as well as responsible attitudes by festival participants and visitors.

Deputy Director of the State Emergency Medical Service (NMPD) for Emergency Medical Assistance Māra Dīriņa acknowledged: medics can also say that the festival was relatively calm. Primarily, medical assistance was needed for festival participants due to relatively simple health problems and injuries.

Psychological assistance was also provided, because such intense rehearsals and concert events were a major emotional experience for participants, Dīriņa said.

The executive director of the festival added that a special conference, including artistic issues, is planned to evaluate the organization of the festival.

“Let us also assess ourselves and pass our experience to the makers of future festivals,” Markova said.

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