2,000 Take Part in Paide Opinion Festival ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: ERR

Around 2,000 people attended the first Arvamusfestival (Opinion Festival) in Paide on August 16 and 17.

The festival, inspired by a similar event in Sweden, featured 200 speakers on a variety of stages, discussing topics like ethnic tolerance, education, e-elections, the economy and the "Estonian Nokia,“ reported uudised.err.ee.

In addition to formal debates by well-known commentators, cultural figures and politicians, there were also spontaneous, unscheduled discussions where everyone could weigh in.

One of the event's founders, Kristi Liiva, said said there was a free and friendly atmosphere among the diverse crowd that came together.

"It proves that a cultured exchange of opinions is possible,” Liiva said.

"The coolest thing was that there are ruins of an old gate next to the Vallitorn tower and suddenly a discussion appeared there that we didn't even know about. At that moment we realized we were seeing spontaneity in action,” she said.