Culture night, a Night full of Events and Light for all
On Friday night (June 16) Culture Night, one of the cultural highlights on the Vilnius public calendar saw thousands flocking to a smorgasbord of culture events. It is also called the night full of light, and this year there was a wide selection of events and visits on offer. All events were free, although some of the more popular concerts and visits required showing up early or registering.
From traditional museums and art galleries to access to places that rarely open their doors. There was street theater, flamenco dancing, and various forms of 'serious' music. There was also contemporary classical music and opera. Visitors could visit the garden the Presidential Palace, while singers performed music arias.
With more than 110 venues to select from there was something for every taste. Programmes were available in Lithuanian and English to help visitors select from event in the old town or this year even in Antakalnis Special programmes inside churches, family events in front of the Presidential palace and Bernardinai garden and elsewhere. Iceland Street, traffic-free for the day and night, looked a bit like an Icelandic landscape that included Vikings and life TV broadcast.
On another traffic-free Savičiaus street, people dined on tables in the street at the same time as an old-fashioned photographer created prints on paper in a makeshift studio. Even some light drizzle did not discourage the patrons. In the abandoned church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Consolation (Mergelės Marijos Ramintojos bažnyčia) on the same street, there were art installation and atmospheric light creations. Whilst in one room experimental cinema was shown, in yet another large room contemporary theatre entertained a fascinated the audience.
In front of the old town hall, there was an open-air performance of a Verdi opera Aida. A performance with a minimalist approach as a small orchestra supported a talented cast of singers. Meanwhile inside the Lutheran Church and the court yard on Voikiečių the ensemble Adoremus and a jazz band 'Klang Project' from Germany provided a musical trip through 500 years of Reformation (Martin Luther started his Reform in 1517).
Sound and light filled the Vilnius summer night with some events starting at midnight whilst other closed their doors around 22:00 or 23:00, but many were open until 02:00 in the morning.