“The Confusion”: Kaunas Became the Cultural Heart of Europe

“Maybe not the impressive figures and other facts, but the fire in the eyes of each and everyone is proof that the vision, which we spent five years on, has come to life, and that Kaunas has been inspired to move forward,” Virginija Vitkienė, the head of the project “Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022”, said after the last bars of the “The Confusion”, Act I of The Contemporary Myth of Kaunas Trilogy. During the ovation, she invited everyone to continue the celebration on the evening of 22 January and throughout the whole year and the whole life to come.


Photo by: AHOY

With thousands of spectators in the centre of Kaunas – residents of the city, Kaunas district communities, guests from other Lithuanian cities and abroad – watching, Žalgirio Arena, the largest in the Baltic States, was transformed into a screen of unprecedented size. Before the big kick-off, the most important persons of our country and the continent addressed greetings to Kaunas and Kaunas District.


In her video message, President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen looked back to interwar modernism, which stood more for more than an artistic style – it represented a new vision for Lithuania and its people, built on pragmatism, progress and independence. The politician stressed that, 100 years later, we are again at a crossroad – and we can only succeed if we use all our talents from all and culture to technology and innovation: “Our European capitals of culture can lead this change, especially with the support of young people. And this is why I decided to make 2022 the European Year of Youth – to promote youth engagement at all levels, like with the “Emerging Kaunas”, your city’s youth program.”


“It was here in Kaunas 100 years ago that a young nation reimagined its identity through modernism. Again, today, Europe is reimagining its future through sustainability. And once again, art mirrors this transformation in a free and united Europe,” concluded President of the European Commission and expressed a wish to visit Kaunas soon.

Photo by: AHOY

President of the European Council, Charles Michel, also conveyed his warm greetings by video message. “Just as no man or woman is an island, alone, in a vacuum, we are all much bigger than ourselves. Because we are part of our community. We are part of our country, our continent. A part of humanity,” said the politician. He added that, in the European Union, there is no centre and periphery, and today, Kaunas is more than ever the beating heart of Europe.


“Communities thrive, come together and share experiences through collective artistic endeavours. Their people share stories, histories, and share a common living memory that will outlive them and pass them on to future generations. This is how traditions are forged and propagated. This is how culture is created. And each of these cultural exchanges – no matter how big or small – helps us better understand each other and brings us closer together as Lithuanians, as Europeans,” Charles Michel thanked Kaunas and Lithuania for their passion.


Thanking the people of Kaunas and the team that spent five years working towards the goal, the Mayor of Kaunas, Visvaldas Matijošaitis, assured that the growing city of Kaunas is thrilled to take over this honourable title.


“Our trilogy and any other -logy only gives when you want to take something – in other words, the European Capital of Culture project is based on the concept that everybody walks their own part of the way, and we meet in the centre. We, thousands of us, are invited to reflect on what myth, Europe, and European values mean to us and to ask ourselves what message this endless team of creators wants to convey to us,” said Rytis Zemkauskas, one of the core members of Kaunas 2022.


The action of “The Confusion”, intertwining music, image, animation, movement and other forms of artistic expression, told the story of the transformation while migrating in the space surrounding the arena. Here, dancers moved, interpreting modernist architecture, and Merūnas Vitulskis and Joana Gedmintaitė performed solo parts of the symphony “Šaipėrantas” by Antanas Jasenka, performed by Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra and the Vilnius Choir conducted by Modestas Pitrėnas.


Chris Baldwin, the author of the unique directorial solution, expressed that it was essential for him to turn the city itself into a stage when creating “The Confusion” – not to hide what Kaunas really is and to use every single detail of it for creative solutions. Thus, the symbolic act of collapse became a crucial part of the show. For two days, a 22-metre-high cardboard version of an unfinished hotel created by French artist Olivier Grossetête was built by him and hundreds of volunteers, only to be destroyed to mark the beginning of a new phase of Kaunas.


