July 5, 2023. Six months into the 700th anniversary, Vilnius is hosting the biggest event of the year—an open-air urban festival As Young As Vilnius on July 21-25. The festival will reach its apex with a free concert in one of the greenest spaces within the city, Vingis Park. The park will become an international music arena for the night that will host the most prominent Lithuanian music stars and an exciting main act for British pop rock and electronic music fans—Bastille and Clean Bandit.
The artistic lineup will feature representatives of classical, electronic, dance, contemporary pop, rock, and other music genres. Last year’s festival, which celebrates the day of the patron saint of Vilnius, St. Christopher, was a major hit: the Scottish music star Lewis Capaldi was the main act, and there were over 45K spectators in attendance. The urban festival is also another big celebration of the city’s 700th anniversary—the official birthday and the accompanying Vilnius Light Festival were held on January 25th.
As a way of creating a night to remember for the concert’s attendees and marking the 700th anniversary, Vilnius has invited two headliners to share the stage. Bastille, a British pop rock band, has special ties with Vilnius as it filmed parts of a video clip for Things We Lost In The Fire in the capital ten years ago. The band has captivated global music enthusiasts with tracks like No Angels, Good Grief, and Of The Night, while its major hit Pompeii has 730M views on YouTube. Bastille does not shy away from difficult topics in their music—politics, classical mythology, and movie themes.
Another cult favorite—Clean Bandit—fuses electronic, dance, classical, R&B, and pop music genres and invokes the motifs from Mozart, Beethoven, and Dvořák musical pieces. One of the band’s top performing tracks Rather Be featuring Jess Glynne, has received a Grammy while Rockabye featuring Sean Paul and Anne-Marie toped most popular song lists for nine weeks in the United Kingdom. In 2018 Clean Bandit received two nominations at the prestigious BRIT Awards for Solo featuring Demi Lovato.
As Young As Vilnius festival’s program will consist of three parts. The first one will be run by the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre symphony orchestra, conducted by Maestro Ričardas Šumila. Popular arias performed by the Lithuanian opera stars Edgaras Montvidas, Kostas Smoriginas, Ieva Prudnikovaitė, and Aušrinė Stundytė will be an ode to the city’s deep historical roots and contemporary musicians that have reinvented the age-old genre.
The second part of the program will highlight some of Lithuania’s most-renowned musicians. Many A-list bands and singers will make an appearance as duos. For instance, Benas Aleksandravičius, the lead vocalist of the intense alternative rock band ba., which captured the hearts and minds of the young internet generation in just a few years, will join Monika Liu, Lithuania’s former entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, who charmed audiences worldwide with her jazzy and sultry lounge track Sentimentai. The duos will perform popular songs as well as new renditions of the old classics.
The third part will be dedicated to the key performances of the evening by Bastille and Clean Bandit.
The city’s visitors coming to Vilnius in July will get the chance to attend other 700th anniversary events—Lithuania’s first-ever Vilnius Biennial for Performance Art on July 23-August 6, Midsummer Vilnius festival on July 17-28, exhibition Pavilion: Vilnius 200 Years Ago open at the National Museum of Lithuania till October 15, or an exhibition Vilnius Poker: The Exhibition available at the modern art MO Museum till January 14.