Gallery: Night Song Festival celebrates 30 years of free Estonia

The "Free Estonia!" Night Song Festival at Tallinn Song Festival Grounds on August 20, 2021. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Thousands of people attended the "Free Estonia!" (Vaba Eesti!) night song festivals (öölaulupidu) on Friday evening to mark the 30th anniversary of Estonia's restoration of independence.

Festivals were held across Estonia to mark the event and the "Free Estonia" concert was broadcast on ETV.

Margus Kasterpalu, project manager of the Night Song Festival, explained why the festivals were held.

"Why do it? Because we restored our independence by singing! Performed in a small circle of friends at first and more and more openly later on, the songs carried the message of freedom and the homeland. Even if the message was not always so direct, we always recognized it, even if we had to read between the lines. We sang along. Drawing inspiration from the same feeling, Alo Mattiisen's patriotic songs and night song festivals were soon born. This is how the Singing Revolution became possible – not a single drop of blood was shed," he said.

President Kersti Kaljulaid was spotted dancing at the biggest song festival at Tallinn's Song Festival grounds.

To learn more about Estonia's journey towards independence you can view a timeline on the 30th anniversary website.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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