Outside Finland Travel

7 Things To Know About Vilnius, Host of NATO Summit 2023


ImageVilnius panorama. Photo by Joana Suslavičiūtė

Vilnius will be hosting NATO Summit 2023 on July 11-12. From 700th anniversary events to the booming tech scene, the Lithuanian capital has more non-political aspects to take into account.

July 17, 2023. On July 11-12, Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, will be hosting global officials for the NATO Summit 2023. Although the world will have eyes on the Summit, Vilnius has some unique qualities that extend beyond politics.

Here are seven main takeaways that offer a glance at the host of the NATO Summit.

  1. 700 years young

Vilnius is celebrating its 700th anniversary throughout the entire 2023. Its multicultural heritage is highlighted in the anniversary program that focuses on connecting the city’s communities and showcasing Vilnius’ rich historical past.

One of the biggest festivities of the year, a free urban festival As Young As Vilnius will be held on July 21-25. Celebrating the day of St. Christopher, the patron saint of Vilnius, and the half-year of the anniversary, the festival will bring together beloved Lithuanian artists and British stars Bastille and Clean Bandit. Another major artistic event will be the city’s first-ever Vilnius Biennial of Performance Art on July 23-August 6. The Biennial will convert the city into one big stage with world-renowned artists from Lithuania and other countries. 

  1. Relentless support to Ukraine since the invasion  

Since Russia’s unlawful attack against Ukraine, Vilnius has been a relentless supporter of a war-struck country. The capital has welcomed the influx of people fleeing the war and over 20K of them are now safely established in Vilnius. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky bestowed the Rescuer City title upon Vilnius for all of its continued multidirectional support to Ukraine and its people.

Vilnius has also taken a firm public stand to condemn Russia’s aggression. The locals have mobilized for protests, the city officials have named the street, where the Embassy of Russia is based, Ukrainian Heroes Street, and “imprisoned” Putin’s cardboard cutout in the century-old Lukiškės Prison 2.0. Various forms of protests continue to date—runners of a marathon will carry a Ukrainian flag for over 1,500 kilometers, all the way from Kyiv to Vilnius, to raise it in Lukiškės Square specifically for NATO Summit on July 11.

  1. Future-forward plans for the largest tech campus in Europe

Lithuanian capital boasts a rapid technological advance. It is already home to three unicorns, among them—Vinted, an online marketplace for buying and selling second-hand items, and Nord Security, a digital security provider. Vilnius’ TechFusion encompasses biotechnologies, fintech, IT, and laser sectors where tens of thousands of professionals create the city’s future. TechZity has just announced plans for a €100M tech campus which is slated to be the largest in Europe and will house 5K employees.

Simultaneously, Vilnius has swiftly become the hub for Europe’s fintechs thanks to the favorable business environment, a future-focused central bank, and a developed technology ecosystem. As another step into a tech future, Vilnius has just become the first city in Europe to launch driverless vehicles into real-life traffic and the bustle of the city streets for last-mile deliveries.

  1. Perpetual cultural buzz

Vilnius’ UNESCO-listed Old Town is the largest Baroque old town in Eastern and Central Europe. The cobblestoned streets, narrow alleyways, as well as the blend of Gothic, Renaissance, Classic, and Baroque styles and must-see objects like Gediminas Tower, Vilnius Cathedral, the 16th century Vilnius University, or the Gothic gem St. Anne’s Church emanate the aura of a medieval town.

The artistic side of Vilnius is manifested in the bohemian district Užupis that has cheekily proclaimed itself a separate republic on April 1st—April Fools’ Day—in 1997. The district, which is the smallest and one of the oldest in the city, even has its own currency, anthem, government, and Constitution which has been translated into more than 50 languages and has 41 articles such as “Everyone has the right to be unique” and “Everyone has the right to idle.”

  1. Creator of Pink Soup Fest and bagels 

This June Vilnius celebrated Pink Soup Fest—an entire festival dedicated to the iconic summertime dish, cold beetroot soup šaltibarščiai.  The dish has become an instant hit with any traveler coming to Lithuania, therefore the festivalgoers celebrated that by dressing up like the soup’s ingredients and sliding down the hill into an artificial bowl. Another hidden secret of Vilnius’ gastro scene—New York might have put bagels in the spotlight, but they actually originated in this region. 

The city’s multicultural cuisine stems from Jewish, Polish, and Lithuanian nobles’ roots and combines traditionally prepared ingredients like pickled vegetables and fresh seasonal produce. Fine dining is thriving as well—two of Vilnius’ restaurants, Džiaugsmas and Nineteen18, have been recognized by the prestigious La Liste ranking.

  1. Cinematic background for Stranger Things and Chernobyl

In recent years Vilnius has become a tempting destination for filmmakers because of multiple cinema-worthy locations. When Netflix filmed parts of Season 4 of the cult-favorite Stranger Things in the century-old former prison Lukiškės Prison 2.0, Vilnius rapidly became a destination for set-jetters. The Prison invites to day and night tours, parties, concerts, and other events and gives a glimpse of parts of the facility featured in the show. Multiple other foreign projects have been filmed in Vilnius: Netflix’s Young Wallander, HBO’s Chernobyl, the historical TV series Sisi, and more.

  1. Capital of hot-air balloons

As the only capital in Europe to officially allow regular hot-air balloon rides over the city, Vilnius’ sky is full of them every summer. Airborne travelers can get a good view of the city’s colorful panorama and the lush greenery surrounding it. Those yearning for more adventures high up in the air can take a stroll on the TV Tower, one of the 30 tallest TV towers in the world, attached only by cable.