At 08:22 pm, with the bells of all Kaunas churches ringing, the participants of “The Confusion” continued their explorations of Kaunas myth other cultural endeavours. Thousands searched for symbols with maps in their hands and deciphered the mystery of the Beast of Kaunas, while others huddled in the ice sculpture-laden Independence Square, with electronic music pounding from the speakers.


The lucky ones could hear excerpts of the “Kaunas Cantata”, which will premier in September, in the windows of the cafés on Laisvės Alėja. In other shop windows, spread all along the pedestrian boulevard, artefacts of Lithuanian design history shone, making more than one curious visitor stop.


The William Kentridge exhibition at the National M.K. Čiurlionis Museum of Art and the Kaunas Central Post Office, which has become a mecca of modernist architecture, were particularly popular among exhibition-goers, as well as “Ex It”, an installation by Yoko Ono, that drew crowds to the Palace of the Bank of Lithuania.


With the rhythms of drums playing in the Vienybės Square, the Beast’s voice invited everyone to climb the stairs leading to Žaliakalnis, to meet again at the top, where the Christ’s Resurrection Basilica was transformed into a spectacular installation of light and sound. The audiovisual performance “Tabalai” reminded us to awaken the cultural Beast within us with the musical instruments created especially for this event.


The opening events of the European Capital of Culture year in Kaunas and Kaunas district took place on 19-23 January. Many of the exhibitions and other initiatives presented this weekend will continue to run, so it’s always a good time to visit Kaunas and the Kaunas district, which has become one big stage for Europe.


Act II of The Contemporary Myth of Kaunas Trilogy, “The Confluence”, will take place on 20-22 May, coinciding with Kaunas’ birthday, while the 25-27 November event “The Contract” will finalize the transformation “From temporary to the contemporary”.




Attending the Opening of Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022? Check out This Memo

In just a few days, the communities of Kaunas and Kaunas District will be able to proudly introduce themselves as residents of the European Capital of Culture. Hundreds of artists, performers, technicians, volunteers, and all who are passionate about culture are putting the finishing touches to the grand opening of Kaunas 2022 – and they have put together a memo for all those who want to celebrate together.

Getting a Free Pass and Scheduling Your Arrival

On 22 January at 7:30 pm, at the Žalgiris Arena, Act I of The Contemporary Myth of Kaunas Trilogy, “The Confusion”, will occur on the Nemunas island, near Žalgirio Arena. It will be a miraculous spectacle of music, video projections, dance and light, telling the story of Kaunas for Lithuania and Europe.

Anyone with a free ticket for the opening show “The Confusion” will be able to enter the spectator sector indicated on the ticket through the gate marked with its letter, 2 hours before the start of the event, from 5:30 pm. Free tickets for this event are available on the bilietai.lt platform.

Accessibility for Attendees with Special Needs

A designated sector will be accessible for persons with special needs. To access this sector, the visitors will have to present the staff with a ticket, the EU Digital COVID Certificate (or its local equivalent), and a certified medical special needs certificate.

Trained volunteers will assist participants in the Accessibility Sector. In addition, people with special needs are welcome to use the Social Taxi service free of charge by filling in the online form or calling +370 687 440 01, weekdays 9 am to 6 pm.

Events After the Opening and The Beast of Kaunas City Secrets Game

For the precise schedule and locations of the 100+ other Kaunas 2022 opening weekend events, please visit www.kaunas2022.eu/sukilimas  and download the brand-new Kaunas 2022 mobile app. On 19 January, the events will start in the Kaunas district. On 22 January, the most important day of the weekend, the programme in downtown Kaunas has been arranged so that everything will be easily accessible on foot.

A unique gift for visitors of the European Capital of Culture opening weekend is The Beast of Kaunas City Secrets Game, which will start right after “The Confusion”. Not only players will discover the faces of Kaunas you have never seen before, but they will also have the chance to win extraordinary prizes. A map with the objects and rules of the game will be available to everyone and can be downloaded from 22 January on the official Kaunas 2022 website.

Traffic Restrictions and Planning Tips

To ensure the safety of participants and spectators and the undisturbed work of special services, traffic will be restricted in part of the city centre of Kaunas during, before, and after “The Confusion” event.

