With new music festivals popping up every year it’s kind of hard to stand out and in many cases what makes the biggest difference is the location – unique places offering unusual experience. Ezera Skanas (Lake Sounds) offers just that and more – it’s a festival where musicians play on rafts in the middle of a lake and listeners paddle about to find the best spot.

Kala Lake lies between Ergli and Madona, in Vidzeme, some 127 km from the capital Riga, has 5 islands and is the home of Ezera Skanas festival, probably the most extraordinary Baltic festival gem.

This event gets very little publicity and is deliberately kept a secret (sort of). For the past two years word of mouth has attracted those who appreciate the early Latvian summer mornings and other not-so-sleepy types, since it has a 5AM start. So most of goers arrive during the dark hours and by the time musicians start playing it should be light already – Latvia’s pretty far up North so Summer nights are very short.

People do bring their own boats and some rent them from local businesses on the lake, which is a popular fishing and recreation place. Warm clothing and taking care of individual safety on the water are also good ideas to consider.

Oh, and the one who said that the best things in life are free, well he or she wasn’t wrong – Ezera Skanas festival hasn’t had an entrance fee for the past two years. Best small festival on a lake in Europe? Just might be.