From Riga by bus to ‘Positivus’, a friendly, sunny and well run weekend music festival in northern Latvia. I’ve optimistically labelled this as part one, even though we’re only 40% of the way through the festival. Kraftwerk are still to come you see, alongside plenty more treats (and perhaps some rain) so these are mere opening shots to set the scene.
Positivus is opening my eyes to what can be done with a music festival. The mix of local, regional and international artists is warmly welcomed by the audience, as is the €60-70 entry fee I should imagine (including camping). Sure, there are plenty of branded outlets, which I guess helps keep the price down and the artists big. The brands aren’t resting on their laurels though with mere free samples and the like. Coke want you to play their game; Tuborg the same; someone has a ball pit and Garnier are dishing out sun cream. The crowd are lapping it up (not literally in the case of the sun cream) and it certainly adds to the atmosphere of the place. Straight in the gate you’re confronted by all this stuff en route to the stages.
Just before you get there though, leave a little time to charge your phone courtesy of Lattelecom. They’re the same people providing ample free wifi. Expectations are such that the festival crowd would notice something amiss where they not to enjoy these basic human rights. Like I say, this is new to me at this kind of event, but it doesn’t take long to get used to it.
Speaking of the crowd, I’m just about the oldest person here who isn’t (a) performing, or (b) accompanied by children. Everyone’s been very kind to me though; maybe someone will offer me their seat later tonight when I start looking tired.
Photos: the bus pick-up point in Riga; the festival; last night’s headliners Elbow; the beach (one minute’s walk from the main stage); festival goers; and, my little tent nestling in among the neighbours.