The organisers recommend travelling to the opening events of “Kaunas 2022” by public transport (check t real-time timetable in the Trafi app), cooperating with your neighbours, or using car-sharing or taxi services.

If you choose to drive your car to the events, the recommended car parking areas are at Kaunas railway and bus stations, Kaunas Castle, Brastos and Užnemunės St., and Aleksotas Aerodrome.

From 22 January 00:00 to 23 January 00:00, the section of Karaliaus Mindaugo Ave. from Maironio St. to Kaunakiemio St. will be closed, and the entrances to the avenue via A. Mickevičiaus, Kaunakiemio and Maironio St.

From 22 January at 3:00 pm until 23 January at 03:00 am, traffic will be restricted on the following streets:

  • Kęstučio St. (closed at the intersection of Vytauto Ave. and Kęstučio St., public transport traffic is allowed)
  • Gedimino St. (closed at the intersection of V. Putvinskio St. and Gedimino St.)
  • Poškos St. (closed at the intersection of I. Kanto str. and D. Poškos str.)
  • Ožeškienės St. (closed at Šv. Gertrūdos str. and Savanorių pr., public transport traffic is allowed).
  • Griunvaldo St. (closed at the intersection of Griunvaldo St. and Vytauto Ave.)
  • Miško St. (closed at the intersection of Griunvaldo St. and Vytauto Ave.)
  • Laisvės Avenue (closed at the intersection of Vytautas Ave. and Laisvės Ave.)
  • Karaliaus Mindaugo Ave. towards Žalgirio Arena (closed at the intersection of Birštono St. and Karaliaus Mindaugo Ave., traffic only allowed towards the parking area)
  • Karaliaus Mindaugo Ave. towards Žalgirio Arena (closed at the intersection of Prietilčio St. and Karaliaus Mindaugo Ave., traffic only allowed towards the parking area)

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Information Points Open all Weekend

The Kaunas 2022 office at 36 Laisvės Ave. has joined forces with the Tourist Information Centre – from now on, you can get all the information not only about the events of the European Capital of Culture, but also about tourism in Kaunas, excursions, exciting objects, and other attractions, and buy souvenirs. The opening weekend opening hours of the Kaunas 2022 office are 10 am – 11 pm on 22 January, and 10 am – 6 pm on 23 January.

The Kaunas 2022 Information Centre in the Akropolis Shopping and Entertainment Centre will also be open all year long, starting with “The Confusion” weekend. Here, you can ask all your European Capital of Culture-related questions, find out the most exciting things to know and learn more about Kaunas. On 22 January, visit the info centre between 10 am and 9 pm, and on 23 January, 10 am – 5 pm.

Winter Tips and COVID-19 Management

“The Confusion” and numerous other events planned for the opening weekend before and after will take place outside. Residents of Kaunas, Kaunas district and visitors are advised to carefully assess the weather forecasts and take into account the temperature and precipitation when choosing clothing and accessories and slip-resistant footwear.

Kaunas 2022 is happy to have an extensive network of partners, including many Kaunas cafes and restaurants, ready to warm up the visitors during the opening weekend and offer them refreshments during the cultural marathon.

The organizers remind that the COVID-19 pandemic management procedure established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania will be in force at all Kaunas 2022 opening events: only visitors with a valid local vaccination passport or its international equivalent document (which must be presented together with the ticket when entering the event area) will be admitted to the events. Protective medical face masks or respirators (FFP2 masks) must be worn throughout the main event and recommended while outside; coughing and sneezing etiquette must be observed, and a safe distance must be maintained. As of 17 January, respirators (FFP2 masks) must be worn for indoor events.

A Live Broadcast for Those who Can’t Join

If you feel under the weather or have cold symptoms, stay at home and watch “The Confusion” on the National television and online – after all, this weekend of Kaunas 2022 is just the beginning! This year, culture will be impossible to avoid in Kaunas and Kaunas district, with more than 40 festivals, over 60 exhibitions, more than 250 performing arts events, including more than 50 premieres, and more than 250 concerts in the official programme.

