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Tartu 2024 to kick off with show on banks of Emajõgi and open-air rave at ERM

Tartu 2024.
Tartu 2024. Source: Mana Kaasik

Tartu 2024, European Capital of Culture is set to kick off by the banks of the Emajõgi River on January 26, with an opening ceremony entitled "All Becomes One!" The ceremony is followed by a parade to the Estonian National Museum (ERM), where an open-air rave will take place to mark the start of the city's cultural capital year.

The opening ceremony in Tartu will be directed by Taavi Tõnisson and features a series of well-known Estonian artists, actors and dancers.

"All Becomes One!" tells a story about the interrelationships between people, places, and eras and is set on and along the banks of, the Emajõgi River, which is a symbol of Tartu.

At the center of the story is Tartu itself, both the real and idealistic, dreaming of the future and remembering the past, full of energy, warm and safe, where there is room for everyone and life is good.

Music for the opening ceremony has been composed by well-known Estonian artists. Trad.Attack! will perform both new and familiar hits, along with Sander Mölder and the Eller Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andres Kaljuste.

"The performance is full of surprises for audiences of all ages and provides a joy of discovery that reflects the uniqueness of Tartu and South Estonia and its curiosity and openness to Europe," said Taavi Tõnisson, director of the opening ceremony.

After the opening ceremony, there will be a parade from the city center to the Estonian National Museum (ERM), for an open-air after party. The parade will be accompanied by "boisterous music and dance."

Emily Makis (U.K.) will perform live, and there will also be DJ sets from Estonian Minister of Culture Heidy Purga (Reform), Sound in Noise (Eero Muiste), and OLIVAR (Rene Oliver Muiste). The outdoor after party is free and open to the public.

There will also be indoor events at the museum on the night, with an entry charge of €10.

The official opening of the European Capital of Culture in Tartu will be preceded by other opening events elsewhere in South Estonia: in Valga on January 5, Viljandi on January 12 and Põlva on January 27.

On the morning of January 26, there will also be a children's disco in Tartu to kick off the capital of culture year at Club Illusion, for both kindergarten groups and their teachers.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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