Gaudeamus was established in 1955 as an addition to the annual song celebrations Estonia was already taking part in. A group of singers and conductors were inspired to unite students from the three Baltic countries to sing together and the rest is history.
Gaudeamus is a festival that celebrates the best of Baltic song and dance, with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania rotating hosting duties. This year the honour falls to Estonia and over 4000 performers from across the Baltic region will descend on Tartu. More than 30,000 spectators will watch some of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania’s most talented choirs, dancers, and musicians perform. In addition to the Baltic performers, there are usually performers from other neighbouring countries and beyond who also attend.
The festival will open on Friday 22nd June at 9pm with a firelighting ceremony and torchlight parade at the Gaudeamus Rock in Kassitoome Valley. This will be followed by a spectacular opening show on and around the river, featuring pyrotechnics, special effects, video, light and sound. The programme for the remainder of the festival is filled with special concerts, performances, and parades.
If that’s not enough to celebrate then brace yourself! Through the duration of the festival, there will be a number of free events, including an evening dance performance on Saturday 23rd and the Tartu song festival on Sunday 24th.
Programme director for the Gaudeamus free city stage programme, Anna-Liisa Ingver, discusses the importance of culture and free events in the festival. “Public performances for the city residents are an inseparable part of Gaudeamus. During the festival, the air is filled with youthful energy, and there can never be too much culture. The ensembles are very interesting, and it is definitely worth it to come see them,”
Gaudeamus will be held from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th June 2018 in Tartu, Estonia. For more information, including the programme, visit the Gaudeamus website.
"Culture includes not only culture and arts, but also the way of life and system of values. In this sense culture becomes the major power for intellectual renewal and human perfection." (European Council Report on European Cultural Policy)