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Tallinn Music Week, one of only a few festivals to go ahead in Europe this summer, opened yesterday, 27 August, in the capital of Estonia.

Access All Areas is currently in Tallinn to see how the organisers have managed to stage the event during a period of widespread event cancellations, and against a constantly changing backdrop of travel regulations.

The festival was given the go-ahead to take place in August by the Estonian government, having been originally planned for the Spring. The impact of Covid-19 has been very low in Estonia, with only 64 deaths to the disease as of 27 August.

Tonis Lukas, Estonian Minister of Culture, speaks at the opening ceremony of Tallinn Music Week

Nevertheless, TMW is opting on the side of caution and asking audiences to keep a distance from each other where possible, and providing plenty of hand sanitiser upon entry.

The festival lineup has seen some international artists dropping out at the last minute, but maintains a varied lineup of Estonian artists, as well as many from Finland, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania and other surrounding countries.

Access also attended Station Narva, a one-day festival in the Eastern Estonian city of Narva. The event, staged by the organisers of TMW, took place 26 August on the banks of the river which separates Estonia from Russia.

The festival grounds of Station Narva, with Russia visible over the river

Access will be reporting from the TMW conference taking place today, 28 August, which will include an address from the President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid. A number of international and Estonian speakers will also address the conference’s key themes: Music Industry 2.0, Sustainable Development Goals, Neighbours through Resilience and Leading Change.

There will be a full review of TMW in the October edition of Access All Areas.