November 23, 2023

From Berlin to Baltics: Vilnius Rave Renaissance Unleashes New Year's Rhythms in Former Factories 

The Lithuanian capital Vilnius is offering alternative New Year’s celebrations — from clubbing at the former factory, by the railway tracks, or at the top of the TV Tower  which holds significance for its brutalist architecture and serves as a commemoration of Lithuania’s independence.

November 23, 2023 — Vilnius, Lithuania. For those seeking an alternative way to welcome the New Year, Vilnius offers experiences that stand out from the usual New Year festivities. This North European city offers experiences like no other - from dancing the night away at a disco in an industrial railway bar to enjoying panoramic views atop the Vilnius TV Tower, which is not only a prominent symbol of the city visible from every vantage point but also a representation of the struggles and progress in Lithuania's fight for freedom.

Here are some of the most noteworthy venues for New Year's celebration, many of which were converted from old, unused buildings:

Rave and burlesque fusion at the former Palace of Railway Workers: “Kablys.” “Kablys” is located between Vilnius Old Town and the Train Station district, housed in the former residence of railway employees. The Palace opened in 1956 and its colonnade welcomed Soviet-times visitors from Riga, Minsk, Kaliningrad, or Moscow, evoking a sense of familiarity with ubiquitous Soviet antique aesthetics. The venue features a blend of ancient Roman-inspired interior details and modern urban aesthetics, such as high ceilings and massive columns. In their time, the first raves in Lithuania took place here, and later, enterprising Vilnius residents decided to establish the active leisure youth center "Kablys." 

New Year’s Eve. On New Year's Eve, the club invites visitors to celebrate among the familiar columns of "Kablys" and enjoy the "Nijinsky III" cabaret. The event, characterized by a stringent dress code, features burlesque artists like Austrian Beatrice Bristol, Polish Tom The Spice, and American Virgin X.

Upcoming event details will soon be available here.

Disco at the industrial travel bar at Vilnius Railway Station: “Peronas.” The bar “Peronas” is located on the first platform of the Vilnius Railway Station and hosts exhibitions, live music concerts, stand-ups, and film screenings. Embracing Berlin's musical essence, it offers a spectrum of genres, including techno, disco, and Balkan beats, creating a lively haven for dance enthusiasts and alternative music lovers. 

New Year’s Eve. “Peronas” extends an invitation to celebrate the New Year at their renowned annual bash, the "Disco For Lovers 2024" party which will uphold the tradition of uniting like-minded individuals to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new one with festive cheer.

Upcoming event details will soon be available here.

Techno revelry amid old industrial building walls: “gallery 1986.” On the cultural map of Vilnius, "gallery 1986" emerged, and its name was inspired by an inscription found on one of the floor tiles of the industrial site it now uses. A space is currently intended for various events - concerts, electronic music parties, theater, contemporary art, or cinema. Electronic music artists from countries such as South America, Germany, Belgium, and England perform at "gallery 1986" making it an international dance and music space that bears a resemblance to Berlin raves. 

New Year’s Eve. On the final night of 2023, "gallery 1986" invites party enthusiasts to come together for their annual New Year's celebration, "galore 2024," featuring the spirited theme of "music galore, dance galore, love galore.”

Event details can be found at the following link.

Live music in a former radio factory: "LOFTAS." The art factory "LOFTAS" is the most active cultural venue and the oldest club in Vilnius, which was founded in the former electrical engineering factory “Elfa.” In 1948, during the Soviet times, “Elfa” began manufacturing high-quality tape recorders, which were scarce locally due to most production being exported to the West. With approximately 8,300 employees, “Elfa” in these times had evolved into a nearly self-contained town, hosting sports competitions, a museum, cafes, hairdressers, canteens, and even a local newspaper. 

New Year’s Eve. This year, “LOFTAS” invites you to ring in the New Year at their “BLITZRAVE” event, offering a Berlin-style rave experience for an unforgettable celebration.

Event details can be found at the following link.

Panoramic festivities inside the city’s largest Christmas tree: Vilnius TV Tower. The Vilnius TV Tower, Lithuania's tallest building, has been transmitting signals since 1981 and stands as a symbol of national resistance. In 1991, it gained historical significance during the January 13 events, when 14 people lost their lives defending it against Soviet soldiers. The “Kovos už laisvę” (“Fight for Freedom”) museum is now situated on the 2nd floor of the TV tower, and on the 19th floor, there is a “Milky Way” restaurant which rotates 360 degrees every 55 minutes and is a versatile space for events, conferences, and sky-high dining experiences.

New Year’s Eve. During Christmas, the TV Tower transforms into the city's largest Christmas tree. On New Year's, the TV Tower restaurant invites guests to enjoy a festive European cuisine dinner, attracting both locals and visitors for a panoramic celebration.

Event details will soon be available here.