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Tartu 2024 to kick off in style with opening show on Friday evening

Tartu 2024 European Capital of Culture.
Tartu 2024 European Capital of Culture. Source: Tartu 2024 // Mikk Otsar

This Friday, January 26, sees the opening ceremony of Tartu 2024, European Capital of Culture. A spectacular live show will take place on the banks of the Emajõgi River, followed by a parade to the Estonian National Museum (ERM) for a rave lasting long into the night.

Trad.Attack!, Sander Mölder, Lonitseera and many other well-known Estonian artists, actors and dancers are all set to perform at the opening show  "All Becomes One!" which is directed by Taavi Tõnisson and dramatist is Eero Epner.

The event is free to attend, with audiences able to watch the performance live from the banks of Emajõgi River on Vabaduse puiestee. There will also be a live broadcast of the show on ETV here, which includes audio description, and on Jupiter with Estonian sign language interpretation.

The evening continues at 8pm with a procession full of surprises led by a traveling hedgehog, a mutant car, to the after party at Estonian National Museum (ERM) and accompanied by boisterous music and dancing.

SIGMA (U.K.), Emily Makis & Hi-Phi (U.K.), Estonian Minister of Culture Heidy Purga (Reform) and Sound In Noise x Olivar will all perform at the free open-air rave at the ERM.

To attend the indoor activities at the ERM on the night, it will be necessary to buy a ticket.

During the opening ceremony, there is also an accessible viewing platform as well as toilets and parking spaces. Tartu 2024 volunteers will be there on the spot to assist people where needed.

Throughout Friday, public buses in Tartu will be free.

Tartu 2024 European Capital of Culture. Source: Tartu 2024 // Mikk Otsar

The capital of culture program in Tartu and South Estonia, inspired by the artistic concept "Arts of Survival," focuses on the knowledge, skills, and values that will help humankind lead a good life in the future. The spotlight will be on sustainability, co-creation, local uniqueness, science and technology.

"The Arts of Survival are interpreted by fields of culture, from folk and food culture to music, film, and visual art," stated Kati Torp, Tartu 2024 artistic director.

According to Torp, the role and meaning of the theme "Arts of Survival" has changed over time. No one could have predicted the global pandemic that wrecked everyday life around the world soon after Tartu was awarded the title of European Capital of Culture back in 2019. And even those who remained at a safe distance from the coronavirus were later shaken again by Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

"However, the last year has taught us one of the most important arts of survival. Tartu and Estonia's borders are more than just physical boundaries. We live at a time when European cooperation, solidarity, and democracy are critical to the survival of culture," said Torp.

The Tartu 2024 program boasts over 1,000 events as part of 350 different projects happening throughout the whole of the year. The calendar is full of events for all ages and tastes.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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