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Jail is fun and Vilnius proves it

Jail is fun and Vilnius proves it

250 artists unleash their creativity this summer in the new entertainment hub “Lukiškės Prison 2.0”

Located in the centre of Vilnius, Lukiškės Prison, the grisly place of confinement built by the Russian tzars, has been reinvented as a filming location and centre for culture and entertainment after its closure in 2019. Having hit the headlines as the setting of Netflix’s Stranger Things, the notorious jailhouse now offers space for exclusive tours, concerts, festivals, and other culture activities throughout the summer.

Packed programme

In the framework of the “Lukiškės Prison 2.0” project, up to 250 artists will set up their workshops, studies, and creative spaces within the premises of the former prison, Go Vilnius informs.

“Lukiškės Prison 2.0” kick-started with a performance by the Solo Ansamblis band playing to over 1000 spectators - for the first time in 9 months due to unrelenting lockdowns. The project follow-up will include festivals, an open architecture event, movie sessions, active leisure time events, and nationally-recognised shows. There is also Lukiškės Prison Bar (baras@lukiskiukalejimas.lt) set up in the open air which serves visitors and also accepts reservations for personal parties or closed events.

Culture has the power to reinforce and transform Vilnius, says Martynas Butkevičius from Lithuanian music agency “8 Days a Week” which partners the project. He adds that their aim is to forge new emotional ties with the former prison instead of looking back to its past. Butkevičius believes that “Lukiškės Prison 2.0” will become the facilitator of music, modern art, design, and culture, all of which have suffered the stranglehold of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Immunity passports for large-scale events

“Lukiškės Prison 2.0” is open from noon till midnight every day, but participation in all large-scale events requires the possession of immunity passports. The site also has its own testing point where visitors can undergo rapid antigen testing.

Apart from the programme of cultural and entertainment events, visitors are also offered two unique guided tours. The daytime tour traverses the prison’s architecture and history, and the routine of inmates. The flashlight-assisted night-time tour is tailored to those who are not faint of heart but eager to experience the grimness of confinement.

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