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International showcase music and city festival Tallinn Music Week (TMW) took place last week in the Estonian capital Tallinn, with the city of Narva on the Russian border also playing host for the first time.

In Tallinn’s first year as a UNESCO City of Music, the event hosted 192 artists from 28 countries and 974 music and culture industry professionals from 4-8 May. The 14th edition of the event drew a total of 17,425 visits: 10,735 in Tallinn and 6,904 in Narva.

The event hosted five Ukrainian artists in total and began with a free concert by Ukrainian pop star Ivan Dorn in Tallinn’s Telliskivi Creative City Square. In addition to Dorn, whose gig was attended by nearly 3,000 people, Ukrainian artists alyona alyona, FO SHO, Gentle Ropes and Krapka;KOMA performed at the festival. The latter three were also granted free sound residency and accommodation in Tallinn.

The TMW conference began with opening speeches by Estonian Minister of Culture Tiit Terik and the founder of TMW Helen Sildna at the Nordic Hotel Forum in Tallinn on Friday. It continued at the OBJEKT multimedia centre in Narva on Saturday.

Among the conference speakers were founder and owner of Bella Union Simon Raymonde, Britpop instigator Jane Savidge, Live Nation Estonia head promoter Eva Palm and tour manager and the Back Lounge founder Suzi Green.

Station Narva by Anna Markova

TMW founder Helen Sildna said, “TMW in Tallinn and Narva reminded us all of the power of culture to bring people together, fill moments with meanings and create the feeling that right here and now we can be the centre of the world.”

Welcome addresses by the President of the Republic of Estonia Alar Karis and the Mayor of Narva Katri Raik opened the TMW Narva programme in front of Vaba Lava Narva on Saturday.

President Karis said, “Musicians and event promoters around the world have organised countless fundraising concerts in support of Ukraine. In addition to the millions donated at these events, they have drawn the attention of millions, tens of millions of people to this brutal war, and have brought the world together to stand up against evil.

“May art and culture help us be better, more empathetic and compassionate.”

The next edition of TMW is scheduled to take place on 10–14 May 2023.