Vilnius is also designed for explorations on foot—walkable distances allow discovering locals’ favorite hangout spots, as well as artistic, architectural, and cultural objects without the added hassle of the traffic.

Articles Misc

Ineos Grenadier Highest Spending Tour De France Team 

As the Tour de France begins to heat up, The Sports Daily have a had a look at which teams are spending the most this year.

For full story:

Top Five Highest Spending Tour De France Teams
1. Ineos Grenadier — $55 Million
Owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Team Ineos has been one of the most successful teams in the last 10 years, capturing 6 titles since 2013.

Ratcliffe has a net worth of $20.6 billion and has always provided his team with a top-2 budget.

The estimated budget in 2023 is said to be around $55 million.

2. Quick-Step — $38 Million
The second highest budget is Soudal Quick-Step.

Owned by multi-billionaire Zdenek Bakala, Quick-Step has been one of the most successful teams in the sport, winning multiple national and world championships over the last two decades.

In 2006, the team won their first yellow jersey under Tom Boonen.

3. Jumbo-Visma — $29 Million
While the funding from the Koninklijke Jumbo Food Groep will end in 2024, Jumbo-Visma is one of the oldest cycling teams dating back to 1984.

Since the formation of the team, Jumbo-Visma has entered every Tour de France since 1984.

The team won their first yellow jersey in 2022 under Jonas Vingegaard.

4. UAE Team Emirates — $22 Million
The UAE Team Emirates is funded by the state-owned aviation company Emirates which made $3 billion in profit on $32.6 billion in revenue last year.

The team is highly invested in, as they won two back-to-back Tour de France titles in 2020 and 2021.

5. Bahrain Victorious — $22 Million
Only founded in 2017, Bahrain Victorious has the fifth-highest budget in 2023 at $22 million.

While they have yet to win a Tour de France title, they’ve finished inside the top 45 since being founded.

In the last three years, Bahrain Victorious has finished just outside the podium with a 4th place (2020), 9th place (2021), and 14th place (2022).

Concerts Music

Vilnius Announces Two Headliners for Biggest Summertime Festival—Bastille and Clean Bandit

Six months into the 700th anniversary, Vilnius is hosting the biggest event of the year—an open-air urban festival As Young As Vilnius on July 21-25. The festival will reach its apex with a free concert in one of the greenest spaces within the city, Vingis Park. The park will become an international music arena for the night that will host the most prominent Lithuanian music stars and an exciting main act for British pop rock and electronic music fans—Bastille and Clean Bandit.

The artistic lineup will feature representatives of classical, electronic, dance, contemporary pop, rock, and other music genres. Last year’s festival, which celebrates the day of the patron saint of Vilnius, St. Christopher, was a major hit: the Scottish music star Lewis Capaldi was the main act, and there were over 45K spectators in attendance. The urban festival is also another big celebration of the city’s 700th anniversary—the official birthday and the accompanying Vilnius Light Festival were held on January 25th.

700th-anniversary surprise—two headliners

As a way of creating a night to remember for the concert’s attendees and marking the 700th anniversary, Vilnius has invited two headliners to share the stage. Bastille, a British pop rock band, has special ties with Vilnius as it filmed parts of a video clip for Things We Lost In The Fire in the capital ten years ago. The band has captivated global music enthusiasts with tracks like No Angels, Good Grief, and Of The Night, while its major hit Pompeii has 730M views on YouTube. Bastille does not shy away from difficult topics in their music—politics, classical mythology, and movie themes.

Another cult favorite—Clean Bandit—fuses electronic, dance, classical, R&B, and pop music genres and invokes the motifs from Mozart, Beethoven, and Dvořák musical pieces. One of the band’s top performing tracks Rather Be featuring Jess Glynne, has received a Grammy while Rockabye featuring Sean Paul and Anne-Marie toped most popular song lists for nine weeks in the United Kingdom. In 2018 Clean Bandit received two nominations at the prestigious BRIT Awards for Solo featuring Demi Lovato.

Blend of orchestra performances and contemporary A-listers

As Young As Vilnius festival’s program will consist of three parts. The first one will be run by the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre symphony orchestra, conducted by Maestro Ričardas Šumila. Popular arias performed by the Lithuanian opera stars Edgaras Montvidas, Kostas Smoriginas, Ieva Prudnikovaitė, and Aušrinė Stundytė will be an ode to the city’s deep historical roots and contemporary musicians that have reinvented the age-old genre.

The second part of the program will highlight some of Lithuania’s most-renowned musicians. Many A-list bands and singers will make an appearance as duos. For instance, Benas Aleksandravičius, the lead vocalist of the intense alternative rock band ba., which captured the hearts and minds of the young internet generation in just a few years, will join Monika Liu, Lithuania’s former entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, who charmed audiences worldwide with her jazzy and sultry lounge track Sentimentai. The duos will perform popular songs as well as new renditions of the old classics.

The third part will be dedicated to the key performances of the evening by Bastille and Clean Bandit. 

The city’s visitors coming to Vilnius in July will get the chance to attend other 700th anniversary events—Lithuania’s first-ever Vilnius Biennial for Performance Art on July 23-August 6, Midsummer Vilnius festival on July 17-28, exhibition Pavilion: Vilnius 200 Years Ago open at the National Museum of Lithuania till October 15, or an exhibition Vilnius Poker: The Exhibition available at the modern art MO Museum till January 14.

