Urban instincts in ‘Ziedoņdārzs park festival’

Urban instincts in ‘Ziedoņdārzs park festival’
Kaspars Garda, Riga 2014 . director of Ziedoņdārzs festival project Katrīna Dūka
16-05-2013 A+ A-
Thursday from 14-00 o’clock everyone in Riga is invited to Ziedoņdārzs where the festival of LAC Cultural College of Latvia’s students named after its venue will be held. As director of the project Katrīna Dūka told to portal 'Riga 2014,' the theme of the festival 2013 is Urban Instincts. ‘And let those who end their work late in the evening not be dispirited as the festival will not end until 23-00!’ – the head of the project promises. Next year, in turn, ‘Ziedoņdārzs festival’ will be part of ‘Road Map’ program.

What helps urban dweller to survive and adapt

Katrīna reminds that the beginnings of this festival are found in 2009, when it was held for the first time, titled ‘The Tales of Ziedoņdārzs.’ ‘We saw, two years later, that the students of Latvian Academy of Culture were interested in our event and that its organization is a good way of gaining experience, therefore, the festival gradually expanded. If there were only our college students and people from the neighborhood early on, now, we want to include more of the public of so called far center,’ director of the project reveals.


The theme of the festival is Urban Instincts this year and, as Katrīna underlines, it should mark creativity – the sense, which helps to survive, adapt and produce immaterial value in the city, which is why the festival will fall in two parts – scientific one and – entertainment. ‘The scientific part will be research work of the College of Culture, but that is more intended for our students. The second part will involve creativity, since we want to accentuate creative industries.’ Thus, the collaboration of Riga College of design will be continued, organizing a fashion show, and its students will participate in workshops demonstrating the possibilities to re-work used items of wardrobe into something new and interesting.

                  The audience of the festival will have chance to see films created by students of the college and photo show sharing the theme ‘Urban Instincts’ with entire event.

 ‘Those who are uninterested in workshops, will be offered entertainment – skate-park and athletic demonstrations, as it is also one of the modes how creativity is expressed; there will be no shortage of things to do for children, and they will have a  chance to learn about electronic music in a tent,’ Katrīna adds.


Entertainment part of the festival, mostly stage-related, will be rich as well: to honor the festival, the LAC students have staged a classic Latvian comedy, to be followed by performances of recognized groups – Velvet Supernova, Pyro tress, Gapoljeri and LAC musicians. ‘Those are young people, it is their initiative, their creativity,’ director of the project repeats, adding that the evening will last till eleven PM, with its activities giving opportunity to get involved to everyone.

To return the former splendor to the park

Asked whether the festival would not be more logical to hold on weekend, Katrīna does not hesitate to answer that this had been the only possible date. ‘School children will be able to attend the festival by day, while the most interesting part will begin in the afternoon, to be convenient for everyone. And I can promise that no one will be bored: there will be lots of interesting things to see and enjoy during the whole day.’


The only problem, which could ruin the festival, as Katrīna says, is rain as it was been in four previous years it was organized. ‘It was beautiful weather for entire week and raining precisely as we had to open our procedure…

                I am not sure what I could do to help the matters – to sing magical folk-songs or develop a special organizing unit responsible for the weather conditions.’

Katrīna adds with a smile: all forecasts promise a clear Thursday in Riga.

The audience of this festival has not reached thousands so far, but Katrīna and her team are trying hard to ensure that this festival, which will open the season of open-air festivities in Riga, becomes more attractive and oticeable. ‘Our aim is to turn Ziedoņdārzs as popular as Vērmaņdārzs or Kronvalda park. And, I think, it is possible for this park-garden is neither entirely in the center, nor – on the outskirts of town. And it is very beautiful. I have studied its history a bit: Ziedoņdārzs was very popular place of recreation in the past. I think that the more people will get involved in such activities, the sooner this park will establish itself as a new cultural space,’ Katrīna Dūka is convinced.



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