Closing Ceremony of First European Games
Scene-by-scene commentary by AZERTAC

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As spectacular fireworks shoot across the Baku sky, the first-ever European Games come to a close.


For the athletes who trained exhaustively to compete in Baku, the Games are over and it's time to celebrate. 


The ceremony then featured performance by foreign musical bands and singers.


Under the light of the Cauldron, Elnur Mikailov plays the kamanche – a haunting and yearning sound embodying Azerbaijani mugham music.

From the north buta stage, Lamiya Karimova beckons him with an enchanting melody.

We see the Ateshgah fire temple rise from the Main stage. Standing on top, a sand painter is drawing 'the

tree of life' from the simurg legend. Soon we discover that what she draws magically comes to life on stage.

Seventy-six dancers create dynamic choreography with sand. As the sand painter draws a brewing

storm, dancers representing wind and water appear.

Next, she draws birds, and 50 appear, representing the 50 nations of the Games. The birds flock together

and, as in the legend, transform into a giant simurg.

As the music becomes more dramatic, the sand painter draws images of fire, conjuring performers with fire wings who run in and scatter the bird performers.

Fire dancers perform athletically as the music intensifies, and fire effects engulf the stadium. As the dance reaches a fever pitch, the simurg ignites in spectacular fashion and burns brightly in the centre of the stadium.


This evening pays tribute to the nearly 6,000 athletes from 50 nations whose exceptional endeavours and commitment have captured hearts and minds.

Highlights of the past 17 days are shown on the stadium screens. We see examples of incredible sportsmanship, courage and joy. The highs and lows of competition. And the friendships forged along the way.

The first-ever European Games have been a historic event for Azerbaijan and the European sporting community. For the athletes, officials, volunteers and spectators, it's been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


Technology provides an unparalleled opportunity to connect countries and individuals – their ideas, their cultures and their energies. We see the possibilities of our future: the energy of youth.

A male dancer discovers a light of energy on the stage. As it travels up through him, his body reacts and he transfers the light to a female dancer. Then to many more. Their urban and athletic movements build into a high-energy hip-hop dance.

More than 500 performers flood the stage, carrying LED hexagons above their heads. As they move, the hexagons create patterns – first a graphic equalizer, then a lotus flower and other stunning images.

As the music becomes more ethereal, our attention is drawn high above the stage. Performers are creating acrobatic moves inside six cyr wheels that have hexagon-shaped lighting bars. As they descend, they're joined by three more cyr wheels performing on the ground.

Seventy-five performers move across the stage with brightly coloured flags. Meanwhile, the hexagons rhythmically move to create an image that incorporates the three buta stages… it's the pomegranate tree graphic of the Baku 2015 European Games.​


There then follows a short film about Baku, highlighting the city's attractions and forthcoming

major events, such as the 2016 Formula One European Grand Prix, the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games, and UEFA Euro 2020 football matches.


President of the European Olympic Committees Patrick Hickey delivers a speech.

"Under the leadership of President Aliyev and First Lady Aliyeva, the Baku 2015 European Games Operations Committee delivered arenas fit for the best sportsmen and sportswomen in Europe.

A gold-medal standard of operational excellence. And a team of new young heroes: your fantastic volunteers. All that in the space of 30 months."

"Under the leadership of President Aliyev and First Lady Aliyeva, the Baku 2015 European Games Operations Committee delivered arenas fit for the best sportsmen and sportswomen in Europe.

A gold-medal standard of operational excellence. And a team of new young heroes: your fantastic volunteers. All that in the space of 30 months."

"To the European Olympic family and to our friends around the world, I say this, with complete certainty: the future is bright for Azerbaijan. The future is bright for the European Games. And the future is bright for the magnificent athletes of Europe.

So now, with gratitude, with pride, and with great optimism, I declare the Baku 2015 inaugural European Games closed," said Mr Hickey.