Articles Misc

Nettikasinolle vai kivijalkakasinolle: Millaisia etuja casino netissä tarjoaa?

Nettikasinot ja fyysiset kasinot tarjoavat erilaisia pelikokemuksia, ja niiden välillä valinta riippuu pitkälti pelaajan henkilökohtaisista mieltymyksistä ja tarpeista. Suomessa maailmanluokan kasinoita on vain kaksi; Casino Helsinki ja Casino Tampere. Myös pienempiin pelisaleihin on usein paljon matkaa, koska Suomi on asukaslukuunsa nähden harvaan asuttu maa. Moni valitseekin nykyisin pelaamisen netissä, mutta millaisia etuja nettikasinoilla on fyysisiin kasinoihin verrattuna?

Hetkessä pelaamaan

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Bonuksia ja etuja

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Nykyisin suomalaisilla nettikasinoilla on usein tarjolla talletusbonusta ja ilmaiskierroksia. Niiden avulla pelaaja voi pelata pidempään tai suuremmilla panoksilla kuin mitä oma pelikassa normaalisti sallisi. Viime aikoina on yleistynyt myös cashback, mikä tarkoittaa, että pelaaja voi saada osan häviämistään pelirahoista takaisin pelattavaksi. Cashback kuuluu monen kasinon kanta-asiakasohjelmaan.

Muutakin kuin pelaamista

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Jokaiselle jotakin

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Yksi huomioon otettava seikka on myös talon edussa ja palautusprosentissa. Netissä kun palautusprosentit voivat olla huomattavasti suuremmat. Mitä suurempi palautusprosentti, sitä todennäköisemmin pelaaja voi voittaa. Voittojaan optimoivan pelaajan voikin olla viisasta valita pelipaikakseen nettikasinon. Ei ole harvinaista, että nettikasinon pelissä palautusprosentti on jopa 97 %.

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Albums Music

Norwegian cinematic ambient / post-punk act LIGHTS A.M presents all new 3-track single incl. live track

Norwegian cinematic ambient electronic project LIGHTS A.M. (aka Erlend Eilertsen of ESSENCE OF MIND) presents to us an all new quite dark and eerie ambient single featuring “Not Ready For This” with layers of synths and some tribal almost ritualistic percussions, while “Afraid To Let Go” is more organic and enchanting although it remains very melancholic, ethereal and dreamy (and this especially expressed through the live bonus version on this EP).

The first previews of a new sonic voyage where the listener creates their own journey.

This is how Erlend himself perceives it: “Both these tracks have some of the same emotions, though in different ways. “In Not Ready For This” I see fog, a challenge, and fear of going through it, while in “Afraid To Let Go” the challenge is to let go of something which doesn’t serve you, but still being afraid of what will happen after you let go. So it is basically fear, sadness and melancholia blended together, quite dark yes…”.

The new EP acts as a new teaser for the project’s upcoming new album “Stories Without Words Vol. 2” which is on pre-order now via Bandcampand on CD via the Alfa Matrix website. Add to this you can also get the new album in a package with all 3 Lights A.M releases plus the new Alfa Matrix compilation “A strange play vol.2 – an alfa matrix tribute to The Cure” 2CD. 

But attention, this special package is only available during the pre-sale period.

Watch the video for “Afraid To Let Go (live)”

Books Features

Farangdula. Adventures and misadventures of a Farang in Siam (Chapter 2)

Features Music

Sweden and Ireland are the most successful Eurovision winners of all time!

Eurovision 2023 took place and the winner of this year’s contest was chosen – Sweden is now leading the ranking of the most successful Eurovision winners of all time alongside Ireland with a total of seven wins. Finland, who came second this year, ranks 6th with one win so far. 

Online travel agent, weloveholidays has analysed the most successful Eurovision winners since that start of the contest in 1955 and with the help of social listening tools the most passionate fans are being revealed. 

  • Sweden and Ireland have won the most Eurovision contests, with 7 wins! 
  • Finland ranks 20th, with a social sentiment of 27.9 % positive conversations
  • Portuguese fans are the most excited across Europe

These countries love Eurovision the most 

  • Online travel agent weloveholidays reveals Eurovision’s biggest fans and the countries that have won it the most
  • Ireland is the most successful Eurovision winner of all time with 7 wins
  • Portugal is the country with the most enthusiastic fans

With 161 million people (1) tuning in to watch Eurovision in 2022 there is no doubt that fans are excited about this year’s song contest, which is being hosted in the UK on behalf of last year’s winner, Ukraine.

The most enthusiastic Eurovision fans

RankCountryPositive Sentiment in %
8San Marino30.2
10United Kingdom30

Looking at social listening data, Portugal is home to the biggest Eurovision fans with a positive sentiment of 37.7%, closely followed by Italy (36.6%) and Belarus (36.4%). The winner of last year’s contest, Ukraine, secures fourth place with 33.1%.

Even though Australia is not part of Europe, it is still home to some passionate Eurovision fans (33%). The country was invited to join the competition in 2015, having competed every year since and almost winning in 2016, eventually coming in second.

Check out the most successful Eurovision winners of all time:

RankCountryTotal wins
2United Kingdom5

With a total of seven wins, Ireland secures the first rank as the most successful Eurovision contestant. However, their successful years were between 1970 and 1996, and the country has failed to qualify for the song contest from 2019 to 2022.

Sweden ranks second with a total of six wins. Up until now, their most famous winners are global superstars, ABBA, with their hit song “Waterloo”. This song not only led to international fame, but also secured the country’s win in 1974.

