The urban culture festival Tallinn Music Week (TMW) drew 36 823 visitors last week, including 1193 delegates attending the TMW Creative Impact conference. 250 artists from 32 countries performed at the festival that in addition to the music and comprehensive conference programme also offered many discoveries of the city space, film, art, food and public talks. The festival is presented by Nordea Bank, supported by Telia, Nordic Hotel Forum, Eesti Meedia, Enterprise Estonia and Estonian Ministry of Culture.
The ninth edition of TMW attracted nearly 37 000 visitors from 27th March to 2nd April. The overarching topic of this year’s festival was sustainable development and its many areas from environmental urban development to inclusive communities and equal opportunities.
The TMW conference Creative Impact on 31st March and 1st April was attended by 1193 delegates, among them 781 international delegates. President Kersti Kaljulaid called TMW in her opening speech the test polygon of the society that shows how to creatively find a compromise between different opinions.
“Here you can think away all contradictions and make room for all different opinions! Think about how to use technology to overcome contradictions and if that is not an option, then think how to talk yourselves and your conversation partners through the contradictions so that finally they will simply dissolve. Show us what a resourceful spirit and flexible mind can achieve!” said Kaljulaid.
President Kaljulaid’s opening speech
The 30 discussions of the conference presented 112 speakers, among them London’s first night czar Amy Lamé, influential pop culture author Simon Reynolds, founder of Sound Diplomacy Shain Shapiro, Barbara Gessler from the EU Culture Directorate and others. TMW conference also presented inspiring stories like the “Forbidden songs” of Norwegian Moddi, the North-Korea experience of Laibach, the nomadic artists Alexander Hacke and Danielle de Picciotto as well as the award-winning sound engineer Mandy Parnell.
Helen Sildna, founder and head of TMW pointed out the symbolic value of the conference venue, Russian Cultural Centre: “With the creative impact we can bring communities, nations and mindsets together. That’s the core of our debates.”
TMW 2017 concerts took place on 80 stages across town. In addition to the showcase concerts on main stages also more than 100 city stage concerts brought music and audiences to unusual places from a thrift store to a hotel suite. Among the most popular events were the techno marathon at the railway station Balti Jaam, the Weekend Festival club night in Club Hollywood, concerts by Jazzkaar, Jazz association and Viljandi Folk at Vaba Lava and Radio 2 showcase at Von Krahl. The sold-out opening concert “Radio Head Rewritten” at Kultuurikatel, conducted by Kristjan Järvi was one of the highlights as well as a joint concert by power-folk band Trad.Attack! and the Ukrainian electro-folk group Onuka.
Tommy Cash and the Danish rapper Black Daniels played secret gigs at the garage hack. Also new and notable were the concerts at the thrift store Uuskasutuskeskus and Tallinn Botanical Garden as well as three acoustic sets at people’s homes.
Other TMW events – the gallery tours, film screenings, restaurants and city space actions – also attracted lots of visitors. The footpath from the railway station to Telliskivi Creative City was lit up with light installations by students of Estonian Academy of Arts, music and street food. Old soviet era garages at the foot of Tallinn’s business district were given a new lease of life. Special Mexican and Japanese home dinners were popular as well as the unique Trash Cooking dinner by top chef Peeter Pihel.
The TMW pop-up restaurant, run by Ungru from Hiiumaa island this time, attracted full houses of foodies as well as participants to the talks on topics from future urban developments to space exploration. 30 songwriters and producers joined the international song writing camp.
The public vote for the favourite artist, organized jointly by Telia, Spotify and TMW is open until midnight of 5th April. The winner will be announced next week. More info.
The video competition #hoolin about sustainable lifestyle will end on 7th April. More info.
The tenth Tallinn Music Week will take place from 2nd to 8th April 2018. Festival passes at €35 and conference passes at €100 are on sale at TMW web store.
Tallinn Music Week 2017 in numbers:
250 artists from 32 countries
36 823 festival visitors
1193 conference delegates, 879 international delegates
132 international press
250 000 website visits from 150 countries
Tallinn Music Week 2016 in numbers:
250 artists from 30 countries
34 676 festival visitors
1036 conference delegates, 781 international delegates
128 international press
195 505 website visits from 144 countries
Tallinn Music Week thanks the supporters:
Presenter: Nordea Bank.
Main sponsors: Telia, Nordic Hotel Forum, Enterprise Estonia / Visit Estonia and Eesti Meedia
Festival centre and official hotel: Nordic Hotel Forum
Partners: Uber, Viru Keskus, Telliskivi Creative City, Solaris, Music Estonia, NGO Mondo, Lingvist, Tuborg, LaMuu, Fritz-Kola, Moe Peenviinavabrik, architecture practice PART
Supporters: Ministry of Culture, Tallinn Cultural Heritage Department, Tallinn Enterprise Department, European Fund of Regional Development, Embassy of Canada, British Council, Swedish Embassy.
TMW sustainability initiative was supported by Ministry of Environment, NGO Mondo, Representation of the European Commission in Estonia, Government Office, embassy of Sweden and KODA by Kodasema.
Festival website and #hoolin campaign: Velvet
Festival app: Festivality
Festival visual design: Mariana Hint-Rääk, illustration Viktor Gurov
Music compilations: Eesti Pops
Comments by partners and visitors
Indrek Saar, Estonian Minister of Culture:
“Tallinn Music Week has grown from a music festival into an internationally influential urban culture and vision festival that touches the key topics of the society bravely. Within a short time the festival has become an active and effective promoter of Estonian music and talent in the world and a shaper of the European cultural policy.”
