Rabarock Has Neighborly Hopes

Kristo Rajasaare and his Rabarock Festival co-organizers believe they may need some neighborly help if they’re going to continue to grow their event.

Although the 3-year-old bash has increased its crowd to more than 6,500 per day, and is flying something of a flag for a virtually non-existent Baltic festival market, Rajasaare hopes Finland’s Provinssirock and Sweden’s Hultsfred festivals will be able to help develop the Estonian event further.

"Both are very near, particularly Provinssirock, and both are the same weekend. It would help us if we could cooperate with them and bring even more international acts to Estonia," Rajasaare explained.

Rabarock began when Rajasaare, who plays drums for national acts No Big Silence and Kosmikud, and some fellow Estonian rock musicians saw a gap in the market.

In 2003 the ill-fated Beach Party had gone down, leaving Peeter Rebane and his Tallinn-based Baltic Development Group looking at a downside in the region of 3 million kroner (then US$230,891). It also left the region without a festival that international agents were likely to call.

Rajasaare and his cohorts formed a company called Eesti Rockifestival (Estonian Rockfestival) and, in 2005, saw their first Rabarock Festival pull in about 3,000 people per day.

Doubling that crowd within a few years, the Eesti rockers feel the event’s future development will be accelerated if they can pull in some even bigger names playing Finland or Sweden over the same weekend.

The acts helping the crowd grow at this year’s Rabarock June 15-16, staged 40 miles south of Tallinn at Järvakandi, included Electric Six, The Datsuns, Clawfinger, Laibach, Apoptygma Berzerk, Poets Of The Fall, Peer Günt and – of course – Kosmikud.