The Riga Jurmala Music Festival opened last weekend 16-18 July with huge success, being one of the world’s first international music festivals to welcome 100% capacity audiences without masks. The Festival took the decision to only allow audience members who had been double vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID-19, to allow for maximum numbers of people to enjoy the world-class visiting artists in the safest possible circumstances. The first weekend saw around 3,500 visitors across the five concerts at Riga’s Great Guild and Jurmala’s Dzintari Concert Hall.
This year’s opening weekend line-up included Yuja Wang playing with the newly-formed Mariss Jansons Festival Orchestra, made up of members of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Concertgebouworkest, the Oslo Philharomonic Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to honour the late Latvian conductor. The Orchestra’s debut performance under the baton of John Eliot Gardiner was a roaring success, resulting in a standing ovation from the audience and enticing no less than three encores from the musicians.