Paroda „Modernizmas ateičiai 360/365”: misija sukurti emocinį ryšį tarp šiuolaikinio žmogaus ir modernizmo paveldo

Jau kitą savaitę, sausio 22 dieną, Kaunas ir Kauno rajonas atvers naują lapą miesto istorijoje, oficialiai tapdamas 2022-ųjų Europos kultūros sostine. Garbingas titulas bus pažymėtas įspūdingu atidarymo šou „Sukilimas“, kuris duos simbolinę pradžią Šiuolaikinio Kauno mito gimimui, o drauge atvers kultūrinėmis patirtimi bei meninėmis iniciatyvomis spalvingą visų metų programą.
2022-ųjų programa turtinga ryškiomis asmenybėmis, garsiais meno pasaulio vardais ir įspūdingomis premjeromis, o vienas akcentinių metų renginių visuomenei bus pristatytas titulo atidarymo savaitgalį – tai  Kauno architektūros ir jos konteksto svarbą atskleidžianti tarptautinė paroda „Modernizmas ateičiai 360/365“, kurią galima pavadinti ir to paties programos pavadinimo finaliniu akcentu.
Parodoje – daugiau nei dvidešimt menininkų ir architektų iš penkių šalių, kalbančių apie modernizmo paveldo likimą šiuolaikiniuose Europos miestuose, tarp jų ir Kaune, kuris demonstruoja tvirtą lyderystę modernizmo paveldo populiarinimo ir tyrimų srityje pasaulyje.
„Tarptautinės parodos turiniu siekiama pakurstyti šiuolaikinio miestiečio smalsumą ir architektūrinę vaizduotę bei kūrybiškais būdais stiprinti emocinį ryšį su XX amžiaus architektūros palikimu Kaune, Europoje ir pasaulyje. Pasitelkdami įvairias menines formas, kūrėjai pristato modernizmą kaip reiškinį ir ieškodami kultūrinių nuorodų, interpretuoja ir šiuolaikiškai atskleidžia pastatų istorijas, estetinius sprendimus ir politinius kontekstus. Parodoje šie mikro pasakojimai siejami su asmenybėmis (architektais, statytojais, gyventojais), jų kasdienybe ir likimais. Juose, tikiu, kad atpažinsime ir save”,- apie parodą kalbėjo jos kuratorė Viltė Migonytė-Petrulienė.
„Mdernizmas ateičiai 360/365“ paroda kupina prasmingo simbolizmo ne tik turiniu, bet ir savo forma: ekspozicija įrengta Kauno centriniuose pašto rūmuose, kurie laikomi ikoniniu modernizmo architektūros simboliu Kaune. Visuomenei vėl atveriamas modernistinis pastatas yra tapęs kūrybinio įkvėpimo šaltiniu ne vienam kūrėjui, o eiliniam kauniečiui kuria puikiai suprantamą ir pajaučiamą betarpišką ryšį su modernizmo paveldu. Apie svarbą simbolizmui „signalizuoja” ir parodos pavadinime užkoduotos prasmės: skaičius 360 – aliuzija į visas galimas modernizmo perspektyvas – kultūrines, politines, ekonomines, o skaičius 365 referuoja į kasdienybę ir, tuo pačiu, skatina atkreipti dėmesį į kasdienybės paveldą, esantį tarp mūsų.
Kaip teigė parodos kuratorė, parodoje pristatomi kūrėjų darbai nebus vienintelė „duoklė”, įprasminanti modernizmo architektūros vertybinę svorį: sausio 22 dieną bus anonsuojamas airių menininkės Aideen Barry 64 minučių trukmės nebylus filmas „Klostės“, kurį kūrėja sukūrė kartu su Kauno gyventojais.  Tai – ne tiesiog dar vienas pasakojimas apie Kauną, „Klostės“ savaime yra išskirtinis meno kūrinys, įkvėptas Kauno modernizmo. Šviesos ir vaizdo instaliacijos, įkvėptos filmo apie Kauno modernizmą „Klostės“ motyvų, bus demonstruojamos ant kino centro „Romuva” bei istorinio pastato „Pienocentro” sienų, o filmo premjera numatoma šių metų vasarą.
Paroda „Modernizmas ateičiai 360/365” duris lankytojams atvers jau sausio 22 d., iškart po didžiojo Europos kultūros sostinės atidarymo – 20:30 val.
„MoFu 360/365“ – tai du metus truksiantis, Europos Sąjungos programos „Kūrybiška Europa 2014–2020“ finansuojamas tarptautinis projektas.
Pranešimą spaudai parengė Vaida Morkūnaitė
Kontaktai: [email protected]aunas2022.eu