Gerd Müller, Head of Nordea
“Nordea’s relationship with Tallinn Music Week is based on mutual respect and constant learning. We at Nordea have had an honour of being close by and offer our support to see how a week-long music event has become a forum that throughout the year contributes to and promotes debate on social matters. How Helen and her team has grown from concert organizers into opinion-leader in the society.”
Barbara Gessler, Directorate General Education and Culture, European Commission
“Tallinn Music Week has displayed the creative potential of Estonia and its capital in a very impressive way. It shows how the creative sector and pop music in particular can bring about societal changes and open up new horizons, for the economy and across generations. The festival’s presence in the city and the way it is supported by its citizens and government and promoted by the musicians, artists and designers proves that music and creativity can make a real difference in and for Europe.”
Vanessa Reed, Chief Executive, PRS for Music:
“Tallinn Music Week is unlike most other music industry conferences I’ve attended because it’s pushing the definitions of what an event of this kind can be in the 21st century. It embraces art, politics, tech and urbanism in a bold and intelligent way. It crosses genres and sectors in easy to find spaces, which give you an insight into Estonia’s past and present. It breathes the energy of a city where smart young leaders are using music & the creative industries to drive social and political change. I’ll definitely be back in 2018. I have a feeling that there are even greater things to come as Helen Sildna, the festival’s pioneering Director, leads us towards TMW’s 10th anniversary.”Ivan Novak,
Ivan Novak, member of Laibach:
“The West is dead, it has lost its mojo! If you want to hear some really good new music, discuss relevant things about music and culture and get a blast of life from the young and beautiful city, come to Tallinn Music Week!”
Brian Reich, communications expert:
“I returned to Tallinn Music Week and the Creativity for Change conference believing nothing could top my experience from last year – and I was wrong. This year’s event was even better. As always there was an extraordinary group of people gathered to share smart ideas and commit themselves to efforts that improve the world. But this year, it was also clear that the issues being addressed – from the role of technology and creativity in creating economic opportunity for everyone to how we can use our imagination to break down barriers and drive innovation – were more important to the future of society than ever before. Tallinn is a vibrant hub for people who are doing ambitious, important and wonderfully creative work, and the ideas emerging from TMW will have wide-reaching impact. Leaders in business, philanthropy, government, science, the arts, and more should look at Tallinn as a model for how to make great things happen.”
Simon Reynolds, music critic and author:
“I had a fabulous time at TMW 2017 – saw many interesting bands, met many interesting people, had many interesting conversations – and all in the setting of one of Europe’s most charming cities. I’ve been to great number of music festival/conferences over the years and this was one of the very best experiences.”
John Robb, musician and journalist:
„Way more than just a music conference, the boundary breaking TMW is in the premier league of music events not just by its sheer ambition and scale of music. Culture and creativity that it celebrates. It’s also this open minded spirit and genre breaking ideal of collaboration that not only sees the myriad of stages in the beautiful Estonian capital full of music from classical to hardcore from hip hop to left field and sometimes all merged into one but a genuine positive spirit that seems to be infusing the forward thinking of the government and society of its host country. In a world were the doors seem to be closing and borders coming down TMW is bucking the trend and inspiring the real future for music, culture and the kind of lives that we want to lead. TMW knows that a broken world needs a culture hug!”
Stepan Kazaryan, head of Moscow Music Week and BOLь:
„TMW is growing both in popularity and in terms of professionalism every year. The conference panels made me miss both of my lunches, so interesting they were. This year the quality of the bands also jumped drastically. And I’m happy to mention that young bands from the New Russian scene that I support so much back home and that were selected by TMW curators this year managed to enjoy success among both professionals and the audience in such controversial times. TMW showed once again that it is truly independent and politically unbiased event, which became very rare in our todays common European home.“
Moddi, musician and activist:
“At Tallinn Music Week, I met people who truly care for music, and who understand that we are in this together. Good things happen in the beating heart of Europe.”
Kimmo Pohjonen, musician:
„I was pretty amazed what has happened to the Estonian music scene. So many interesting acts with really wide music range. I felt cool self-confidence and professionalism which was followed by all the Estonian acts I heard. Many different and great venues with good technical conditions all around the town and the overall feeling very positive. And I really mean this. Can’t wait the next year which is 10 years celebration to TMW and 100 to Estonia.“
Sven Nuutmann, Chairman of the Board, Eesti Meedia:
“Eesti Meedia goes hand in hand with events that share the same values with our organization. These values include passion, creativity, courage and responsibility. The organizers of Tallinn Music Week are clearly one of the most creative and courageous teams in Estonia, who are not afraid to push boundaries, experiment with new ideas and do it all with great passion. TMW is a living proof of the fact that responsible behavior is our common goal, whatever the field.”
Katrin Isotamm, Communications Manager, Telia Eesti:
„TMW has a strong and committed team. Every year they break new limits and do something extraordinary and different. From Telia’s point of view, our partnership is full of great ideas and inspiration. We especially cherished this year’s focus on sustainable development because in that way, this important subject will find the wider audience it needs.”
Feliks Mägus, CEO of Nordic Hotel Forum:
„TMW is without a doubt one of the most beautiful success stories of Estonia – a committed team, led by a strong leader, transforms a cool music festival into a powerful urban culture festival which is talked about all over the world. TMW thinks big, widens our horizons and helps us see further into the future than we could or dared by ourselves. We are very happy to support the festival and the creation of big ideas and be part of the synergy that happens here between music and people.”
Piret Reinson, Head of Marketing, Enterprize Estonia:
„Tallinn Music Week is the most beautiful reflection of what Estonia is and what is possible here. How many different stages, food outlets, great ideas and good music. Ans all these places full of nice open-minded people from dozens of countries. Culture and ideas will make Estonia big. I am incredibly happy for the resonance created by TMW. The more Estonians take part of that metropolitan borderless world, the more confidence we gain.”