Surprisingly, not just one but four countries share the third rank, with five wins each – France, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, which are all then followed by Israel with a total of four wins.

Similarly, Denmark, Italy, Norway, and Ukraine all share the fifth spot with three wins each. The latter has a very impressive track record, as Ukraine has only participated 19 times since the beginning of the contest.

Dr. Jan Kuklinski, Managing Director at weloveholidays, comments on the research: “The Eurovision Song Contest is not just a televised music festival but also evidence that different countries, nationalities, and cultures can come together to celebrate each other’s differences. Some may even provide inspiration for your next holiday in Europe.”

Articles Misc


Swedish musician Håkan Hellström’s new football video parodies the daily life of a football coach and makes you smile.
In his video, the singer depicts the hectic life of a footballer’s career with all the obstacles a player can face. Self-doubt, loneliness, too much supervision but also a career in slow motion, all subjects are tackled through his song and his clip.

This video clip echoes life itself, where sharing and support can help to overcome obstacles.
To take a lighter approach to everyday life, Håkan Hellström uses look-alikes of football stars such as Ronaldå, Zlaatan, Mezzi and Baeckham in this video.

Håkan Hellström about his video,
“As a football coach, understanding the impact of nutrition and music on your players’ mental state is crucial. By implementing effective strategies, you can help your players manage their emotional ups and downs throughout their career, including the end of it, and support them as they begin something new. Whether it’s incorporating music into training or providing healthy nutrition options, small changes can make a significant difference in your players’ well-being both on and off the field.”

Books Features

Farangdula. Adventures and misadventures of a Farang in Siam (Chapter 1)

Art Exhibitions

CHART Announces Exhibitors and 3 Year Collaboration with Tivoli Gardens for 2023

CHART, the leading Nordic event for contemporary art, announces its exhibitor list and a three-year collaboration with Tivoli Gardens which will bring contemporary art to the iconic amusement park for a whole month. The art fair and the public programme, will yet again take place at the historic Charlottenborg in central Copenhagen, August 24 – 27, and CHART in Tivoli will be open August 24 – September 24, 2023. 

CHART has expanded the concept of the art fair into an event that incorporates architecture, design and book publishing, public programmes that reach a wide audience, and an around the year presence through its digital platform, CHART Journal. The tradition of a generous public programme continues with performances and music acts in the courtyards of Charlottenborg, free and open for everyone, that turns CHART into a celebration of the arts in the heart of Copenhagen. In addition, the CHART Book Fair, Talks, CHART in Tivoli and CHART Architecture, add to the rich programme. CHART, as a non-profit organisation, emphasises Nordic values that both shape and go beyond aesthetics; social awareness, democratic principles, forward thinking and collaborative practices. 

The 2023 edition is the first under new director Julie Quottrup Silbermann, who has put a special focus on sustainable and socially conscious ways of collecting today and on introducing new entry points for collecting and supporting the art scenes. 

Throughout time, collectors have played an important role in supporting artists and thus the entire artworld ecosystem. Subjective decision-making and experience of course often play a role in collecting, but I want to open up the discussion around the commercial art world, as a whole, to add insight and transparency about who is collecting, how they are doing it and why. (Julie Quottrup Silbermann, Director, CHART) 

The Art Fair 

The 37 exhibitors, consisting of both Nordic and international galleries, participating in the art fair at Charlottenborg, all share an active engagement with the Nordic art scene. Alongside established artists, the galleries will also present a new generation of artists that are achieving recognition both in the Nordics and internationally. 

A new wave of female led galleries from across the Nordics are represented by galleries such as palace enterprise (DK), Saskia Neuman Gallery (SE), VAN ETTEN (NO), Sharp Projects (DK), Þula (IS), ISCA Gallery (NO) and Cora Hillebrand Galleri (SE), most are newly established or new additions among CHART participators.

CHART 2023 exhibitors 

Andersen’s (DK); Galerie Anhava (FI); BERG Contemporary (IS); Galleri Bo Bjerggaard (DK); BORCH Editions (DK); Carl Kostyál (UK/SE/IT); C.C.C. (DK); Cecilia Hillström Gallery (SE); Croy Nielsen (AT); Dorothée Nilsson Gallery (DE); Etage Projects (DK); Galerie Forsblom (FI); Galleria Heino (FI); Galleri Cora Hillebrand (SE); Gether Contemporary (DK); GSA Gallery (SE); Helsinki Contemporary (FI); i8 Gallery (IS); Isca Gallery (NO); Kunsthal Oslo with KCAC (NO/SD); Lagune Ouest (DK); LOYAL (SE); Galleri Magnus Karlsson (SE); Martin Asbæk Gallery (DK); MELK (NO); NEVVEN (SE); palace enterprise (DK); Peder Lund (NO); Persons Projects (DE); Saskia Neuman Gallery (SE); Sharp Projects (DK); SPECTA (DK); Gallery Steinsland Berliner (SE); Galleri Susanne Ottesen (DK); VAN ETTEN (NO); V1 Gallery (DK); Þula (IS). 

CHART in Tivoli: A 3 Year Collaboration Announced 

CHART is thrilled to announce a 3-year partnership with Tivoli Gardens following last year’s successful collaboration. Every August and September for the next 3 years, Tivoli’s visitors will have the opportunity to experience a cultural environment unlike any other in central Copenhagen, as site-specific sculptures, installations and video works are installed alongside the park’s world-famous rides and attractions. The month-long exhibition will be open for all visitors to the iconic amusement park in Copenhagen. 

