Europe’s Biggest Fest

Although the first weekend of July saw Belgium’s Rock Werchter, Poland’s Open’er and three major fests in the UK, what was likely the biggest  overall fathering was drawing 100,000-plus to Tallinn’s Song Festival Grounds in Estonia. 


This year The Estonian Song Celebration also broke its record for the number of choral participants. There were 42,000 singers July 4-6, more than any Baltic festival can get through the gate – or as many as most European mid-sized festivals.

The number of performers added to the crowd amounts to some 6.5 percent of Estonia’s 2.2 million population.

The Estonians love to get together for a singsong, and English-language mag Life in Estonia detailed why the song celebrations helped keep the country’s “national identity” alive.

Having ended Soviet rule, by 1991 the Singing Revolution had helped Estonia reclaim its independence.

Research carried out by the University of Tartu shows that 84 percent of those surveyed consider the festival an event of national importance rather than a song-and-dance celebration.