It’s been ten years since the first festival took place in 2003, but a question repeatedly voiced by festivalgoers is – what is the festival’s purpose? Briefly – Skaņu Mežs is organised both to give an overview of the latest developments within the music world as well as to create interesting musical events in Riga so as to make Riga a more interesting place for its inhabitants. One of the ways in which the festival does this is to scout and select interesting new venues for each festival, some of which the wider audience has never heard of. This results in musical performances which have the power to surprise, bore, shock – in other words performances which cannot immediately be absorbed.

Skaņu Mežs is a music festival which has as its goal to widen the audience’s horizons, and to offer alternatives to dominant views on culture by introducing them to music, cinema and art. Many of the festival’s events offer the visitors’ intriguing experiences which give layered, strong impressions. The events can be seen as an opportunity for people to detatch themselves from their mundane and everyday comfort zones in this way refreshing their perspective on the world.

This doesn’t, however, mean that the Skaņu Mežs repertoir is purposefully complicated or contrary. Quite the opposite, as even though the festival is a platform for unconventional music, it also includes performers whose work is perhaps less challenging. Because of this you could encounter a more classic contemporary act and a peculiar pop act at the same performance. The festival doesn’t focus on a certain musical genre or category, but rather on a new sound language, for people seeking new perspectives and contexts.

Skaņu Mežs is the co-founder and member of International Cities of Advanced Sound (ICAS). Likewise Skaņu Mežs is a member and the co-founder of European Cities of Advanced Sound (ECAS). ECAS is supported by the European Comission.

For the latest events of Skaņu Mežs check here:

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