CHART in Tivoli presents a fresh perspective on traditional exhibition formats. By placing artworks in the context of the historic amusement park Tivoli Gardens, the project offers a new opportunity to broaden the audience for contemporary art. Founded in 1843, Tivoli draws millions of visitors every year and is a well-known venue for performative arts, from ballet and theatre to pop and classical music, and continues to be one of Denmark’s most symbolic cultural locations. Through the exhibitions, CHART is proud to inspire new collaborations across Copenhagen’s cultural scenes and to expand the format for what an art fair can be. 

CHART in Tivoli speaks to the core of our mission to bring the best of contemporary art in the Nordics out into the public space. With this new three year collaboration, we are excited to re-shape and re-define the space for contemporary art in our society today, making it more accessible and more inclusive for everyone. (Julie Quottrup Silbermann, Director, CHART)

CHART in Tivoli, will include artists with well-established international profiles, those with established reputations in the Nordic region as well as emerging artists gaining traction at the local, regional and international level. Among the confirmed artists are Sylvie Fleury (CH), FOS (DK), Inka & Niclas (FI/SE), Jonathan Meese (DE), Oliver Sundqvist (SE/DK). More information will be released in June 2023. 

Articles Blogs FREE! Blog Misc

Full conference programme for the upcoming Tallinn Music Week revealed

Tallinn Music Week reveals the full programme and the final set of speakers for the music industry conference, taking place in Nordic Hotel Forum next week from 12th to 13th May. The programme focuses on three main thematic tracks: Co-creation, Connected World and Sustainable Future, addressing human and AI relations, new glocal identities, digital literacy, the future of radio, music education trends, and DIY live touring.

TMW 2023 will host the kick-off of the European Commission’s Music Moves Europe Dialogue Sessions for the next four years.
The music industry programme at the conference is developed in collaboration with Music Estonia.

The conference in Nordic Hotel Forum will start on Friday, 12th May at 10 am with the opening addresses by the Minister of Culture for Estonia Heidy Purga and Director of TMW Helen Sildna. The video address will be given by Director for Culture, Creativity and Sport in the European Commission Georg Häusler.

The opening panel will discuss how the music sector looks from the policymakers’ point of view and the various ways music ecosystem actors organise their representation and seek to influence policy. Panellists include Deputy Head of the Cultural Policy Unit at the European Commission Susanne Hollmann, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture of Latvia Uldis Zariņš, Ministerial Advisor at the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland Kimmo Aulake, Director of Music Estonia Ave Sophia Tölpt, General Manager of Music Innovation Hub and Linecheck Dino Lupelli and the research coordinator for EMEE – European Music Exporters Exchange Virgo Sillamaa.

TMW is honoured to host the kick-off session of a 10-part dialogue series under the Music Moves Europe (MME) initiative, steered by the European Commission. The first MME dialogue will look into new conceptual ideas for the European Music Ecosystem, as developed and introduced by the research team, led by Professor Dr Carsten Winter from Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media in collaboration with Frank Kimenai from Erasmus University Rotterdam. The dialogue is carried out by the representatives of Eurosonic Noorderslag, East European Music Conference, Linecheck, MaMA, Reeperbahn Festival and TMW – the festivals and conferences that are also the founders of the new Federation of Music Conferences (FoMC) that will serve as a promotional platform for these dialogues.

The highlight keynote ‘Digital Innovation and A.I. – how will future shape the music industry?’ will be given by Linnar Viik, an Estonian information technology scientist, IT visionary and the founder of soon-to-be-opened AI-powered pop art museum Agnes Chung, Senior Director AI & Search at musicube by Songtradr will deliver a speech about how to revolutionise music discovery. How can old-school star presenters future-proof themselves against the emergence of GPT hosts will be discussed between the European broadcasters and community radio makers at the panel ‘Future Radio, getting smarter every day’.

In an era of global AI, our new ‘glocal’ identities are also in transition that will be analysed by the panel of festival heads, curators and conceptualists from India to Estonia and from the US to Czech. The story of climate change, told through science and indigenous inuit artists, using music as the mechanism to reach people’s hearts and minds, will be presented by ArcticSonic.

Session on the festivals’ sustainability strategies will highlight that Tallinn holds the European Green City of Europe title in 2023. How to better include a war-torn Ukraine into European collaboration and how we all can collectively support its culture and music sector will be discussed, among others, by Co-founder and Head of Music Export Ukraine Alona Dmuskhovska. How to make a change, utilising one’s expertise and organisation will be discussed further on the panel ‘Music as a tool for positive social change’ presented by In Place of War. Diversity, equity and inclusion in music are represented at the conference by Keychange’s innovators and special Creative Labs programme.

Practical industry-focused topics range from DIY booking, navigating unfavourable contracts; getting to know the Baltic indie labels and ​​the Central and Eastern European markets to the present and the future of music and arts education and new export development approaches within niche genres. There will be a special listening session that provides an opportunity to discover the artists performing at this year’s TMW. The programme also includes more targeted, workshop-style sessions and speed meetings, networking and receptions.

The impressive line-up of the TMW 2023 conference includes Radiohead’s guitarist Ed O’Brien, Grammy-winning producer and arranger Jason Miles, CEO of Wisseloord Studios Malik Berrabah, CEO of In Place of War Ruth Daniel, Director of the Swedish Center for Digital Innovation Johan Magnusson, Executive Director at Folk Alliance International Neeta Ragoowansi, Director of Jodhpur RIFF Divya Bhatia, Deputy Director for FIP/Radio France Hervé Riesen, Head of Sales and Marketing at Flow Festival Vilja Grotenfelt, CEO of Estonian fair trade streaming platform Fairmus Reigo Ahven, and many others.

