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2024 Eesti Laul semi-final comes to Tartu on January 20

Eesti Laul 2024. Traffic.
Eesti Laul 2024. Traffic. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Eesti Laul, the most-watched domestic Estonian music event of the year, will be in Tartu on January 20 to celebrate the start of the city's year as European Capital of Culture. 15 top Estonian performers will be competing in the semis to earn a place in the grand final and ultimately, a shot at representing Estonia in Eurovision.

According to Marili Vihmann, head of marketing and communications for European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024, it is important that the type of major events, which have traditionally been held in Tallinn also take place in Tartu and Southern Estonia.

"Eesti Laul an excellent example of how Tartu 2024 attracts events from different parts of Estonia to celebrate together and honor the title year of the European Capital of Culture," said Vihmann. 

Vihmann added that Eesti Laul and the Capital of Culture will be joining forces to introduce Tartu-themed interludes to viewers filled with bold humor. However, she did not yet reveal who had created the interludes, nor what their content will be.

"These creators are well-known throughout Estonia, and we believe that they will resonate with everyone," said Vihmann, promising to provide more details soon.

Karmel Killandi, editor-in-chief of Entertainment Programs at ERR, said she will be proud to return to Estonia's "City of Good Thoughts" for Eesti Laul. "Where else, if not in Tartu – the new European Capital of Culture – would our most popular song contest choose its representative for Eurovision. Naturally, we will also broadcast all other interesting events from Southern Estonia to homes across the country on our various channels throughout the year," Killandi added.

The Eesti Laul semi-final takes place at the University of Tartu Sports Hall on Saturday, January 20.

The artists competing for a place in this year's Eesti Laul final are 5MIINUST x Puuluup, Anet Vaikmaa, Antsud, Cecilia, Ewert and The Two Dragons, INGA, Ingmar, Laura, Multikas and Ewert Sundja, OLLIE, Peter Põder, Silver Jusilo, Sofia Rubina, Traffic, and YONNA.

The evening will be hosted by Grete Kuld and Tõnis Niinemets.

Doors open at 5.30 p.m., with an autograph session with the artists scheduled from 6 – 6.30 p.m. The show will also be broadcast live on ETV from 6.45 p.m.

Those who are successful on the night will make it through to the Eesti Laul final, where they will compete against Brother Apollo, Daniel Levi, Carlos Ukareda, Nele-Liis Vaiksoo and Uddo Sepp x Sara Murray for the title.

The winner of Eesti Laul will represent Estonia at this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm.

All this year's Eesti Laul entries can be found here.

Tartu and South Estonia's year as European Capital of Culture kicks off with the opening ceremony "All Becomes One!" by the banks of the Emajõgi River in Tartu on January 26 at 7.00 p.m.

Tickets are available on Piletilevi.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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