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.)
– D. Poškos St. (closed at the intersection of I. Kanto St. and D. Poškos str.)
– E. Ožeškienės St. (closed at Šv. Gertrūdos str. and Savanorių Ave., 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)
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 LRT television and online LRT.lt Mediateka – 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.