Viljandi Folk Music Festival kicked off for the 28th time on Thursday and will run until Sunday. Over the four festival days, there will be 53 concerts and the theme is "In harmony".
In addition, the audience can enjoy concerts at the Green stage, Dance house, children's area, participate in workshops and end the festival days at afterpartys with DJ-s at Kuusemäe.
"In harmony means unity, cooperation and support of each other," said head of the festival, Ando Kiviberg, adding the first took a break last year due to coronavirus.
Performers at the opening concert included the winner of the national traditional music competition for kids Mihkel Sildoja and winners of the competition for youth traditional music bands Mann and Juula and Kirekind. Young artists ETHNO camp, Duo Ruut, Lauri Õunapuu, duo Kaisa Kuslapuu and Karl Laanekask, as well as traditional music students of Eller music school together with Arno Tamm also participated.
The opening was also attended by Minister of Culture Anneli Ott (Center) and long time festival visitor, Mayor of Viljandi Madis Timpson and former president Toomas Hendrik Ilves.
Ilves emphasized two aspects of this year's festival. "How was traditional music born? It does not happen in isolation," he said in his opening speech. "Just as big trees are born from seeds and need birds to spread the seeds, so does national culture need harmony to be fertilized and to last."
Both Kiviberg and Ilves encouraged the audience to take responsibility and recommended everybody vaccinate themselves against coronavirus. Festival visitors, as well as everybody else can get vaccinated in the mobile vaccination bus at Viljandi Vabaduse square.
Editor's note: More pictures added.
Editor: Helen Wright