Antonio's blog Blogs Outside Finland Travel

Ho Chi Minh – Travel tips and hidden gems of Saigon

Sadly, during the last 3 years living in Singapore and Bangkok, I could not fulfill the dream of most expats in South East Asia: to travel around the region. Luckily, now that restrictions have eased up and traveling has reignited (although flight prices are in general more outrageously higher than what they used to be in the pre Covid era), it was time for my first visit to Vietnam. Destination: Ho Chi Minh, a pearl to discover the essence of Saigon.

It is advisable that depending on your nationality, you check if there is the need to apply for a visa before your flight. Vietnam allows visa free entry to some nationalities and some others not. In my particular case, being Spaniard, we are allowed a stay of no longer than 15 days for tourism with no need of applying and paying for any special visa.

Preparations for the trip

For flights, I tend to use Skycanner search engine and for hotels, Hotels in Saigon go in a wide array of price ranges, but you can get a nice one with a good location relatively cheap if you pay attention. I always like reading the reviews of previous users, especially filtering by the recent ones, to have a clear idea of the place I am getting into.

My choice of stay was Singita Saigon Boutique Hotel, located in district 1. Nothing luxurious but clean and tidy, with friendly hotel staff and in a very easy location that allowed me to go walking to many of the sightseeing main spots quite easily. Besides, on my last day, as my flight back to Bangkok was late in the evening, paying a small extra fee, they allowed me to stay until the evening in the hotel room. Even if you do not want to do that, they still offer the chance to take a shower when you want to refresh before going to the airport, so extra kudos for the kindness to them!

Arriving in the city

The international airport of Tan Son Nhat is not far from the city center. Expect some traffic, but in any case, if your place of stay is located in any of the central districts, you should arrive at your destination in 30 minutes or less.

I pre booked a taxi so they would pick me up more comfortably as my arrival time was a bit late in the evening, but if you are tight on budget, you can also order a Grab Taxi from the airport and it will be a cheaper option. In general, I advise you to install Grab app. as you can easily use it in many cities in South East Asia (although it is true that in Bangkok the prices have been raising in the last year). Still, in Ho Chi Minh, most of my rides, when a destination was far away to walk to, were costing 5 euro or less. Quite a bargain, especially if you share the cost with travel partners.

I also recommend doing a bit of investigation when you arrive in the new city and have some spots listed that you want to visit during the next few days. I stayed a total of 4 days in Ho Chi Min, and had more than enough time to see the main highlighted spots that I wanted to see.

Things to see:

  • Cafes

If you are a coffee lover, you are really gonna love Saigon. There are so many cafes and restaurants around, and the Vietnamese there really seem to love the coffee culture, always accompanied by delicious cakes and snacks. When I arrive in a new city, I love walking around and then resting and having a good coffee when I feel a bit tired after a long stroll. The city center is perfect for this. Some nice places I visited during my stay that I recommend:

La Viet Coffee Saigon

Charming cafe with free wifi and nice sandwiches. I visited there on my way to Xa Loi Temple and enjoyed sitting on its terrace. Nice variety of cold and hot coffees, and you could see a big crowd of IT nomads around there.

Paris Baguette

Big cafe with a nice cozy terrace on the upper floor. Big selection of bakery to enjoy while having your caffeine dose.

  • Churches

Cha Tam Church

Beautiful yellow church. When I visited it was very quiet so pretty much entering inside, I had all the church for myself. Worthy to see

Tao Dinh Church

Absolutely beautiful pink colored church. The bad side is that it was closed when I tried to visit, so my only chance was to snap a few pictures from outside.

Notre-Dame de Saigon Cathedral

Nice to walk around, but currently it was undergoing renovations so it did not look so spectacular from outside. In any case, nice to visit as then you can also see nearby the bookshops street and the old Post Office

  • Temples

Ten thousand Buddha Pagoda

One of the hidden gems in the city and I absolutely loved visiting it here. When you face the building, it looks almost like a normal housing building, but when you enter, the more you climb the stairs, the nicer the temple looks, with a gorgeous last floor that could serve as a background for a videogame scene. Do not miss this one!

Giac Lam Buddhist temple

Apart from the beautiful main pagoda, the complex allows you to visit different temples with a lot of charm and nice statues. Another must see if you visit Saigon!

  • Museums

War Remnants Museum

It displays outside its main building a nice collection of war machines from the Vietnam War era: planes, tanks, motorboats. Inside the exhibitions are really interesting, but beware that they are not for sensitive stomachs, many of the photos displaying death, torture and the cruelty of the war can cause a deep impression in your mind. And obviously, the whole tone of the museum is clearly very Anti American. Very interesting to see, but think if you are ready mentally for the content displayed inside, cause it can sour your day.

Ho Chih Minh City Museum

Very interesting displays about the city history inside, and you also have a small collection of war machines in the gardens outside. It seems to be a favorite place for the young local ladies to snap millions of photos and selfies of themselves, which can be slightly annoying when you want to see the exhibitions in peace, but still recommended and easy to access in the city center.

Reunification Palace

I put this one in the Museum category as it is pretty much the function that remains nowadays of the old Government Palace. Very picturesque garden outside, with some old war tanks displayed in the gardens, and interesting halls inside.

