Vilnius Culture Night

14.06.2017 |

Darkness will descend on Vilnius this weekend as the city’s artists and cultural and educational organisations gift the city with the annual free event, Vilnius Culture Night.

From 6pm on Friday 16th of June to the wee small hours of the next morning, Vilnius will play host to around 200 different projects, installations and events, all under the cover of darkness.

Previously known as Let it be Night!, the culture night was originally organised in 2007, as Lithuania prepared for its role as the 2009 European Capital of Culture. In that first year there were just 40 items scheduled in the programme so to feature over 200 in 2017 is certainly testament to the popularity and success of the event.  

Participating artists come mostly from Lithuania but there are also a number of foreign contributors to the programme and on the night, 100 - 150 thousand people will turn up to join in. 

The event’s ethos is based in the belief that culture is best enjoyed in darkness. This does not mean without light of course, but where all light not essential to the performance or presentation is eliminated. We are all familiar with this idea – as the lights dim in the cinema before the film begins, as the auditorium is blackened and the curtains open to reveal a magical revelation through theatre, or music or dance. Darkness provides immersion in what is being presented and light becomes a key part of the design.  

Getting ready for a crazy cultural night in Lithuania

The Vilnius Culture Night presents music, dance, theatre, cinema, photography, installations and more in public and unexpected spaces around Vilnius. Squares, side streets, parks, courtyards and churches become the sets for these pieces, with all of the surrounding environment plunged into darkness.   

Some highlights of the event include:

Nordic Stage_From 6pm on Friday night, concerts featuring songs from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Norway and Sweden will be held. At 7pm The Lithuanian and Norwegian choirs Fauske Blandakor and The Club of Song Lovers will kick things off, followed by Vox Nord at 9pm performing operatic works from northern European and Baltic countries. The Susanne Lundeng Trio will wrap things up from 11pm with Norwegian folk music on violin, organ and percussion. All of this and more can be enjoyed in the inner courtyard of the Presidential Palace of the Republic of Lithuania.

Art Warehouse Ramintoja_The newly reopened Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Consolation will be the venue for a series of music and theatrical cultural highlights if you can tear yourself away from the Nordic Stage. Performers will present dance compositions and plays amidst various exhibitions and installations in different areas of the former church, from 6pm. 

The festival is initiated by Daina Urbanavičienė, the Chair of the Lithuanian Council of Culture and Member of the Council of Vilnius City Municipality. Vilnius Culture Night will be held on June 16th all over the city of Vilnius, Lithuania. You can read more about it on the Vilnius Culture Night website.  

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"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)