Conversation Festival LAMPA
Conversation Festival LAMPA, LATVIA
Stellar events, thoughtful discussions, and hot topics. Sarunu festivāls LAMPA (Conversation festival LAMPA) has become a meeting place to exchange ideas and to seek understanding between people of diverse opinions, political viewpoints and expectations.
Purpose and vision
“The purpose of the festival is to strengthen democratic conversation culture in Latvia, to foster civic engagement and active involvement in social and political processes and to encourage a lust for lifelong learning in an ever-changing world”.
Founder and year of establishment
LAMPA was established in 2015. The idea was hatched and nurtured by the Foundation for an Open Society DOTS in cooperation with its partners – Swedbank Latvia and the Change Agency Spark from Denmark.
The Foundation for an Open Society DOTS is the main driving force of the festival. The Executive Director of the Foundation is also the director of LAMPA. Co-organisers of the festival are the advertising agency “Armadillo”, communication management agency “Deep White”, Swedbank Latvia, the Municipality of Cēsis and the British Council Latvia. Besides
LAMPA relies on the assistance of volunteers prior to and during the festival.
Location and length
The 2-day festival is located in Cēsis and takes place at the end of June or beginning of July. Cēsis is located 90 km from Riga. The venue of the festival was chosen due to proximity to the capital, good location (castle park) and helpful municipality.
Size – number of participants and events
The number of unique visitors has increased six times – from up to 3500 in 2015 to more than 20 000 in 2019. If previously the estimate was calculated based on the number of wristbands given to festival visitors, then in 2019 a special counting method and formula has been designed. In 2019, we held the richest festival to date in terms of content and number of events – up to 400 events, more than 1500 speakers, 38 stages and almost 720 hours of conversations. In addition, live broadcast from the festival events was viewed more than 70 000 times.
People attending the festival
Although the majority of festival visitors are in the 20-45 age group, coming from Riga, Cēsis and other locations in the Vidzeme region, the festival is also attended by people of different age groups, social groups, ethnicity and gender coming from different parts of Latvia.
Involvement of the political parties
In 2018, an election year, LAMPA provided the opportunity to talk face-to-face with representatives of eight political parties by organising a special programme and area called ‘’Political Arena”. Besides, it has been a common practice that event organisers invite politicians to take part in their events, and some politicians attend the festival without speaking at any of the events.
Anyone can apply to organise an event or several events at LAMPA. The core group (DOTS and co-organisers) reviews and approves the applications based on the festival manifesto and criteria: the event must respect the Conversation festival LAMPA manifesto and promote the development of democracy in Latvia (but it can do this in a multitude of formats), participants must be engaged and diversity of opinions ensured. Service or product marketing is not allowed.
The programme is co-created with many organisations and individuals from the private and public sector, including state institutions and media. LAMPA provides a 1 h or 1,5 h spot on the shared infrastructure (stages/tents) or an opportunity to build their own infrastructure and organise a two-day programme.