The Opening Weekend of Kaunas 2022 is Around the Corner (Time to Reserve the Free Tickets)

The eyes of Europe and all the world are on Kaunas and the Kaunas district. On 19 January, the opening events of the European Capital of Culture year will begin, bringing the events closer to their epicentre, the grand opening show –  “The Confusion”, with fiery steps. On the evening of 22 January, no one will sleep a wink for – an intense schedule of special events is set right up to the last moments of the weekend.

Photo by: M.Plepys

Kaunas District to Host the First Fiery Accents
From Čekiškė to Vandžiogala, from Šilainiai to Aleksotas – the introduction to the Capital of Culture year will be lit up on 19 January in the most remote towns of Kaunas district, and then move to the city’s residential areas.
These artistic accents, or the “Circles of Light”, are the heralds calling for the wake-up call to the Mythical Beast of Kaunas. Residents are invited to join the musical percussion miniature dedicated to the Mythical Beast and perform it with professional musicians. Just bring sounding objects that everyone can find at home – even pots and buckets will do!
The opening events will be illuminated by mysterious light and fire shows (featuring Arkadijus Gotesmanas, Ritmas kitaip, viduramžiai.lt) and performances by choirs and ensembles.
On Wednesday, 19 January, the inhabitants of Vandžiogala, Čekiškė and Piliuona will gather for the rituals of the awakening of the Mythical Beast. On 20 January, after dark, the action will move to Garliava, Akademija and Domeikava. On 21 January, the fire circles will come closer to the city centre will stop in Petrašiūnai, Aleksotas and Šilainiai. Every event is set to start at 7:30 pm.

Photo by: M.Plepys

Openings in Museums and Galleries
The grand opening event of Kaunas 2022, The Contemporary Myth of Kaunas Trilogy. Act I. The Confusion, will take place on Saturday, 22 January. Both before the launch and after the final chords have sounded, Kaunas 2022 and its partners will offer over 100 artistic and cultural events – concerts, exhibitions, dance performances, etc., including a unique game of Mythical Beast in the city streets.
The opening weekend sees the opening of some of the European Capital of Culture’s most anticipated exhibitions, the first of which is “That Which We Do Not Remember” by South African contemporary art star William Kentridge. The show, organised by Kaunas 2022 and held throughout the year at the M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, is curated by the head of Kaunas 2022, Virginija Vitkienė.
The importance of Kaunas architecture and its context will be revealed in the international exhibition “Modernism for the Future 360/365”. Organised by Kaunas 2022, it is a creative report of the eponymous Kaunas 2022 programme, housed in the iconic Kaunas central post office.

Photo by: M.Plepys

Later this year, an exhibition by Yoko Ono will be opened at the Kaunas Picture Gallery, curated by the Contemporary Art Centre. Now, it will be heralded by an installation by the art world non-conformist. Impressive in size and depth, Ex It is housed in the luxurious palace of the Bank of Lithuania, which many have never visited before.
Two other cities that have been awarded the title of European Capital of Culture this year also present exhibitions in Kaunas. The Meno Parkas Gallery invites everyone to the show by the Luxembourgers Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil from Esch-sur-Alzette. Novi Sad (Serbia) will present its avant-garde art at the Kaunas Photography Gallery.
Action in Shop Windows and Underground Passages
As soon as the grand opening event is over on Saturday evening, Kaunas’ Christ Resurrection Basilica will become a beacon, a guiding star for those determined to experience the city. The beam of light will be visible from the citys farthest reaches, and everyone will be able to create their own route to the church.
Those strolling along Laisvės Alėja and its approaches will be drawn to the exhibition “Lithuanian Design: from Temporary to Contemporary”. The show, which presents the development of Lithuanian design, will be housed in the shop windows of such legendary places as Kaunas Central Bookstore, Spurginė, Vilties Pharmacy, the National Kaunas Drama Theatre, even the Kaunas District Court and the Kaunas Regional Prosecutor’s Office, and many other institutions.
The windows of the cafés on Laisvės Avenue will also become miniature stages for excerpts from a cantata by the South African composer Philip Miller. The world premiere of Kaunas Cantata will take place in autumn 2022.

