1. Laba daba (Good nature)
Laba daba is a music festival that shows the proverbial flower power to every visitor. About 70 acts from all around the world (including Latvia) will perform on five stages, bringing love and peace all the way to the apple orchard that'll serve as a tent city for the duration of the festival. The festival will be held from July 31 to August 2 at Ratnieki, some 70 kilometers from Rīga. Info & tickets.
The best-known guests, will, of course, be The Fall, but foreign acts such as Ngoma Africa Band, Nucleus Roots (Germany), Subhumans (The United Kingdom), and The Angelcy (Israel) will likely attract a fun seeker or two to the 10,000-strong music festival.
Get a henna tattoo, have your bust cast in alabaster, see the world from a camera obscura rickshaw - or attend one of the four marriages to be held in the festival - these are all very real things you can do in the rather ethereal festival of Laba daba.
2. Opera in Sigulda
The 23rd Opera Celebration in Sigulda will be the greatest one yet, at least according to the organizer Dainis Kalns. Although most will probably be skipping Sigulda for nearby Ratnieki where Laba daba will be held, you can actually manage to hit two birds with one stone.
On July 31 the first concert will be held at 7 PM, featuring solo singers from Latvia, while new talents will show off at the Sigulda city park the next day at 3 PM. Later the same day, the Golden Horse - a famous Latvian play - will be staged as an opera, but August 2 - the last day of the festival will see Miervaldis Jenčs and Antra Bigača perform solo songs from Emīls Dārziņš at the Sigulda Luteran church (1 PM), while the closing concert of the festival will be held at 6 PM.
3. Rock in Saldus, city celebrations all over the place
1) If you happen to like Latvian rock music, the Saldus Saule festival, which boasts to be the oldest rock festival in Latvia, is held on August 1 and 2 at the sweet city of Saldus (ask someone why it's so sweet while you're there!), hosting acts such as The Sound Poets, Dzelzs Vilks, Laika Suns and others.
2) City of Ventspils turns 725 - The beautiful if a bit infamous (thank you, mr. Lembergs!) coastal city celebrates its 725th birthday with a bang. Some 130,000 people are said to have attended the festival last year, so prepare to meet myriads of nice, laid-back people (to be accurate, actually 130,000 = 13 myriads).
The festival program embraces both popular City Festival traditions from previous years (parade, Flower Carpet Festival, Book Festival, Musclemen Championship, night dances in Renka Garden, etc.) and a range of new activities suiting different tastes, interests and moods (symphonic song play "From the Sweet Bottle", World Taste and Music Festival "Spices", vinyl record fair, etc.).
3) Rēzekne turns 730 - the whole of Rēzekne celebrates from July 31 to August 2, showcasing historic reenactments and celebrations of the Kingdom of Rēzekne, with lots of dancing, merrymaking and the likes in the process.
4. Counting colors on the wall
The Holi color festival will be held in Lucavsala on August 1, allowing you to act like you're a veritable card from the deck of fifty one. Splash wild colors everywhere, listen to numerous live acts, DJs and attend workshops that are actually a lot of fun for the whole family - and if you're alone, it probably won't bother you at all either way.
Then again, you shouldn't miss the Design film festival in Kuldīga, held from July 31 to August 2. Or else - you might want to skip to Lithuania where the Granatos Live festival will be held.
5. Go medieval and tickle your tastebuds!
The year of Cēsis Castle Medieval Days will hold cooking mastery classes and learn about what the peasants or (luckily) the lords ate. Explore the continent in European cuisine master classes and learn from wise and wizened women how certain herbs (or flowers!) can help you combat the grave ailment of overeating.
The festival is held from August 1 to August 2 at Cēsu Viduslaiku pils.
All of the events are in glorious real-life color 3D.