Lithuanian prison to host new indie festival
Lithuanian promoter 8 Days a Week is launching a new festival at a century-old former prison in Vilnius.
The 3,000-capacity weekender, dubbed 8 festival, will take place at Lukiškės Prison 2.0 in Lithuania’s capital from 17–19 June.
Mac DeMarco, King Krule, Sleaford Mods, black midi, Black Country, New Road and Squid are among the first 16 acts confirmed for the festival.
“8 Festival is a new festival for true music lovers,” says Martynas Butkevičius, head of 8 Days A Week bookings.
“A festival that is yours now, with a lineup impossible to predict. What better place for this experience than a century-old former prison that has been recently awarded as the Lithuanian cultural phenomenon of the year in 2021? Lukiškės Prison 2.0 is our home and creative playground and one of the most incredible live performance spaces in the Baltics.
“All the music at this festival is important – icons of today and artists of tomorrow. Leave the ordinary, leave your problems at home. Be inspired for months (we take no responsibility if someone quits their job straight after our festival). Be there, grow free, visit Vilnius or have a damn good alibi.”
“Lukiškės Prison 2.0 is our and creative playground and one of the most incredible live performance spaces in the Baltics”
Moderat, Viagra Boys, Yves Tumor & Its Band, Yellow Days, Billy Nomates, Westerman, Genesis Owusu and Sub Urban are also slated to perform at 8 festival. A three-day ticket starts from €120.
Lukiškės Prison was constructed in 1905 and served as the biggest and most modern prison in the Russian Empire.
Before its closure in 2019, it housed around 1,000 inmates and employed 250 prison guards.
The 20th-century prison is now inhabited by more than 350 artists after the Lithuanian government turned it into a versatile entertainment and arts venue.
Its six buildings – which also include a hospital, administration buildings and the St Nicholas Orthodox Church – now offer a total area of 2ha (5ac) for events and other public activities.
The prison previously served as a shooting location for series four of Netflix’s Stranger Things.
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Vilnius’s Lukiškės Prison to be turned into venue
Lukiškės Prison, an early 20th-century former prison in central Vilnius, will be turned into a versatile entertainment and arts venue under new plans drawn up by the Lithuanian government.
Turto Bankas, a state-owned property company, is inviting private businesses to register their interest in a project to convert the prison complex, which is located next to the Seimas Palace, home to the Lithuanian parliament, into a “multifunctional centre of art, culture, and education”.
Lukiškės Prison, which closed in 2019, is currently leased to an events business and recently served as a shooting location for series four of Netflix’s Stranger Things. Before its closure, it housed around 1,000 inmates (as of 2007) and employed 250 prison guards.
Its six buildings – which also include a hospital, administration buildings and the St Nicholas Orthodox Church – now offer a total area of 2ha (5ac) for events and other public activities; for example, 2019’s ‘alternative Christmas’ event at the prison, which featured art and light installations throughout its courtyards.
Its six buildings offer a total area of two hectares for public events
The regeneration project will involve upgrading a part of the complex for cultural and commercial purposes, according to the city, with the other half focusing on its heritage as a prison, as well as modern “multicultural Lithuanian society”.
According to Turto Bankas, the regeneration project, in addition to entertainment leisure facilities, could include “non-conventional accommodation facilities, a food quarter, co-working spaces, a museum [and] workshops, leisure and entertainment spots” – though it notes that as a protected building, the amount of transformation possible would be limited.
Interested parties, it adds, should be committed to “maintaining the commercial-educational balance” in the revamped venue.
City of Vilnius releases ‘socially distanced’ Xmas LP
In partnership with the city of Vilnius, a group of Lithuanian electronic music producers have released Re-Xmas, a ‘socially distanced’ Christmas album commemorating the “extraordinary” 2020 festive season.
As a video on the Re-Xmas project website explains, the album features reworkings of traditional Christmas songs, including ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Silent Night and ‘O Christmas Tree’ (‘O Tannenbaum‘), by top local talent.
The ‘social distancing’ element sees the composers adding two equal intervals of pause – symbolising two metres’ distance – after each note from the song’s main melody.
Contributors include dark-techno DJ Alex Krell, ambient producer Fume and experimental electronic duo Lakeside Culture, with the album’s release supported by Lithuanian DJ collection Antidote Community.
The project also incorporates an audiovisual installation near Kablys, the Vilnius electronic music mecca, while the album will be played as album of the week on the national radio station LRT Opus.
Listen to the full Re-Xmas album on SoundCloud here.