Viljandi Folk Music Festival is transforming the otherwise quiet southern Estonian city of Viljandi into center of folk lovers from across Europe and elsewhere.
The annual festival has been running since 1993 and now attracts over 25,000 people each year. As such, it is one of the largest annual music festivals in Estonia and among the largest folk music festivals in Europe.
Although it started off as a traditional Estonian folklore festival, it now also features many international folk artists, from the Americas to Africa.
Estonia is represented by current folk favorites Curly Strings, as well as Mari Kalkun and Trad.Attack!
The theme of this year's festival, running from July 23-26, is "Freedom".
The festival's theme is inspired by the current situation of the folk music scene and the events taking place in the world.
“During the festival, we want to represent different facets of freedom and show what lies beneath this beautiful, although ambiguous, word. We recognize that freedom is not to be taken for granted and it can disappear in a second. We know that freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. We want to remind people of these things and ask whether freedom is possible in this world where we are living and how we could use it to everyone's benefit. The answers to these questions will be sought at the festival,” the festival organizers said.
Editor: S. Tambur