Latvia weekend events: Sea of Red

The weekend events guide prepares you for an onslaught of good things happening in Latvia, including music, chances for taking a dip in the chilly water, watching acclaimed movies, and more. Enjoy!

1. Simply Red

Simply Red will perform their greatest hits in concert at Arena Riga tonight at 19:30 in the tour that celebrates the band's 30th anniversary. 

The evening will be opened by local performer Jānis Stībelis, who said that his idea for the opening repertoire is drawing parallels between Simply Red and soul music, on which they had a huge influence.

"Keeping in mind my previous collaboration with Simply red and producer Andy Wright, it'll be nice meeting people who have influenced my music again, and a wave of positive emotions," said Stībelis.

As the band's career spans several decades and more than several albums, perhaps the tour set list from the October 20 concert might warm you up to the prospect of 'giving music a chance'. Tickets are still available, starting at €39.

2. Riga International Film Festival

Starting Monday, expect film lovers and industry people to roam the streets looking depressed and/or hungover as the Riga International Film Festival (IFF, taking place from October 15 - October 25) is set to close. Though at least the impending sense of loss should be mitigated by that they'll have finished a wonderful job of introducing Rīga to what's new and important in cinema.

This weekend the last screenings of the festival take place with goodies such as The Magic Mountain, Amy, Louder than Bombs and others being shown in the cozy and elegant movie theaters of Rīga.

LSM has covered the Short Riga program and the Nordic highlights film selection - films from both selections are still shown on the weekend and are of particular local interest. Perhaps it's time you switch the couch to a cozier seat (or another couch in the case of Splendid Palace's main hall balcony) and go watch a real movie.

A video featuring Norwegian embassador Steinar Egil Hagen and head of Norden office Jan Widberg covers the reactions of the viewers to the Nordic Highlights program, along with peeks into Nordic noir (not a genre!) cinema. 

Here's the list of Rīga IFF screenings. You may also want to print the 144-page festival brochure, which makes for an unlikelily fascinating reading material, describing the movies and showing the faces behind this magnificent event. 

3. Night dip a la Rainis

The organizers of the youth theater festival Rainis and Aspazija for you have come up with an unexpected Friday offer.

A night time ritual in the manner of Rainis at the Majori beach from 9:30 to 10 PM. Swimming to reach poetry of time long ago, almost too far away yet somehow keeping heart warm. Well, something like that - the poetry connection isn't obvious, but, well, is poetry ever obvious?

The dip will be featured by winter swimmers in the attire of the famed Latvian poet – participants of the Latvian winter swimming club Seals of Latvia.

Expect your mood to mirror the zany picture for a few days after the swim!

4. Hungarian jewelry

What better way to top off the splendors of poetry, cinema and music than with very real jewels. The art gallery Putti will have Hungarian jewelry from artists Reka Lorincz and Flora Vagi on show in an exhibition that is the fruit of collaboration between the Hungarian Embassy in Latvia and the gallery. The exhibition is on show from October 16 until October 30.

"Jewellery design means the interpretation of today’s world to me, a sort of communication between the outside world and that of my own – making the invisible visible. Through my jewels I am contemplating the tangled variety of the universe. 

Heaps of emotions and thoughts pass through my mind through the impulses of the environment which I examine and turn them into objects," said Reka Lorincz.

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