During the 13th Youth Song and Dance Celebration, which takes place in Tallinn on June 30 – July 2, public transport will be free for everyone in the Estonian capital. Shuttle will provide faster travel between venues and there will also bicycle parking available at the Song Festival Grounds (Lauluväljak) so that spectators can cycle, rather than drive, to the Sunday concert.
At a press conference on Thursday, Head of the Song and Dance Festival Foundation Margus Toomla called on Tallinn road users to be particularly attentive from June 27, when the first groups of young dancers are set to arrive in the capital.
"There will be around 20,000 singers and dancers from all over Estonia, staying in 46 different school hostels in Tallinn and moving between their accommodation and the festival grounds. There will be significantly more buses, pedestrians and people using public transport. As it is a youth festival, there are going to be more young children in the city who may not be accustomed to the traffic arrangements," said Toomla.
Taavi Kirss, head of traffic supervision at the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) Northern Prefecture also reminded drivers that, from June 27 there will be a lot more children in Tallinn than usual. Therefore, it is even more important to pay careful attention when driving in the city and be considerate of other road users.
On June 30, the Dance Celebration "Bridges" begins at Kalevi Central Stadium (Keskstaadion), during which time traffic will be restricted on Juhkentali tänav, Staadioni tänav and Võistluse tänav.
On July 2, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., a procession will take place, resulting in road closures from Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak), along Pärnu manatee, to the Song Festival Grounds (Lauluväljak), Kirss added.
Tallinn Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet (Center) said that to reach the Youth Song and Dance Celebration, it is recommended that people leave their cars at home and travel by public transport, on foot or by bike
"During the Song and Dance Celebration weekend, public transport is free for everyone, regardless of whether you are a citizen of Tallinn or not. We hope this will encourage people to use public transport more during the days of the festival," said Svet.
Shuttle buses and bicycle parking will be provided
According to Svet, there are plans to increase the amount of public transport available in order to facilitate travel to and from the festival venues.
"The day of the Song Festival is Sunday, but many buses will be running on a Monday schedule. We will also be providing shuttle buses to help people get to the venues more quickly," Svet said.
Shuttle bus number 81 will take people to the Dance Festival. The shuttle departs every five minutes from Teatri väljak and goes to the Püssirohu and Bussijaama (Bus station) stops, both of which are near Kalev Central Stadium (Keskstaadion).
Song Festival bus number 80 will also depart every five minutes on Sunday July 2, from Teatri väljak to Smuuli tee.
Svet added, that Sunday's Song and Dance Festival procession will not affect the route of the Song Festival shuttle bus.
Bike parks available for duration of Song Festival.
"We will be setting up four bicycle parks at each of the entrances to the Song Festival, and there will also be a separate bicycle park at Russalka for the duration of the Song and Dance Festival. Although there will be security at the bike parks, bring a bike lock, as ultimately, everyone is responsible for the safety of their own bikes," said Svet.
Svet reminded those who are planning to rent electric scooters should be aware of parking restrictions in the vicinity of the Song Festival Grounds (Lauluväljak). He added, that there are separate areas marked on maps, where rental scooters can be parked.
On Sunday evening, after the Song Festival ends, around 50 trams will be waiting at Kadriorg to take passengers back into the city center. They can be boarded at the stop on Poska tänav. There will also be ten buses taking passengers to Lasnamäe and five in the direction of Pirita.
Svet added, that the Song and Dance Festival procession will not be affected by the ongoing construction works in Tallinn city center.
"The large-scale roadworks in the city center will affect traffic, but the Song and Dance Festival procession will not be impacted. It will more difficult to watch the procession at the intersections of Hobujaama tänav and Pronksi tänav, but there are no significant restrictions on the overall route, so the procession will go ahead as usual," Svet said.
More information on traffic management in Tallin can be found on the Tallinn City website.
Editor: Michael Cole