Tallinn Music Week for beginners

An historic train station is transformed into a techno club to offer a 30-hour party marathon hosted by cutting-edge DJs and producers from all around the world. Colorful lights twinkle and sparkle through the glass walls of the waiting pavilion. Inside, there are no tired travelers waiting for the 4pm train to Moscow, but a number of shadows rhythmically moving to raw ambient sounds. The spectacle of lights extends into a narrow pedestrian underpass leading to the entrance of Tallinn’s old town.

Every spring, music and city blend into one during Tallinn Music Week. For a long, very long weekend, music fills every corner of the city nearly 24/7, from living rooms to the most surprising venue.

Tallinn Music Week 2018: Jubilee edition

Tallinn Music Week 2018

This year the festival celebrates its 10th anniversary, and it does it with a firmly established format, which showcases over 250 artists of any genre, and a two-day conference focusing on music, new economy, civic initiative, gender politics, better cities and design thinking. Plus, side events include art, films, talks and the finest restaurants ready to cater festival goers with specially crafted chef’s menus.

Previous attendees —and many of them are surely coming back, will be familiar with the festival’s offering. But for those who have never been to Tallinn Music Week, here are a few tips to make the most of the festival.

Tallinn Music Week 2018: Tips for beginners

Plan your party night

For the most part, the music program is organized around events with a theme/genre. Take your pick: dance the night away with funk sounds, headbang at the metal stage, discover Estonian folk or venture into a drum & bass night. This approach is an easy way to find the shows and venues you’re more interested in.

It pays off to arrive early.

Hosted by producer and conductor Kristjan Järvi, the opening concert is usually one of the highlights of the festival. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Estonia, this year’s concert will take the audience into the club sounds from many different eras roaring twenties’ jazz and swing to today’s ambient, house and hip-hop.

Single tickets

The 2-day festival pass is pretty inexpensive —considering the amount of music you can hear, but if your budget is tight, you can buy single tickets for a venue starting at 10 euro.

No overlaps

Don’t feel bummed out if there’s a schedule conflict. Many bands play two sets, so there’s double the chance to see your favorite band.

Go underground

Continuing the tradition, the festival is turning unusual places into a nightclub for a long rave. The parking lot under the trendy shopping mall Rotermanni Kvartal will be filled with light and sound.

Make a table reservation

The culinary offer is world-class, but Tallinn is small city. You don’t want to find yourself looking for a place to eat during the festival’s Saturday night. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Do your homework

The festival has prepared a comprehensive playlist with 162 songs and over 11 hours of music.

Additional info