Construction at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds is underway to ensure that singers at the 150th anniversary of the Song Festival in 2019 can feel safe onstage standing under the iconic arch as they perform.
The previous wooden boards on the arch held up for over 55 years. and while there had been some leaks, none were very extensive. These olds boards, which over the decades had been repaired in some spots and rotten and dangerous in others, are being replaced in their entirety ahead of the jubilee Song Festival.
Jüri Muttika took a closer look at the work underway on the iconic arch on Ringvaade (commentary in Estonian):
Last year, the Ministry of Culture and the City of Tallinn decided to split the bill for the extensive renovations. The Estonian state allocated €330,000 from the state budget for the renovations, which was matched by the capital city. The preliminary budget for the reconstruction was €605,000, but the application submitted by the foundation included an additional margin of 10% to account for possible increases in construction costs.
Festivals' double-jubilee to be celebrated all year
The 2019 Estonian Song and Dance Festival will mark two jubilees in one — the 150th anniversary of the first Song Festival, and the 85th anniversary of the first Dance Festival.
The jubilees of the two festivals, which were milestones in cultural and national self-determination, will be celebrated on a grand scale. Under the direction and financing of the Ministry of Finance, an entire Song and Dance Festival-themed year will be celebrated as well.
This means that in addition to the XXVII Song and XX Dance Festival "My Love," the spotlight will also be on the song and dance festival movement — including its history, its key figures, its traditions and more generally the development and birth of the Estonian state.
The events of the festival-themed year, which is still in its planning stages, will be led by the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration Foundation.
Editor: Aili Vahtla