Summer is in full swing, and with that comes thunderous outdoor events too. One of the biggest this summer in Lithuania is Audra, a contemporary city festival in Kaunas. Taking place from 29 June to 3 July in the European Capital of Culture, Audra is a five-day music and art festival in the city's spaces. The sheer number of events will leave even the biggest gourmets baffled. But what if you want to see the best of the best? The festival curators share their tips on how not to get lost in the hectic festival and offer you 10 recommendations on what not to miss during the festival.
NR. 10: AN EVENING IN A BRUTALIST MASTERPIECE
On the very first evening of the festival on 29 June, the night will be devoted to the brutalist architecture masterpiece. For a single day Kaunas Taxi Park will become the venue for the performance by Italian electronic music composer Caterina Barbieri and the exclusive audiovisual installation "Hiding From The Inside" by Kamilė Rimkutė, Naurimas Michailiuk, Domas Verikas, Viliaus Smalinas and Paulius Varonenka. This free event will take place in the impressive 1978-built Kaunas Taxi Park in Vilijampolė. Today, due to its extremely picturesque location, the park is being considered for demolition, so this may be the first and probably the last opportunity to see a cultural event there.
NR. 9: BERLIN AT THE SOBOR
The super popular dance music radio station HÖR is moving from Berlin to Kaunas for this special occasion. On Thursday (30 June from 18:00 to 00:00), the radio station will be broadcasting directly from the Mykolas Žilinskas Art Gallery, right next to the famous Kaunas Sobor. The broadcast will be dedicated to the specials sets by Lithuanian DJs - Manfredas, Mario Moretti, Marios Paskevic with Meri Hov, Mamiko Motto and VHS Library.
NR. 8: MINIMALISM AND JAPANESE POLYPHONY
Among music geeks, this part of the programme is the most anticipated. It is the world premiere of "Silent Birds" by Japanese composer, percussionist and minimalist pioneer Midori Takada. The composer has been working on this piece for several months together with the local Lithuanian traditional polyphonic singing ensembles Gaudė and Devynragė. Midori Takada is famous for her unique approach to present new musical pieces each time she visits a foreign country, so the new piece has never been heard before. Midori Takada composed it with the crimes of Russian war in Ukraine in mind. The bird is a symbol of freedom for the Japanese artist, which will be using traditional Lithuanian and Japanese polyphonic singing elements. Why the polyphonic singing? Lithuania and Japan are the only countries where this style of singing is still alive. The event will take place on 30 June at 20:00 in the VMU Great Hall.
NR. 7: THE CLOSING AT THE CONFLUENCE
One of the most spectacular public, open and completely free events of the festival. It is the grand closing concert of the musical part of the festival at the most spectacular place in Kaunas - the confluence of the Neris and Nemunas rivers. On 3 July, from 17:00 to 23:00, Estonian rap superstar Tommy Cash will perform here, supported by post-punk and alternative band BA., Lithuanian R&B innovator Free Finga and Kaunas rock stars Flash Voyage.
NR. 6: OCCUPIED YET OPEN GALLERY
The Mykolas Žilinskas Art Gallery, which was closed for reconstruction two years ago, will open its doors for a short time during the festival and will become the main space for the festival's artistic activities. From 30 June to 3 July, the gallery will be open free of charge from 12 noon to 10 pm. One of the most important exhibits is the installation "MR-808" by musicologist and robotic engineer Moritz Simon Geist, which presents a huge robotic drum machine that can be programmed live by the audience and allows visitors to create music in real time. The installation "(ne) išsakyti. (ne) žodžiai", an exhibition by artist GIA RAM, a VR zone, and on 1 July the performance "Me two / Savoj Krūvoj" by Vilnius City Dance Theatre "Low Air". Three immersive films - CONSCIOUS EXISTENCE, STRANDS OF MIND and PEACH GARDEN will be brought here in collaboration with French VR experience distributors "Diversion Cinema".
NR. 5: NOCTURNAL TALES OF THE CITY
At the M.Žilinskas Art Gallery, the action will continue during the night. On two consecutive evenings, 29-30 June, the visualisations of the audio festival „Banguoja" will be displayed on the facade of the gallery. During the night auditions, the event's organiser "Nepatogus kinas" will present a nightly open-air programme of audio documentaries. Visitors will be able to hear works by international and local audio artists in their original languages through wireless headphones.
NR. 4: LOVE, PEACE AND DANCING IN THE OAK PARK
The warmest, most anticipated and probably the most summery part of the festival is the spectacular free concert and open-air party in the sacred place of Kaunas - the Oak Park (Ąžuolynas). On Saturday (2 July from 14:00 to 22:00), the stage will host DJs Bradley Zero, Violet and Gabrielle Kwarteng, as well as bands Planeta Polar, Curly, Esa Afro-Synth Band, The Mauskovic Dance Band and others.
NR. 3: NFT FEVER AT THE MALL
Innovation is always one of the things that captures the imagination of artists. This is what the exhibition "NFThon: The Future“ is about. It is opening on Sunday (3 July) at the Akropolis Shopping Centre, highlighting a undiscovered synthesis of culture, blockchain-based innovation and sustainability that aims to inspire the next generation of artists, thinkers and responsible citizens.
NR. 2: KOMODA – FASHION FOR THE FUTURE
The Kaunas 2022 - European Capital of Culture Youth Programme project "KOMODA" started its work with the idea of giving Kaunas and Lithuanian creators a platform to showcase their work to the public. This year, the project is organising a fashion event for the second year in a row, where 14 emerging designers from Lithuania and abroad will present their collections to a wide audience in Kaunas. The fashion show will take place in the garden of the War Museum on 1 July at 16:00.
NR. 1: TWO NIGHTS AT THE FACTORY
The focal point for discussing all the festival's impressions, for gatherings and for new friendships will be the two-night dance music programme organised by the nightclub Lizdas and the rave "Prisukamas Abrikosas". On both Friday and Saturday, from 10pm, the huge rave will take place in the former metal factory „Pergalė“ with the artists such as Helena Hauff, Job Jobse, Call Super, Partiboi69, Kittin & The Hacker, LSDXOXO or Hector Oaks.
This TOP 10 is just a small part of what will be on offer in Kaunas throughout the days of the Audra Festival. The full programme of events can be found here: https://www.audrafestival.lt/programa
The programme of the Audra Contemporary City Festival is co-produced by the youth organisation "Kylantis Kaunas", "Freimas" and the team of the nightclub "Lizdas", together with Kaunas - European Capital of Culture 2022, Pažaislis Music Festival, Kaunas City Chamber Theatre, various partners from Japan, Greece, Serbia, France, Germany, Estonia, Finland and other European countries.