First Lady of Azerbaijan Chair of the Baku 2015 European Games Organising Committee Mehriban Aliyeva is invited to the stage to deliver a speech. Behind her on the Protocol stage are 669 Flamekeepers – the volunteers who've been so vital to the success of the Games. As Mehriban Aliyeva thanks them, they wave their flags.

"I'd like to express my deep gratitude to the Azerbaijani national team, European athletes and numerous guests for their friendliness, hospitality and support during the Games.

I hope there are many more victories for independent Azerbaijan, and wish happiness and prosperity for Azerbaijani people."

Mehriban Aliyeva said: "The first European Games have come to an end. The last 17 days were remarkable and unforgettable in the history of Azerbaijan. We are proud that the first European Games were held in our country. We are proud that within only two and a half years Azerbaijan has turned its commitment into a reality, and delivered a sporting event of the highest standard.

Over the last 17 days we witnessed unity, solidarity and friendship between European nations.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to the people of Azerbaijan, and the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, for their great support of the Games and the athletes."

"The past 17 days will live forever in our hearts. It will be an unforgettable moment in our history that passes down through the generations.

Thank you athletes!

Thank you friends!

Thank you Azerbaijan!" Mehriban Aliyeva concluded.


The placard bearers and athlete flag bearers enter in two lines – headed by Greece (birthplace of the

Olympics) and Azerbaijan (hosts) – and meet in front of the Main buta stage. Children from the choir give water lilies – a symbol of peace and unity – to the placard bearers, before singing a reprise of 'Cal Oyna'. The stadium cheers athletes from Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine.


The film is followed by a 50-strong children's choir singing the traditional folk tune, 'Cal Oyna'. It's a celebratory song for the nearly 6,000 athletes from 50 nations whose exceptional sportsmanship, courage and commitment have captured our hearts and minds over the past 17 days.


A short film on the stadium screens pays tribute to the 12,500 Flamekeeper volunteers whose energy, enthusiasm and remarkable dedication have contributed to the success of Baku 2015.


As the music becomes a rock fusion, the traditional skirts are transformed into modern, brightly coloured patterns. Then, the modern dress is pulled away to reveal the 128 performers who have been manoeuvring each sculpture.

All 504 dancers spin and create mosaic patterns across the stage.

Finally, the walls of the 'Maiden Tower' peel away to reveal the architecturally spectacular 'Flame Towers', and once again we see that our present is born from our past.


Called Transformation, this part of the ceremony applauds the rich traditions of Azerbaijani music, dance and architecture, juxtaposed with the energy and power of their modern equivalents.

Traditional musicians call out a melody that's answered by a group of their contemporary counterparts.

As the scene builds, traditional and modern dancers respond to each others' rhythms and energy.

Sixteen dancers spin around the Main buta stage – their dresses flaring out to create beautiful patterns.

The rhythm of the music changes as three giant sculptures begin to spin as well. Each of their skirts is extended and held by 24 performers.


Attention is drawn to the Protocol stage where the flag of Azerbaijan is carried by eight and raised by three servicemen of the National Guard of the Special State Protection Service.



Azerbaijan is a rich tapestry of different colours, peoples, traditions and influences. Like threads of a carpet each are distinct but, united by their diversity, they create a beautiful pattern.

On the stadium screens, a carpet weaver's threads come to life and journey through the countryside, across the ancient landscape to the city of Baku. Distinctive carpets by renowned local artist, Faig Ahmed, transform into numbers – from 10 to zero – reflecting the vitality of modern Azerbaijan.

As the countdown hits zero, light shines on two singers on the Main buta stage. They're joined by a chorus to sing a new, symphonic arrangement of the national anthem.



The Closing Ceremony gets underway.  A fanfare draws attention to the Presidential Box and welcomes President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, First Lady of Azerbaijan, Chair of the Baku 2015 European Games Organising Committee Mehriban Aliyeva, and President of the European Olympic Committees Patrick Hickey.​


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