Photo by: M.Plepys

The interactive art installation will be experienced throughout the weekend by the Kaunas City Vincas Kudirka Public Library on Laisvės Avenue. Here, you will be able to become a co-author of the technology and see classic literature, language, sentences and the ordinary meanings of words from a new perspective by meeting a robot poet.
Meanwhile, the Kaunas County Public Library invites you to visit the sculpture exhibition “The Brotherhood of the Beast of Kaunas” and extend your acquaintance with the my(s)tical creatures through an interactive role-playing game.
Along with Kaunas 2022, the historical Kaunas Fortress is also marching towards the Contemporary Capital. The installation “Commandant’s Bunker / To the Contemporary Fortress” will invite spectators to enter a very mysterious object in Vytautas Park for the first time.

Photo by: M.Plepys

There will also be plenty of unexpected action in public spaces. Seven different venues will host special – and different – PinoKeys performances. Artists and people with disabilities have joined forces in the creative process.
The immersive performances of the modern dance genre Butoh “Butoh. Movements of Memory” will take place in the underpass at Kaunas railway station. This will be a prelude to the autumn performance of Tebby W.T. Ramasike, a dancer and choreographer from South Africa, at the Ninth Fort of Kaunas Fortress.
Later that night, Vienybės (Unity) Square will become the symbolic halfway point to the Christ’s Resurrection Basilica, the last stop on the journey of the first part of the trilogy, where the Kaunas State Choir will be preparing for a late-night concert. The square will be the ideal place to relax, warm up, have a snack and enjoy live music.
A Great Opportunity to Check Ongoing Shows

Photo by: R.Ščerbauskas

On 19-23 January, its last weekend, the contemporary art exhibition MagiC Carpets Landed will offer exclusive tours and events. The same goes for the 13th Kaunas Biennial. Look for contemporary art in places such as the Basketball House, the Devil Museum, the Kaunas Picture Gallery, the Kaunas Railway Station, and various public spaces.
A brand new exhibition, “Stories of the Palace”, will invite you to see the Historical Presidential Palace in Kaunas with a different perspective. It goes back to when the building was the residence of the Governor of Kaunas, followed by visits from the German Kaiser, lunches for soldiers, a Soviet teachers’ home, and ends with the events and ideas of recent years.
Two exhibitions for those interested in modernist architecture are located in the historical house-museum of A. and P. Galaunės. The exhibition “ARNO FUNK[tionalism” is dedicated to one of the most exciting and mysterious Kaunas architects, engineers and interior designers of the interwar period. Meanwhile, the interactive exhibition “Moder...What? Kaunas Modernism! And the Profession of the Architect” is aimed at children but is also suitable for adults.

Photo by: F.Leyser, A.Dittmer

Attendees of the opening events of Kaunas 2022 must comply with the health and safety rules laid down by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, such as keeping a safe distance, wearing face masks, and other relevant recommendations.
The number of free passes is limited
Free tickets to the opening of Kaunas 2022 – “The Contemporary Myth of Kaunas Trilogy. Act I. The Confusion” – can be obtained from 10 January HERE. Due to the pandemic situation, the number of free passes is limited.
The grand opening show will be broadcast on television, the internet, and on the official Facebook and Youtube pages of Kaunas 2022.
As Kaunas and the Kaunas district are becoming one European stage, all these and more opening weekend events will become an intelligent warm-up for an action-packed year.
The complete and up-to-date programme of events for the European Capital of Culture is always at your fingertips – download the Kaunas 2022 mobile app or visit www.kaunas2022.eu/sukilimas

