The Tallinn city government has come under criticism for supporting a street festival organized by activists with just 500 euros while allocating thousands of euros to events held by the authorities.
In 2011, the northern Tallinn district government supported Kalamaja Days with 2,184 euros and in 2012, with 1000 euros, Eesti Päevaleht reported today.
However, when the organizers proposed broadcasting information on the event on the huge screen at Vabaduse väljak (Freedom Square), a city official asked “What have Kalamaja Days got to do with Tallinn?”
Kalamaja, the area that recently made the top 20 of most hipster districts in the world, has been subject to gentrification in recent years and accordingly, community life has become more and more active, complete with new cafés, festivals and street fairs.
Organizers of the older, but similar Uus Maailm festival are facing the same problem, having received just 450 euros from the authorities last year.
For the second year in a row, the city is organizing an event at Stroomi beach at the same time as the Kalamaja days are held. According to the main organizer of Kalamaja Days, Mailis Timm, it demonstrates the regrettable reluctance of the authorities to embrace local activism and civic initiatives.
The city has generously supported events in 2012-2014 in districts considered Center Party territory - Lasnamäe Day was allocated 38,000 euros and the Christmas party of Mustamäe received 3,500 euros.
Just like the organizers of the Uus Maailm festival, Kalamaja Days now pin their hopes on Hooandja.ee, the Estonian version of the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.