Anniversary Fest A Flop

The one-day fest that Estonian promoter Juri Makarov put on Tallinn’s huge Song Festival Ground came up way short on numbers.

The event commemorating the 25th anniversary of the country’s first pop and rock festival, back in the days when it was about to emerge from behind the Iron Curtain, did about 10,000 per day.

Makarov, who admits the Song Festival Ground needs 20,000 before it starts to look as if there’s a crowd, said it was far less than he and his partners were expecting. He promoted the festival, which was called Rock Summer 25, with the team behind the original festival in 1988.

“Anyway, the feeling was good – the people who came were extremely satisfied and all acts sent their ‘Thank You letters,’” Makarov told Pollstar. “If you have a birthday party, you never calculate how much you spend on food and entertainment and how much the presents are worth,” he said, adding he and his partners may do a 30th anniversary bash five years from now.

Apart from an overcrowded market and poor weather, Makarov also blamed the fact the Estonian government has raised the price of electricity by 30 percent to comply with European Union regulations. He said that this summer acts including Depeche Mode, Green Day,Eros Ramazzotti, Elton John, and Jose Carreras had all failed to do more than 10,000 on the same Song Festival field. Acts at the anniversary fest June 15-16 included Bryan Adams, Zucchero, Skid Row, Skindred, Rudimental, Royksopp, Buckcherry, John Lydon & Public Image Ltd, Walking Papers, and Sharon Corr.