Cultural Experiences in Your Bed and the Backseat: Experience the Hospitality Programme of Kaunas 2022

Have you ever experienced culture while sleeping in a historic bed? Or comfortably getting from point A to point B? These and other unique adventures in Kaunas have been created by the hospitality programme of Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022. “If you try at least one of them, you’ll never think that Kaunas is just Laisvės Alėja,” the representatives of the team behind “Experience Kaunas” smile.

Photo by: M.Plepys

Bed & Culture
“Bed & Culture” is a chance to stay in an authentic Kaunas apartment. In 2022, you will be able to choose from a selection of places representing different eras of Kaunas – some of which will be open to guests for the first time!
An authentic radio playing old schlagers will take guests back to the optimistic interwar period in Kaunas, while ladies’ dresses reminding the style of the Provisional Capital will inspire you for an evening in the city, and perfumes in authentic art deco bottles will enhance the impression... And of course, there will also be books reflecting the era, and even board games – something that you wouldn’t find in the modern yet traditional hotels.

Photo by: M.Plepys

Who wouldn’t want to stay in an Italian-inspired villa of the interwar architect Stasys Kudokas on the slopes of Žaliakalnis, a carefully restored wooden villa in Panemunė, or a real Art Deco museum in the very centre of Kaunas? Meanwhile, those interested in the Cold War era and post-war design should consider a night or two at a 70s-style apartment. It is quite possible that the number of Culture Lodging offers, and the number of apartments or villas representing the eras, will increase as 2022 gets underway.

Photo by: M.Plepys

Culture Hosts
More and more travellers are moving beyond traditional tourist attractions and are looking for authentic experiences, personal stories and discovery of the city through the eyes of a local. If you’re shy about walking alone or talking to the first person you meet on the street, Cultural Concierges are here to help. They are Kaunas residents ready to show their hospitality, show you around their favourite places or special attractions that are not marked on the maps – and, of course, give you advice on the Kaunas 2022 programme. Live or in writing – free of charge.

Photo by: M.Plepys

Culture Ride
Guests of Kaunas who have little time in the European Capital of Culture but a big appetite for new experiences will be able to call on... a cultural chauffeur. Simply put, it’s a private ride with an interesting personality with a very intimate knowledge of Kaunas.
Among the cultural chauffeurs who have already agreed to this adventure are artists, historians, photographers, cultural experts and even chefs. All of them are ready not to merely reveal the key highlights of Kaunas but also the places that are not mentioned in tourist guides.

Photo by: M.Plepys

Book your experience in Kaunas here: https://kaunas2022.eu/patirk-kauna/
The creative hospitality ideas ready to be implemented in 2022, are designed to make the experience in the European Capital of Culture as convenient and interesting. It will be impossible to avoid culture in Kaunas and Kaunas district this year, with more than 40 festivals, over 60 exhibitions, more than 250 performing arts events, including more than 50 premieres, and more than 250 concerts included in the Kaunas 2022 programme. The full agenda of Kaunas 2022 is here.

The Programme of the Kaunas 2022 Grand Opening Revealed (Over 100 events During the Weekend)

Unusual installation work near Kaunas Žalgirio Arena reveals that five years of preparation are coming to a climax. On 22 January 2022, Kaunas will officially become the European Capital of Culture. The year’s programme, rich in events, happenings and experiences, will kick off with “Confusion”, a unique show of music, light, video and dance.

