Weekend events guide: A capital few days

To make the most of Latvia this weeekend you'll need to be in a travelling mood. Taking in the cities of Rīga, Cēsis, Rēzekne, Liepāja (and back to Rīga) will give you experiences to remember. Here are five of the best!

1 RIGA CITY FESTIVAL

It's one of the biggest cultural events of the year. In fact it's not a single event at all, more of a collision of dozens of different concerts, parades, recitals, film screenings, workshops, performances and one-off experiences.

Running from august 14-16 across the Latvian capital, you're well advised to check out the listings and maps on the city council's excellent official website and plan your attendance to suit your tastes. To its credit, the site is available in English as well as Russian and Latvian, and you can find it HERE.

There's also a downloadable guide (or pick one up during the festival from stands dotted around the city center).

 

2. FONTAINE FESTIVAL, LIEPAJA - ROCK FILM FESTIVAL, CESIS

Louis Fontaine is something of a Liepaja legend. Musician, restauranteur, entrepreneur, hotelier, film-maker, composer (and at one point confused with a notorious terrorist!), the eccentric Danish-born Fontaine is a local legend.

This weekend his name is attached to a rock music festival where two stages will offer more than 13 international bands including Charles Burton's Blues Band from the US, the John E Vistic Experience from the UK, plus local favorites Triana Park and even an appearance by the legedary Livi.

Full details of the festival HERE.

If your appetite for all things rock still isn't sated head for Cesis where you can immerse yourself in rock music on the silver screen at the first Cesis Rock Film Festival with a line-up of classic documentaries, concerts and discussions.

3. SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, REZEKNE

Taking a different approach to film is the Open Place film festival at the GORS arts center in Rezekne, the self-styled 'Latgale embassy' in the east of the country.

In addition to various screenings, there is a rare opportunity to meet distinguished Russian film actors who will talk about their work and tricks of the trade. It's also exceptionally good value for money - where else can you sit through four hours of innovative, stimulating cinema from the stars of the future for just 1 euro?

You can find out more HERE.

4. CLASSIC CARS AT RENOWNED RACETRACK

16 august is the day to head to the historic and famous Bikernieki racetrack in Riga. First there will be a opening of a freshly renovated racing surface with cyclists, skateboarders, rollerbladers and others invited to test out the smooth surface.

Once they are safely out of the way it's time for petrolheads to enjoy a trip down memory lane with one of the highlights of the racing calendar: the 'Amber Lap' races featring classic Volgas, Zhigulis and other legendary cars of yesteryear being put through their paces.

Bikernieki's website is HERE.

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