The 2016 LAMPA festival was attended by three times as many people as last year – almost 9000 festival goers proved that a culture of conversation, and social and political engagement is on the rise. We are pleased to announce that the LAMPA festival will take place again next year, June 30 and July 1, in the Cesis castle park. Organizers have not yet launched the application process for 2017; however, countless inquiries have already streamed in, asking for the opportunity to include events in next year’s festival. We are confident in forecasting an even larger scale event for 2017.
The grand finale of the LAMPA festival was the political roast on the big stage, where 4 of Latvia’s best comedians roasted 4 politicians – Mārtiņš Bondars, Ilze Viņķele, Raimonds Bergmanis and Imants Parādnieks. The audience laughed, cheered, and even booed when the jokes went too far, or hit too close to home. The festival organizers commend and thank the politicians for their courage in agreeing to participate!
It was standing room only at the discussion about the Donald Trump phenomenon, that brought the editor of ‘’Buzzfeed” Ben Smith to the festival stage with the message that there is little chance of Donald Trump changing his political views upon election.
A highlight of the cultural programme was the performance ‘’Borders”, an experience of the senses – feelings, taste, touch and hearing – where participants listened blindfolded to stories told by Cēsis inhabitants. MiniLampa thrilled the younger cohort of festival goers and their families, who coloured, drew, played games, laughed and conversed.
“We, the festival organizers, are elated that LAMPA has become a meeting place, a place to exchange ideas and to seek understanding between people of diverse opinions, political viewpoints and expectations. LAMPA gathered Latvians, Russians, liberals, nationalists, local patriots, former refugees from Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, offering a place to learn and converse, enabling one to traverse the boundary between ‘’my people’’ and ‘’the others’’. The volume of attendees proves that we are not apathetic, we care, we are able to engage in social and political life, and this is the best way forward to a brighter common future,” stated Ieva Morica.
The festival is over, but conversation continues in the LAMPA social media fora, where festival goers have described LAMPA as a festival of enlightenment – of the mind, of democratic values, of creative force. ‘’I am a 100% fan for the second year! And once again this year I was saddened that I cannot clone myself in order to be in many places at once! „Boundaries”, ‘’Complaints Choir”, the LAPAS tent, and so much more – simply fantastic! Thank you to everyone who co-created this festival of the mind!” These were the emotions shared by a festival goer.
The conversation festival LAMPA included 150 separate events, in a myriad of formats with a diverse range of topics, all taking place July 1 – 2 in the Cēsis castle park. Events were organized by over 80 organizations, with the aim of strengthening democratic culture and the culture of conversation in Latvia.