RIGA, LATVIA – The team of oikotimes.com was lucky enough to attend the second edition of the Riga Eurovision Pre-Party last week-end. As far as I’m concerned, this was my second pre-party (after Amsterdam 2015), and I must say that I’ve enjoyed the experience more than ever before.
OGAE Latvia in general, and Miroslavs Kodis in particular did a beyond perfect job. All our needs were answered and always with a smile on their faces (but that seem to be a characteristic of the Latvian people). The Riga Convention Bureau granted us with nice goodies as well as a tour of the old city, in order to make us feel more than welcome, and meet some artists at the same time. What a great idea it was. Mission completed thanks to our perfect guide Agrita!
The press session
Friendly atmosphere and simplicity are the words that come to my mind when I think of that moment. The limited number of artists (9) allowed erasing the possible distance there can be between artists and journalists. Doing interviews in such a relaxed ambiance and with so enthusiastic and fun artists was a pure delight! But I must say that I’m one of those who believe that the smaller the pre-party, the better. Moreover, the Swedish embassy, who was one of the sponsors of the event, did a great promoting job in order to make us look even more forward to heading to Stockholm.
The venue “Spīķeru koncertzāle” was rather small but one again that was a very good aspect of the pre-party. It almost felt like a private session, and the audience could meet and even dance with the artists at the end. As far as performances are concerned, no bad performance could be noticed despite some sound problems for the performers. I would say that Spanish Barei did the biggest impressions with strong reactions from the audience. Some artists (Justs, Ivan, Poli…) performed more than their respective Eurovision entries and that was another good surprise. The after-party, at the “Dali Café” was even friendlier. Sadly, most artists could not attend because of early flights to Moscow the next morning. Nevertheless, we enjoyed ourselves with Poli, Sanja or Justs, and even tasted the famous Latvian Black Balsam (wow, that’s an experience).
To make it short, I loved the Riga Pre-Party, just because it did respect the concept: PRE (the point is not to do a cheap copycat of real Eurovision) and PARTY (because we were all together, artists, journalist and fans, sharing the moment).
Congratulations to Miroslavs and OGAE Latvia, and as we say in your language “Liels paldies!”.
See you next year, hopefully.