The sixth edition of the LAMPA Conversation Festival will take place in Latvia and around the world from September 2 to 5. Although the format and time may be unusual, the festival will still have its usual scope and energy. With the unifying theme "Kopā” (together), this year the festival will focus on a wide range of issues, from childbirth to recommendations for a "green" burial. LAMPA invites everyone who has something to say, as well as everyone who is ready to listen, to engage in a valuable exchange of ideas, to sharpen their minds and to broaden their horizons by learning unusual but useful skills and ideas. With more than 200 events over the course of four days, the festival will be streamed live, free of charge, on the festivalslampa.lv website and at special viewing sites throughout Latvia. Many events can also be attended in person at the LAMPA studios in Cēsis, Riga and Rēzekne.
“Although Covid-19 has posed many challenges to this year's conversation festival, LAMPA has come up with new solutions to shine ever brightly. This year the festival will take place not for just two days, but for four days, and it will be more accessible than ever! In cooperation with our friends LMT Straume and Telia Latvia, the public will be able to connect virtually with LAMPA from anywhere in the world. On the other hand, we will be physically closer than previously to the residents of Rēzekne and Riga, because for the first time in the festival’s history we will be welcoming visitors in person not only in Cēsis but also at several studios in Riga and Rēzekne,” says LAMPA director Ieva Morica about this year’s festival.
The themes and formats of the festival events have remained diverse and appealing, confirming that LAMPA is a festival for everyone, no matter their age or interests. There will be events for speakers of Latvian, Russian and English as well as those who wish to learn the basics of sign language. In addition to global and seemingly inexhaustible discussion topics (such as democracy, values, liberalism, nationalism, etc.), this year LAMPA will also focus on practical skills and advice for how to lead a better life, including how to care for our eyesight, green living and how to help a grieving person. Parents will be able to participate in discussions about bullying (mobbing) in schools and children’s emotional health, how to motivate children to play sports, and tips for talking with teenagers. Young people themselves have contributed content to the special Short Circuit (Īssavienojums) programme, created in collaboration with the British Council in Latvia and young people from across Latvia. Senior citizens, for their part, will be able to receive suggestions for how to better integrate into the labour market.
Schools of the future, informal education, lifelong learning – education is always a current topic and will be in the limelight once again at this year’s LAMPA festival, thanks to Swedbank Latvia, the festival’s patron for education content. But visitors will also find culture and art, spiritual and physical health, economics and politics, environment and society, and technology at the LAMPA Conversation Festival. All this and more – in the form of discussions, conversations, practical workshops, lectures, shows, performances, interactive games and various other formats – awaits visitors at LAMPA. And as always, this wide range of issues affecting modern society will be presented with a welcome dose of humour, fun and entertainment.
More than half of this year’s LAMPA events will be held in person, in front of live audiences. Needless to say, all events will comply with current health and safety measures. Several studios in Riga (“Gaismas pils” studio at the National Library of Latvia, Splendid Palace studio, Swedbank Education Studio on Balasta dambis), Cēsis (Cēsis Concert Hall) and Rēzekne (Gors Concert Hall) will welcome in-person guests. Some event organisers will also be opening their own offices, courtyards, and other venues to the public. However, space at these events is limited. Seating will be available with prior registration or on a first-come, first-served basis, and all attendees must adhere to social-distancing rules. Information about event attendance can be found on the festival website next to the description of each event.
Another innovation this year is the global network of official communal viewing sites to experience LAMPA together with other people. Anyone can organise a communal viewing site, but register now so that it can be included on the LAMPA map in mid-August.
In order to avoid becoming overwhelmed by all of the events and not miss anything, festival-goers can compile their own personalised programme by using the “My Programme” tool on the festival website. This convenient tool allows people to select the events that interest them and create a schedule that can also be easily viewed on a telephone.