A selection of cultural events taking place in Estonia this week as curated by culture.ee: "This week should be a real treat for those who love music, theatre, video art or local food. Dreamers, the sleepless and those with opinions will find something to do as well."
Thursday, 9 August - Saturday, 11 August
Kuressaare Maritime Festival 2018
Raiekivi säär, Kuressaare, Saaremaa
The festival grounds will include street artists as well as trivia. The Maritime Stage wil play host to a colourful concert programme, while the Beach Stage will have free concerts. In addition to the three-day musical programme, the festival grounds will offer festivalgoers a fair, folk programme, children's area and games, a chamber of ideas, performances on the folk square as well as street artists. Every day of the festival will be filled with exciting activities for people of all ages!
Thursday, 9 August - Saturday, 18 August
Birgitta Festival 2018
Pirita Convent, Tallinn
The genius loci of Pirita Convent, St. Birgitta, and a programme combining music and performing arts blend into a complete whole. There is no other festival like this on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Over 8,000 people gather every year at this ancient riverbend to dive into a magical world of sound for a few days. The audience of a thousand faces at the Birgitta Festival is a phenomenon in its own right. It's the atmosphere in particular that brings them here, with its festiveness, its countless joyous encounters and its unique lighting designs. This year's programme includes Puccini's "La Bohème," the youth production "Musical Cool," the modern ballet "Black and White," an evening of short ballets and an opera gala.
Friday, 10 August
"Nightingales of Kreml" premiere
Courtyard, Kreenholm Manufacturing Company, Narva
Right here in Estonia, in the northeastern border city of Narva, you will find Joala Street, where Kreenholm Manufacturing Company used to operate. Kreenholm Manufacturing Company is the best place to tell the story of the thunderous music industry of the USSR and the controversial fate of its most brilliant star — Jaak Joala. It is the best place to hear immortal songs by Joala and admire the rhythms of the band Radar. However, this story is not simply about Joala. It is a generalization of a whole pleiad of Estonian musicians — the so-called "nightingales of Kreml" — who made sure that the entertainment industry would survive in the Soviet Union and who enjoyed their fame.
Friday, 10 August - Saturday, 11 August
This year's Opinion Festival will treat participants to 12 English-language discussions, ranging from topics such as national security to information warfare to the transition away from cowboy capitalism. Special attention will be paid to the nature of democracy and the future of the three Baltic countries, all of whom are celebrating their centennials in 2018. Beyond the discussion areas, other English-language events will be dotted throughout the festival. There will be a human library, organised by the Estonian Refugee Council, where participants can hear and engage with the stories of refugees and immigrants.
Friday, 10 August - Sunday, 12 August
Viru Folk 2018
Käsmu, Lääne-Viru County
The 11th Nordic music festival "Viru Folk" is dedicated to Estonia and the performers are Estonian this time, with a few exceptions from neighbouring countries. The programme includes well-known acts such as Metsatöll, Naised Köögis, Marko Matvere & VLÜ, Tom Valsberg & Väelaulud, Svjata Vatra, Puuluup, Estonian Voices, Kiriko, Mandotrio, Trio Romansid, Sibul & Tuksam, Lauri Saatpalu, and Andres Roots. In addition to good Estonian music, festivalgoers will also have the opportunity to enjoy a wide selection of Estonian handicrafts, films and more in Käsmu.
Dance production "Somnium"
Tartu Electric Theatre
Somnium — dream; fantasy, vision, daydream, illusion; sleep A new production by Tallinn Dance Theatre set to an originl score by Argo Vals deals with hitting a moment when the eyes are not yet fully closed, and you are no longer here, but not yet there. Featuring author and director Heili Lindepuu, and performers Jaanus Tepomees and Aivar Kallaste.
Saturday, 11 August
2nd Kurepalu Blues
Kurepalu, Tartu County
A seven-hour blues concert under the pines of Kurepalu. Performers will include Lavrix Blues Band (Latvia), B.B.Max (Latvia), Crosswood, Karmo Toome and Band, Hideaway, and Aut Of Office.
Pärnu Fideofest 2018
Pärnu Artists' House
The aim of the festival is to map the Estonian audiovisual landscape (film, video art, documentary anthropology, and virtual media) and offer insights into what happens elsewhere in the world on the non-commercial experimental level. In 2018, the short film programme of Fideofest will be compiled by the international short film festival "Ciudad de Soria." All films will include English subtitles.
Saturday, 11 August - Sunday, 12 August
August Insomnia Street Festival
Various locations, Pärnu
In nine years, Augustiunetus ("August Insomnia") has become the second largest and one of the most popular festivals in Pärnu. For one night and one night only, the streets of the coastal city's old town come alive and are filled with never-before-seen art, music and dance created on the spot. You need to experience this for yourself. The programme consists of different timely performances, workshops and lectures, but something will definitely happen spontaneously, whether you like it or not, right here and right now — so be ready to just walk into something you did not expect. In addition to this, there will also be cafés and artisans offering their handicrafts throughout the festival.
Seto Pop-up Café Day
Various locations, Setomaa Municipality, Võru County
Setomaa's Pop-up Café Day takes place once a year in August, about a week after Seto Kingdom Day, with participating cafés located throughout Estonia's southeasternmost municipality. Kostipäiv tempts visitors with local delicacies which taste like a miracle as they are made from fresh, local ingredients. You can purchase delicacies to go from every café as well. The day will also include a cultural programme as well as activities for children.
This post originally appeared on the Culture critics' blog at culture.ee.
Editor: Aili Vahtla