Tallinn Music Week 2016: City Stage


It has become a tradition for me to welcome the spring season by attending Tallinn Music Week. Kalenterikarju has already listed six reasons why you should travel to Tallinn for the festival. In my experience, what it makes the festival so enjoyable is the possibility of walking around the music finding music and events everywhere. City and festival blend into one.

Built around the festival, there’s an alternative programme of arts, design, food and drink. But above all there’s the music, of course. For three days music is everywhere all around Tallinn. Tickets for the festival are inexpensive, but if you are tight with money you don’t even need one.

Each day, everyone can enjoy the festival’s City stage programme and see, for free, many of the bands performing at the festival. During the day, the whole city becomes a stage with 105 artists performing in many different locations across town, some of them being a bit peculiar. This way music and city blend to create a unique experience.
Here are some of the unexpected where you can catch a show.

Home concerts

This is one of the highlights of the festival. Three Estonian families are opening their homes for a series of intimate concerts. This will be quite a cozy setting to see Poland’s world music troubadours Čači Vorba and their acclaimed mix of Gypsy and Balkan traditional music with elements of jazz and rock. Don’t forget to leave the shoes at the entrance as that’s the custom.

The Funky Bus

This hippie bus has been spotted in different festivals across and now it’s going to make a pit stop in Tallinn. The stage on its roof will host a long afternoon of funk and soul shows including Finland’s Eternal Erection. Find it at Telliskivi.

Biit Me record store

A show in a record store is not that exotic, but Biit Me is not a very usual store. Located in an old part in the medieval part of town, Biit Me does not carry the usual catalogue, but a large choice of electro, dub, reggae and indie. Go crate digging here before the performance of Winnipeg’s hip hop brotherhood The Lytics.

Renard Coffee Shop

When he’s not designing motorbikes or restoring very old motorcycles next door, Renard serves some of the best specialty coffee in Tallinn brought from small Nordic roasters. Come to this garage-like space for a cup and joe and see the blend of art-rock, electronica and jazz of Marten Kuningas, who is one of the Estonian artists you definitively need to know.

Bicycle Studio Jooks

Talking about bikes, the Telliskivi area also hosts a shop specialised in everything about bicycles. On Saturday afternoon, with a background of wheels and brakes, you can dance to the funk-blues-rockabilly-hip hop mix of American band iAm Jones & The Dope Conspiracy.

Many other cafes, design studios and even a shopping centre will host free pop-up shows. For more details on the programme and exact locations, check: http://tmw.ee/programme/city-stage