Extra song festival tickets go on sale June 7

Nearly 22,000 more seats to events will become available when the second round of ticket sales for the 2008 Latvian Song and Dance Festival in Rīga begins June 7, organizers have announced.

The additional tickets—a total of 21,918—are becoming available through a combination of rearranging and adding seating for some concerts and performances, as well as turning two dress rehearsals into public concerts.

Organizers were criticized after tickets for many popular events during the July 5-12 celebration sold out in just hours after going on sale in March. Rumors surfaced of blocks of tickets being snatched up by scalpers who supposedly used Internet sales to their advantage. Minister of Culture Helēna Demakova demanded song festival organizers figure out how to make more tickets available.

“We have tried to do everything possible to make the Song and Dance Festival more accessible,” Romāns Vanags, head of the Song and Dance Celebration Office in Rīga, said in a June 4 press release.

Tickets will go on sale at 11:00 hours EEST June 7 at Biļešu paradīze offices around Latvia. An extra 500 tickets are designated for sale in Liepāja, where problems were encountered during the first round of sales.

Internet sales through www.bilesuparadize.lv are scheduled to start at noon EEST June 7, organizers said.

Ticket sales will be limited, organizers added. No more than four tickets to one concert may purchased at one time, while Internet sales will be limited to eight tickets at one time. No telephone reservations will be accepted.

Additional tickets include 5,858 to the July 6 opening concert in the Mežaparks open-air theater in Rīga; 1,134 to “Deju svētkiem – 60” July 6 in Arēna Rīga; 5,123 to the July 10 and 11 grand folk dance performances, and 4,147 for the July 12 closing concert.

Tickets also will go on sale to the July 5 dress rehearsals for the opening concert and for “Deju svētkiem – 60.” Participants in the festival will have the first opportunity to buy these tickets, and those that are not sold will be offered to the general public.

Program details for the song and dance festival are available by visiting www.dziesmusvetki2008.lv.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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