"Let it be night" - a sense of how real big cities feel like

Article published on June 21, 2009
community published
Article published on June 21, 2009
"Let it be night" was supposed to be the event of the Capital of culture year. All night, many galleries were open to public and there were many amateur and professional art events. The same pattern as last year (which I didn't see as I was not in Lithuania). From the artistic perspective, the art night, overall, was a disappointment, but the atmosphere was enjoyable and the city was revitalised.
Me and my friends visited the following events:

All the performances were very poorly organised. I wouldn't mind them being amateurish. It's OK - they are for free anyway. But why make promising titles and try to market is as a serious and professional art event?There was supposed to be a free exhibition at the Museum of music, theatre and cinema. As many people formed a promising crowd, we were told that only those who had registered in advance will be allowed to come in. OK, next event... - Experimental textile animations at one small textiles gallery were good. + The abandoned ice-cream shop in Sereikiskiu park was revitalised with good music and free tea from a famous and expensive tea house. Unfortunately, the programme was changed, so we didn't get to see what we planned. +- Tango lessons at the Sereikiskiu park had ended before we came, but there were still some couples dancing, and many were quite good at it. 0 At the Mickevicius/Mickiewicz monument, classical texts of world literature were supposed to be read in Lithuanian dialects. Nothing could be heard - On the way, there was a "ship" selling smoked fish & squid. + In the French park, a group of performers was supposed to enact famous paintings. They were 20 min late - without explanation, so we left. - On the way there, peole played reggae in the yard of the Irish pub. 0 At the Lukiskiu square, a pianist was playing Beethoven's 7th. Nothing could be heard - nobody even took care to put some microphones. - The most promising event seemed to be the "Drums and fire" performance at the Odminiu square. We came there in advance and stood waiting. As the even was supposed to start, there was a huge crowd waiting for it. The performers were walking around, checking equipment, talking to each other and constantly ordering people to step back. 10 past midnight there was still nothing happening. 15 past midnight a small van drove right on the square, people were ordered to make way for it. Apparently, it brought the musical equipment - right in time... The staff spent some more time setting up the equipment and fixing some problems. I believe the actual show started around 25 past midnight, with people already angry after standing for more than 40 min in the cold. The show started with six girls performing with fire - that was a promising introduction. Others lit some paper lanterns which rose to the sky. Two guys spinned some burning sticks which throw sparks all around. As we all warmed up for what we expected to be the main part of the performance, the performers said "thank you, we'll perform in an hour at the City hall square" and packed up. What??? Guess if the "drums" part was true. Sure not - there were no drums whatsoever. After this we didn't want to check other art events anymore. ---Anyway, the atmosphere was great! And no disappointment with the events could outweigh it. There were lots of people on the streets (yet, as far as I know, still no night-traffic...), they were relaxed and happy to see that the weather forecast proved wrong - the weather was just great most of the time. Being out in the city on Saturday night, with many places to go to and many things to do, felt just like it should in a capital, let alone "capital of culture".