Photo by: M.Plepys

Everyone to Become a Part of the Massive Show
“Confusion” is the first act of the Contemporary Kaunas Myth Trilogy. Also scheduled for May and November, the trilogy is an allegory of the rise of the city as a living being. The pre-opening events in Kaunas district towns and city microdistricts will start already on 19 January.
On Saturday, 22 January, the “Confusion” will kick off at 7:30 pm sharp. The show will transform Žalgirio Arena, the largest in the Baltics, into a giant stage-screen, which will be clearly visible from many places, so the event can become a mass celebration for Kaunasians and their guests.
“The opening show has a positive message at its core; that we face the struggles of life through the cultures we share and the stories we tell one another! So, although this show is a story of Kaunas, it is also a story for Lithuania and Europe. It contains the voices of Kaunas, the buildings of Kaunas and the stories of Kaunas past and present – but they are stories we can all relate to”, says Chris Baldwin, the director of “Confusion” and the other major events in 2022.
Photo by: Jamie Williams

Several hundred professionals from the arts, culture and other fields are working alongside director Chris Baldwin to prepare and produce Uprising. Among them are French visual artist Olivier Grossetête, renowned for his exceptional performances, Kaunas-based composer Antanas Jasenka, fashion designer Sandra Straukaitė, costume designers Aleksandra Jacovskytė and Julija Skuratova, conductor Modestas Pitrėnas with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Vilnius Choir, soloists Joana Gedmintaitė and Merūnas Vitulskis, Kaunas Dance Theatre Aura, choreographers Birutė Letukaitė, Aušra Krasauskaitė and Darius Berulis, the young generation of Lithuanian poets, video art creators, Kaunas State Puppet Theatre’s puppeteers, and many more.
Photo by: M.Plepys

The spectacular performance of video, light, movement and music, which will be broadcast to the whole world, will be extended by an invitation to play. Those gathered near Žalgirio Arena will have the opportunity to continue the festive evening with The Beast of Kaunas city secrets game.
The game will take place all over the centre of Kaunas. All participants will be invited to take a special map and search for the places where the Beast has left his trace – and thus decipher the answer to the game. The first 1000 winners of the game will be awarded Kaunas 2022 prizes.
Photo by: M.Plepys

100 Events for the Opening Weekend
Around 100 events have been planned for 22 January and throughout the weekend in Kaunas and Kaunas district to give everyone an insight into the Kaunas 2022 programme throughout the year.
The weekend of January 21–23 weekend will see the opening of some of the most important exhibitions of the European Capital of Culture, the first of which will be the exhibition “What We Don’t Remember” by the South African contemporary art star William Kentridge (part of “Kaunas 2022” programme, curated by Virginija Vitkienė at M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art), the international exhibition “Modernism for the Future 360/365” which will highlight the significance of Kaunas’ architecture and the importance of its context, (part of “Kaunas 2022” programme, Kaunas central post office), and Yoko Ono’s installation “Ex It” in the exclusive location of the Bank of Lithuania (curated by Contemporary Art Centre). A number of sneak peeks are also planned, giving a taste of what Kaunas 2022 will offer later this year.
Photo by: M.Plepys

“For the first of the three key weekends of Kaunas 2022, together with dozens of partners, we have prepared a vibrant programme – I invite everyone to take the time to get acquainted with it and to plan your routes in the city well in advance so that you can see and appreciate as much as possible. I do not doubt the awareness of Kaunas citizens and visitors – our team is doing everything possible to make European cultural events as safe as possible. It is up to each individual to adapt to the pandemic reality. Taking into account the changing conditions, we have prepared several effective and creative scenarios for the opening weekend – of course, we hope that we will be able to enjoy Plan A, which has been in the works for the longest time,” says Virginija Vitkienė, Head of Kaunas 2022.
Photo by: M.Plepys

To guarantee the maximum comfort and safety for those attending the “Uprising” on 22 January, car traffic will be restricted on Karaliaus Mindaugo Avenue and in the Naujamiestis district. Detailed information regarding traffic restrictions will be published shortly. During the event, it will be mandatory to comply with the current Covid-19 regulations, including keeping physical distance and wearing a face mask.
To secure a spot at the opening event, guests will be required to register beforehand and get a free pass at www.kaunas2022.eu (registration open from 10 January).
The detailed programme of events is available on the dedicated mobile app “Kaunas 2022” (available for download on App Store and Google Play), as well as on www.kaunas2022.eu/sukilimas