Shopping souvenirs

You can buy a lot of small souvenirs around for a decent price, bargaining a bit is recommended as they will try to give you the tourist price. I especially liked buying some presents at the Saigon Kitch shop. It had many interesting items mixing the Vietnamese flavor with Western popular culture characters.

Nightlife and Dating

I really did not go out so much during the night, as my goal was more to visit the city during the daytime. However I discovered a very cool cocktail bar with a very friendly waiter and delicious cocktails that I consider another hidden gem in the city:

Nightcap Saigon – Cocktail Bar

If you are a single male looking for some dating and female company, be aware of your surroundings. Many girls look gorgeous, but a big majority will be freelancers trying to get your money. The same applies if you use dating apps like Tinder, a lot of freelancers or girls who have some “professional” intentions like serving you as tourist guide. So pay attention and filter very well before meeting anybody.

Articles Misc Outside Finland Travel

Pink Soup Fest in Vilnius Invites to Celebrate Lithuania’s National Gastro Pride 

The national pride of Lithuania’s gastro scene, cold beetroot soup,  is getting its own celebration. Pink Soup Fest will sweep over Vilnius on June 10th, inviting festivalgoers to try the most delicious variations of the dish and participate in themed entertainments.

May 4, 2023. Cold beetroot soup, a beloved staple in every Lithuanian household throughout the summer months and famous for its bright pink color, is getting a grand celebration in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Pink Soup Fest will be sweeping over the city center all day long on June 10th. 

The soup, similar to the Spanish gazpacho because it is also served chilled, is the cult-favorite dish of Lithuanian cuisine. Bright in color and refreshing in taste, the dish combines unexpected ingredients like beetroot, cucumber, fresh dill, eggs, and buttermilk with a side of hot potatoes to create an unmatched flavor burst. Since it is cold, the soup is featured heavily on Lithuanian menus during the heat waves and has been seeping into pop culture as well, turning up on clothing items or in various snacks.

Vilnius’s gastro scene has skyrocketed in the past few years—the entire ecosystem was awarded real stars in the sky that symbolize a Michelin-like award, while renowned chefs offer delicacies from fresh seasonal produce and local farms. Residents and visitors of Vilnius are keen on unearthing new tastes in highly popular food courts or exploring the multicultural fusion cuisine that features Jewish, Polish, and Lithuanian nobles’ dishes and flavors from Lebanon, Japan, India, Nepal, France, and other countries. Since the cold beetroot soup is inseparable from warm season treats in Lithuania and is one of the draws for visiting travelers, the festival will, therefore, start the tradition of celebrating the beginning of the summer.

The occasion will unite the members of Vilnius community—restaurants, cafes, pubs, nightclubs, guides, businesses, performers, automotive communities, and many others. Restaurants and cafes will offer special deals on the soup, inviting festivalgoers to try unique variations of the dish. More than that, festival visitors will have the chance to bring the pink soup home scents back with them and feast their eyes on the soup-themed graffiti. One of the artistic highlights will be a mural of the pink soup by the artist Eglė Žvirblytė near Bernardine Garden in the heart of Vilnius. 

Pink craze all over town

The craziness of the fuchsia-colored dish will also reflect on the event—everyone in attendance will be asked to put on a fancy dress costume that relates to the soup, be it a beetroot, an egg, or a carton of buttermilk, and slide down the Barbakanas Bastion hill—which offers panoramic views of the Užupis, the bohemian district, and the self-proclaimed separate Republic—straight into a specially made artificial soup bowl.   

After the hill slide, the Pink Soup King or Queen will be elected, visitors will be invited to roam around food trucks offering a refreshing bowl of the dish, relax in the local park, and enjoy musical performances, while children will get the chance to try out trampolines. Since the fest aligns with Vilnius’ 700th anniversary year, visitors will have the chance to soak up the festive atmosphere and visit other cultural events.

More information:  

Articles Misc

Console Gaming Market to Gross $21.2B in Revenue in 2023, 4.3% more than Last Year

As one of the oldest and most popular forms of gaming, console gaming is set to witness a strong year in 2023, with revenues and the number of users rising to new highs.

According to data presented by, the console gaming market is expected to gross $21.2bn in revenue in 2023 or 4.3% more than last year.

More than 246 Million Consoles Shipped in Five Years

While PCs remain the number one choice for serious gamers, gaming consoles continue growing their global user base. They are easy to use, simple, and cost less, which has remained one of the biggest drivers behind the entire market`s growth.

In 2019, the console gaming market grossed $15.8bn, according to Statista data. A year later, this figure jumped by 20% to over $19bn, boosted by a global surge in gaming amid COVID-19 lockdowns. However, console gaming revenues continued growing even as people returned to their usual activities following the pandemic, rising to over $20.3bn last year. 

Statista expects this figure to grow by another $870 million in 2023, showing an annual compound growth rate of 4.3%. Although revenue growth will slow down in the following years, the entire market is set to reach a $22.8bn value by 2027.

The Statista data also showed more than 246 million consoles had been shipped in the past five years, with 2021 and 2022 as record years for sales. Still, 2023 is set to witness even more impressive sales figures, with over 57 million shipped consoles. The sales volume is expected to continue growing in the following years, with the annual console shipments rising to over 60 million by 2027.

Nintendo Holds More than 50% of the Console Gaming Market

While millions of people worldwide play console gaming titles, the United States remains the single largest market for this type of gaming. In 2023, the US market is expected to gross over $7bn in revenue or one-third of this year’s total.

