best parties in europe

The Best Party in the Baltics: Positivus

Turner Latvia, Travel Job Tips

One of the Best Parties in Europe? Positivus delivers

It has been pouring rain in the Baltics for the past two weeks. Not like Seattle rain (light & long), or even Thailand rain (short & hard) – but more like the steady, constant I-lost-the-will-to-live sort. But despite the fact I wasn’t born with gills, the party rolls on. And this party is the best in the Baltics. Rarely am I pleasantly blown away by an event that every person I talked to raved about (*see marriage), however, Positivus – is an exception.

I was hesitant to go to be honest. I had heard that it was one of the best parties in Europe, but living in a mud shithole with alternative hippies listening to some indie rock band I haven’t heard of isn’t my bag, but man-oh-man I was wrong. On the border between Latvia and Estonia lies Salazgriva, a small town(?) which hosts the annual Positivus Festival. Situated on the beach, the party venue is nestled between water, beach, light forests, and acres of party madness. Dozens of stages with different groups, bars doling out the jagermeister and some weird Baltic liqueur , and food booths offering up organic natural treats to the delicious international food (curries, woks, other asian shit) litter the grounds.

Despite the fact that halfway through the festival it rained mercilessly, turning the grounds into a giant mud pit, the spirit of Positivus remained…positive. The music in the mud was a delight. Rain ponchos materialized from vendors, offering free ponchos if you could consume 5 Jager shots (which was would have been challenge if I was 5 years old, or had actually attended my college courses), while others with more foresight and planning skills (I hitched hiked from Tallinn Estonia on the day of the festival, had no tent, no rain clothes, no food etc. Only pants and self-induced-drinking-delusional-grandeur) brought out the full rain outfits and mud boots. Brilliant.

And my last upside surprise was the upbeat demeanor of the attendees. Normally, people from the Baltics roam the streets of their cities (Tallin, Riga, Vilinius etc ) looking like they saw just a dementor. Once more, if you approach them and attempt conversation in the street**, you will be lucky to get more than a two-word response (no English, leave alone, or the timeless classic fuck off). However, during Positivus, someone must have spiked the social punch, because one word answers changed to linked sentences filled with….emotions and a steady flow of booze. Jesus obviously is an indie rock fan.

Oh and I guess it doesn’t hurt that those indie loving free spirits were blondes wearing short shirts with rain boots as they grooved to Baltic beats. Give me my poncho for I will Captain this party boat next year in a monsoon.

*A failed experiment enslaving men and keeping divorce lawyers employed
**People will talk (kind of) to you, but rarely in the street and you will most likely only see a smile after your first anniversary together