Several deputies objected to the funding. First of all, councilors were puzzled about why such a decision should be taken at the last moment since the festival will start on Friday.
Secondly, the confusion was caused by the fact that the former Mayor of Riga, Mārtiņš Staķis, who encouraged the allocation of these funds, was appointed rapporteur on the matter, but refused to answer the questions of Members. Consequently, the rapporteur on the matter was Laima Geikina, head of the Committee on Education, Culture and Sport.
The opinion of the Riga Investment and Tourism Agency (RITA) on the benefits of this festival was a great deal of criticism. For example, the conclusion that each euro invested brings EUR 0.42 to Riga was confusing. As a result, Rīga will get a little more than EUR 83,000 from the investment of EUR 200,000. The report did note that the overall economic benefits of the festival will be estimated at €3.3 million. So in the end, the decision was taken to allocate the funding.
According to the information presented to the deputies, last year, 43,000 attendees visited the “Positivus” festival in Rīga in two days, of which 6,000 were from abroad, mainly Lithuania and Estonia.
In 2022, the financing of the Riga City Council for the organization of the festival in the amount of EUR 200,000 was spent on artists' remuneration to ensure the competitiveness of the event. The funding is planned for the same purpose this year. €200,000 represented 14% of the total estimated costs of the festival Positivus.
The festival will take place in Riga for the second summer. It happened in Salacgrīva before.