Far below, Japan ranked as the second-largest console gaming market with $2.3bn in revenue this year. The United Kingdom, France, and Germany follow, with $2bn, $1.3bn, and $940 million in revenue, respectively.

With over 50% market share, Nintendo is the absolute king in the console gaming segment, while its Switch became the second best-selling console of all time behind PS2. Between October and December 2022, the Japanese gaming giant shipped 8.2 million Switch consoles, bringing the total lifetime unit sales to 122.55 million.

Articles Misc

Kyllästyttääkö ainainen lenkkeily koiran kanssa – puhelimella saat pelit käyntiin hetkessä

Kaikki koiran omistajat rakastavat omaa karvaturriaan yli kaiken ja lenkkeily yhdessä on monelle mieluinen harrastus. Toisinaan voi kuitenkin tuntua, että koirasi saa lenkistä paljon sinua enemmän ja lenkkeily voi alkaa maistumaan puulta. Älypuhelimien ansiosta hätä ei ole kuitenkaan tämän näköinen. Jokaisella kulkee jatkuvasti mukanaan esimerkiksi kaikki nettikasinot, joihin voi tutustua tarkemmin osoitteessa

Jos lenkille lähteminen alkaa tuntua vaikealta, on hyvä keksiä tapoja, joilla lenkeistä tulee itsellekin viihdyttävämpiä. Älypuhelin on silloin helppo valinta, koko maailman viihde on vain parin painalluksen päähän. Äänikirjat, Netflix ja pelit saavat ajan kulumaan kuin siivillä samalla kun käyttää koiraansa ulkoilemassa. Suurin jännitys tulee varmasti kasinopelien tai muiden jännittävien mobiilipelien pelaamisesta.

Pelejä voi pelata suomeksi

Rahapelien pelaaminen netissä on hyvin suosittua ja myös suomalaiset ovat löytäneet nämä sivustot. Monet nettikasinot toimivat nykyisin suomen kielellä, joten enää ei tarvitse osata edes englantia pelatakseen. Tutkimukset eivät kerro, kuinka moni lenkkeilijä pelaa samalla rahapelejä, mutta tämä voi olla huomattavasti luultua suositumpaa.

Kaikki vaiheet rekisteröitymisestä pelaamiseen ja voittojen kotiuttamiseen on tarjolla suomen kielellä. Myös asiakaspalvelu toimii ainakin osan ajasta monilla kasinoilla myös suomeksi. Talletukset kasinon pelitilillekin voi tehdä kätevästi vaikka omilla pankkitunnuksillaan, joten pelaamisen aloittaminen on tehty kovin helpoksi.

Sopivia pelejä lenkille

Jos haluat pelata rahapelejä koiran kanssa ulkoillessasi, on parasta aloittaa slot-peleistä. Slot-pelejä on helppo pelata ja niissä ei vaadita monimutkaisia strategioita, mikä tekee niistä sopivia myös ulkona pelaamiseen. Slot-pelien peluuseen tarvitset vain älypuhelimesi ja nettiyhteyden.

Jos kaipaat hieman enemmän haastetta, voit kokeilla pokeria tai blackjackia, jotka vaativat enemmän taitoa. Näitä pelejä voi pelata nettikasinoilla selainpohjaisesti tai lataamalla erillisen sovelluksen älypuhelimeen. Pelaaminen onnistuu nykyisin sujuvasti myös koiran kanssa lenkkeillessä, sillä mobiililaitteiden avulla sinun ei tarvitse olla sidottuna kotikoneen äärelle.

Kolikkopelien nopea rytmi tekee niistä sopivamman lenkkeilyyn. Joudutahan jatkuvasti vilkuilemaan myös missä koirasi menee, joten hidasrytmisemmät ja paljon ajattelua vaativat pelit sopivat huonommin lenkille. Nettikasinot jakavat pelit eri kategorioihin, joten löydät pelit helposti kasinoiden peliauloista.

Nettikasinoilla on pelivalikoimissaan nykyisin monipuolisesti kaikenlaisia pelejä. Moni kasino tarjoaa myös vedonlyönnin, joten voit lyödä lenkillä ollessasi myös vetoa vaikka saman illan jääkiekko-ottelusta. Tarjolla on myös esimerkiksi raaputusarpoja, jättipottipelejä, bingoa, onnenpyörää ja live-kasinopelejä.

Vaihtoehtoisia pelejä lenkille

Netissä on tarjolla lukuisia erityyppisiä pelejä, jotka sopivat hyvin yhteen koiran kanssa ulkoilun kanssa. Yksi suosittu pelityyppi on esimerkiksi geokätköily, joka yhdistää liikunnan ja seikkailun. Geokätköilyssä pelaaja etsii GPS:n avulla kätkettyjä laatikoita tai esineitä eri paikoista ja suorittaa niitä koskevia tehtäviä.

Jos haluat kokeilla tämän tyyppistä peliä, voit aloittaa esimerkiksi Pokemon Go -pelistä. Tämä peli on yksi maailman suosituimmista ja se perustuu virtuaaliseen todellisuuteen, jossa pelaaja etsii ja kerää Pokemoneja eri paikoista. Jos et tiedä miten sitä pelataan, voit kysyä apua keneltä tahansa tuntemaltasi teiniltä, koska hän on todennäköisesti pelannut sitä joku vuosi sitten. Pelin avulla pelaaja voi löytää mielenkiintoisia paikkoja, joista ei ole ennen tiennyt, ja samalla kehittää hieman taitojaan.