More festival tickets to go on sale after June 10

Additional tickets for this summer’s song festival in Latvia will not be available until after June 10, says Romāns Vanags, head of the Song and Dance Celebration Office in Rīga. After tickets for the most popular concerts sold out in just hours, Culture Minister Helēna Demakova in March told Vanags she wants more tickets made available.

The song festival office is recommending that two dress rehearsals be made public events to which tickets are sold, according to a press release. Appearing May 12 on Latvian Independent Television, Vanags said the July 5 dress rehearsal for the July 6 opening concert in the Mežaparks open-air theater in Rīga, as well as the dress rehearsal for the July 6 “Deju svētkiem – 60” folk dance concert in Arēna Rīga, would become public events. However, given their investment in preparing for these events, song festival participants would get the first opportunity to buy tickets, according to the press release.

Unsold tickets from the new public events, as well as additional seating arranged for the opening and closing concerts in Mežaparks and the grand folk dance performance in the Daugava stadium, would go on sale after June 10. Song festival organizers say nearly 4,000 additional tickets will be made available for both the opening and closing song concerts, plus 1,800 additional seats will be arranged for the dance performance.

The Mežaparks theater is undergoing construction to add seating for a total of almost 22,000 spots.

Vanags said a June 3 meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers will review the song festival budget, the office announced in a press release.

When additional tickets do go on sale, a limit will be imposed. That limit is yet to be determined. After tickets sold out quickly in March, rumors surfaced about scalpers buying up blocks of seats. However, the song festival office said, police have found no evidence that happened.

The 2008 Latvian Song and Dance Festival is scheduled from July 5-12. Program details are available by visiting

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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