At many other places in North America, the centerpiece of the Jāņi celebration has been some kind of show by the local folk dance/singing organization showing a more or less traditional Jāņi celebration so that all present would see "this is Jāņi in (olden days, traditional) Latvia." It was more or less the Skroderdienas Silmačos scene.
I said it is time to update this to show Jāņi in 21. century Latvia. The scene opens on a stage with a flatscreen TV, a couple of couches and a grill. In the background, an SUV pulls up and the first Jāņubērni emerge carrying Rimi or Maxima bags filled with special Jāņi packages--six packs of Aldaris or Cēsu beer, buckets of shašlik meat and shrink-wrapped, heart-shaped Jāņu cheese. They fire up the grill, have a few beers and turn on the TV. It is too early for the Maestro (Raimonds Pauls) to take the the stage at the Līgo Lejasvaimanas 2008 mass event, so the camera crane zooms over the crowd of thousands gathering by the outdoor stage and listening to a Latvian country band in cowboy hats.
The Jāņu bērni in the couches (except for the grillmaster) start channelsurfing. They stop for a few seconds at a 1980s recording of an outdoor performance of Skroderdienas (a Latvian classic about tailors, a mismatched wedding in a country farmstead and a Jāņi celebration where all gets set right). Then they channel surf to a blond babe in a bikini being carried uphill by an older man (or maybe she is asking to be driven to the Estonian hill, Munamegi) -- this is from the film A Limousine the Color of Jāņu Night. Finally they hit a channel with the alternative to the Maestro's Līgo Lejasvaimanas for a younger audience with the comedians Ufo and Fredis and some people rapping in the Latgallian dialect, followed by some folk/punk rock band, or at the very best, Ilģi. And so the show goes on, more or less like a happening or installation rather than a performance. The Jāņu celebrants drop off one by one as the beer and šašliks run out. One staggers to the SUV to get some more at the all-night Statoil down the road. There is a loud simulated crash after the SUV drives away. But our hero is unhurt, we see him staring pathetically out the window of a Latvian police prisoner transport bus that drives by, ending the performance.
OK, this was to entertain my Latvian readers. Back on topic after the holiday.