Volunteers start buzzing for upcoming Song Festival

In the early morning of Monday, June 26, at the Ķīpsala Exhibition hall, volunteers for the Song and Dance Festival have started to pack the tote bags for participants – with a manual, a refillable water bottle, a lip balm, and other useful items, Latvian Television reported.

We already covered the involvement of volunteers in order to make the Song and Dance Festival happen in our earlier feature, as well as the aspect of feeding over 40,000 participants.

On Monday at 7:45 a.m., volunteers fill the tote bags that all festive participants will receive. 60 people work in one shift. The work runs in three shifts until eight in the evening.

Rūdolfs Zvagūzis said he was a volunteer for the previous festival, and “there's nothing hard, you have to work and the sense of satisfaction is invaluable”.

Volunteer Aiva Kalve said she has come to help for the first time so she can somehow participate in the festival.

Edgars Haks has been at the festival as a spectator, only participated in the youth song festival. He said: “I'm not going to learn to dance, I'm contributing with my work”.

Sarmīte Plūme, in turn, said she volunteered “because I realized I would not be a participant anymore in my conscious life, because I have been in from the age of 15, later led a dance collective, now I can't stand aside”.

At this festival, volunteers will be recognized by a green shirt with a heart. They also do the job wholeheartedly, without any reward, except catering and the opportunity to watch the final concert unless they have to work in it.

“Today's the first big day, there are 41,000 bags [to be filled] that will be distributed to festival participants,” says Monta Tīģere, coordinator of Song and Dance Festival Volunteers.

“We really have people aged 16 to 80+, the whole line of demographic age. Many are former festival participants. Feelings, friends, feeling festive and engaging in festivities. Several say they have enjoyed festivals as viewers, but they want to be a step closer,” Monta Tīģere said.

In general, 1,700 people applied for volunteering, but for some plans changed and now around 1,000 are among the volunteers.  They will be at the event sites throughout the festival and will support participants and viewers.

XXVII General Latvian Song and XVII Dance Festival will take place in Rīga from June 30 to July 9 2023. 

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