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Quietly proud and respectable festival crosses the beauty of nature with understated, unrivalled programming.

While Latvia might not be high up on the list of festival destinations, such as nearby Croatia, it really should find itself on an even keel - cheap festival tickets, a mixed crowd, beautiful weather and a Baltic coastline give Latvia the ingredients of a hidden gem that's waiting to be discovered by both the festival goer and holidaymaker alike, catering for both the weekend breaker and the more adventurous explorer in equal measure. 
  
Situated around a two-hour drive from Latvia's stunning capital Riga and towards the border of Estonia, Positivus finds itself in a unique setting - sporting a forest and a beach in the same site, the experience of this small but proud festival was just as important as the musical programming - offering much more than the usual cramped crowds and soul-less queuing systems that permeate the majority of festivals based in the UK. A lack of squeezed in punters -  no doubt usually making up the numbers through extra ticket sales and packing a site to the rafters -  gave the festival the edge, meaning more breathing space and less craziness.  
  
Positivus remained a more thoughtful, less manic affair - but that didn't mean it was going to substitute on quality, or fun, in the process. Upon discovery of this hidden gem, you're rewarded with good people, good food, good music and a good, salt-of-the-earth vibe. Positivus Festival is just really good, it's heart and soul on display everywhere you look.

The festival's small and mighty feel made the musical programming even more impressive, with a short but punchy timetable, the very idea of band clash seemed nonexistent, with each artist given an extended festival set slot, plus more room between acts, it gave the crowds room to roam and breathe without rushing. The likes of Ellie Goulding were a taking point, the popstar looking understated and cutesy in her oversized t-shirt and white sneakers. Tracks such as Lights Out soared among the wooded area of the man stage, her heart-on-sleeve lyrics complimenting a heart-on-sleeve bash. 

The Pixies did damage on the Friday night, Frank Black and co delivering a precise, almost surgical trip through their back catalogue, including tracks from Surfa Rosa. No chit chat or time wasting, the band arrived with a mission of squeezing as much into their 1hr 45min set as possible - and were hell bent on completing it. 

Positivus 2018 dates tbc

positivusfestival.com/en


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Festival Review: Positivus
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