VALKA - The small town of Valka, snug on the border of Latvia and Estonia, will be bumping stereo vibes into both nations Aug. 14 when it hosts a rock-music concert inspired by the same motives as Woodstock. Feelings of peace and love will penetrate the boarder as Valka brings the summer of '69 mantra to the Baltics. Well, almost.
Instead of the psychedelic folk music of the Woodstock era, listeners will be treated to heavy guitar sounds rocking two stages.
Valka's first stage will host a competition for up and coming bands in the Baltics. The 14 preselected bands competing for individual prizes include, The Sound, Nta Serija, Age of Stones and Double Faced Eels. Well known band members, music reviewer Uldis Rudaks from Diena, and music and sound director Andris Niklavics will come together with the mastermind behind this event - Valka City Mayor Vents Armands Krauklis - to discern the musically talented from the musical dreamers as competition judges.
While shaky knees and clammy palms take over the first stage, the second will be jamming with free-style performances from alternative bands like D.A.R.K., Dead Letter Box, Pornstone, and The Violence of Silence. The special guests, ready to show the new bands a thing or two about rock 'n' roll, are established bands Ladezers and Lauris Reiniks. They will top the list of over 30 bands performing Aug. 14, including a somewhat out of place girl band called 4 Elements.
Kraukils, a musician himself, is using the festival to improve relations between Latvia and Estonia on a nonpolitical level. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of Estonian bands taking part. But Estonian musicians should fear not, as they haven't missed their chance. The first of its kind in the Baltics, the Valka City Council plans to host this novel festival annually.
In true Baltic style the event is sponsored by alcohol - and this year it's Piebalgas Alus beer. So get over to Valka, grab a beer and enjoy rocking-out with the 1,000 other music fanatics expected to attend. o
Latvian-Estonian rock festival
Valka Open Air Theater
Aug. 14 - 6 p.m.
Tickets - 2 lats (3 euros)
for more information
call: 644 6602