June 15, 2023. On January 25, 2023, the streets of Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius, exploded with fanfare, lights, and spectacular performances for the city’s 700th anniversary. Now on July 25, exactly six months later, the city is preparing to host the As Young As Vilnius festival — a free open-air concert that will transform Vilnius into a unique international music arena.
The event, which will be held in Vingis Park — one of Vilnius’ largest urban green areas — aims to keep Vilnius’ birthday celebrations going strong with acts covering a range of genres: from classic, orchestral compositions to a performances by contemporary pop, rock, and electronic musicians’. The tradition of holding a festival on St. Christopher’s day started last year and attracted a lot of attention — over 45k people attended the festival.
The As Young As Vilnius festival promises an itinerary fit for fans of any music taste. The programme is divided into sections: first, attendees will be greeted by the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre symphony orchestra, conducted by Maestro Ričardas Šumila. Popular arias will be performed by opera stars Edgaras Montvidas, Kostas Smoriginas, Ieva Prudnikovaitė and Aušrinė Stundytė — an ode to the city’s deep historical roots and contemporary musicians that have reinvented the age-old genre in unexpected ways.
The second part of the programme highlights some of Lithuania’s most-renowned musicians. Many A-list bands and singers will be in attendance: from the intense alternative rock band ba. — who managed to capture the hearts and minds of the young internet generation in just a few years — to a former representative of Lithuania at Eurovision, Monika Liu, who charmed audiences worldwide with her jazzy and sultry lounge track ‘Sentimentai’.
One of the most highly anticipated commemorations begins on the 23rd — the first-ever International Vilnius Biennial for Performance Art. With artists displaying their work in a range of public areas, including parks, streets, new developments, historical sites, and interior venues, the festival transforms the entire city into a stage. Residents and tourists to the city will learn about the work of foreign artists as well as Lithuanian works that have attained international renown through an engaging and thought-provoking program.
Those arriving in Lithuania during this long weekend — July 21-27 — will also get to experience a whole city partying in unison, a celebration worthy of a 700th jubilee title. Vilnius’s Loftas Art Factory — officially recognised as the most active space in Lithuania for music, cinema, theater, fashion and dance projects — promises to hold a party throughout the weekend featuring some of Lithuania’s notable, up-and-coming performers performing inside it’s graffiti-laden yard. Not to be outdone, Lukiškės Prison 2.0, a former prison turned cultural center, promises to surprise guests with its now traditional blend of music, modern art, ample drinks, and historically-compelling atmosphere. Various events at Vasaros Terasa, Downtown Forest Hostel & Camping, as well as Opera Social House are also expected to keep people grooving into the night