Next year Vilnius will celebrate a special 700th anniversary with a string of cultural, musical, and art events for the guests and the visitors: the highly successful summer festival As Young As Vilnius, exclusive city-wide opera performances, a beloved light festival, and seven art gifts from the city.
August 17, 2022. The residents and guests of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, are invited to dive deep into the cultural program generated for the grand 700th anniversary in 2023. On July 25th, the music festival As Young As Vilnius marked the six-month countdown to the birthday, featuring performers like Scottish pop music star Lewis Capaldi and drawing 40K spectators. Therefore, Vilnius promises to turn the festivities up a notch next year with seven major city-wide art projects and many more immersive events.
Grandiose winter and summertime parties
January 25th marks the day when Vilnius was mentioned for the very first time in the letters of Gediminas, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, therefore making this day the official birthday of the city. In 2023 the special occasion will be celebrated with a crowd-favorite Vilnius Light Festival.
The UNESCO-listed Old Town and the city center will be lit with modern light installations, digital media art, and the synthesis of architecture and illumination. The festival is visited by over 200K spectators every year, and the birthday show on January 25th-29th is expected to entice even larger crowds.
Although the true anniversary is in winter, Vilnius will be celebrating throughout all seasons of 2023. This year’s hit As Young As Vilnius, which had performers like Scottish pop music legend Lewis Capaldi as one of the main acts, returns on July 25th, 2023. The festival, which is held in honor of St. Christopher, the patron of Vilnius, will become a unique international music arena with the sounds of classical, pop, electronic, and other music. The organizers have promised to make next year’s festival even grander and to wow the residents and the visitors with exceptional performances and visual effects show.
Exclusive opera performances and interactive glimpse into past
In celebration of the grand anniversary, Vilnius has prepared seven projects as gifts of art, music, and interactive history for the residents and visitors. One of them is the Opera. Connect: Vilnius—A City of Opera project, which has been implemented for three years leading up to 2023 and has united the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre with the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania and the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.
Starting in January, everyone will be invited into the magical world of opera with several city-wide projects like Opera on Wheels—performances in urban spaces and residential districts, and Opera Art—events in institutions for socially vulnerable people and prisons. One of the highlights of the project is the restored performance Alopera dating back to the 17th century.
Among other city gifts, the capital’s guests and residents will also be given a chance to take a look at the 18th and 19th century Vilnius during the Lithuanian National Museum’s project Pavilion: Vilnius 200 Years Ago. Thanks to modern technologies—lighting, sound, visual projections, and augmented reality—the specially designed pavilion will depict Vilnius reborn in its olden-day glory. The interactive features will allow getting a glimpse into how the city’s topography and buildings, society, and culture changed over time.
More about the anniversary program in 2023 on the official website.