The first edition of the music and city culture festival Station Narva will take place in the easternmost Estonian city Narva on 21st-23rd September. The headliners of the festival dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia are the grandmasters of nocturnal pop Echo & the Bunnymen and the cerebral electronic music producer Actress, both from the UK.
The festival is powered by Telia and supported by the Narva City, the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Estonia, the European Commission Representation in Estonia, the Finnish Institute in Estonia, the Swedish Institute in Estonia and the digital media incubator DIGIX.
Station Narva 2018 Festival Passes will be available for purchase on Tuesday, 3rd July at 10 am through the Piletilevi ticket platform. The first 200 passes can be bought for only 29 euros.
This first edition of Station Narva will be held in the surprising diamond in the rough that is the city of Narva in North-Eastern Estonia. The uniqueness of Narva lies in its location on the border between the East and the West, between the European Union/Estonia and Russia, lying 210 kilometres from Estonia’s capital Tallinn and 130 kilometres from St. Petersburg.
The live music hotspots of the festival will be the Kreenholm Manufacturing Company and the cultural hacktivists’ headquarters Art Club Ro-Ro. The multiple stages of the main venue will be set in the grand industrial architecture complex of Kreenholm island, that was once home to the world’s largest cotton spinning mill.
Keywords ‘grand’ and ‘majestic’ are also suitable for the legendary Echo & the Bunnymen whose dark, swirling fusion of gloom and theatrical psychedelia is bound to bring out the poetry of Kreenholm’s rough steampunk milieu. Grand ambitions and the belief that they were standing on the shoulders of the saints has been part of the Bunnymen lexicon since they first appeared out of the late seventies Liverpool post-punk scene. Led by principal members Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant, the Bunnymen are touring in anticipation of their new album ”The Stars, the Oceans & the Moon.” The album, to be released in October, includes a couple of new compositions and gives a new twist with ”strings and things attached“ to classic tracks from “Bring on the Dancing Horses” to “The Killing Moon”—“the greatest song of all time,” according to McCulloch.
Actress (real name Darren J. Cunningham), the creator of cerebral abstract techno and R&B concrète, will fill the industrial era colossus with post-industrial power of future, crafting chopped sample loops into rumbling tracks soaked in static. After his signature sound reached its perfection last year with ‘a chrome aspect journey into a parallel world‘ LP, he has released a collaboration album with the London Contemporary Orchestra (LCO) on Ninja Tune entitled ‘LAGEOS’.
Kreenholm will also embrace the gender-and-genus-bending industrial pop by Gazelle Twin, the moniker for British performance artist and producer Elizabeth Bernholz. In 2017, she released the tribalism-and-fascism-exploring “Kingdom Come,” based on the eponymous book by J.G. Ballard, and she’s already gearing up to drop a new album, “Pastoral,” during Station Narva.
Swedish singer-songwriter Jenny Wilson, who has collaborated with the likes of The Knife and Robyn, will perform songs from her latest unflinchingly honest full-length “Exorcism.” St Petersburg’s Shortparis will offer the audience a thrilling ride on the dark side with their spastic dance grooves and falsetto chanson whilst Moscow’s RSAC (Red Samara Automobile Club) will play their irresistible hoodlum-hymns. With reverb pedals plugged in and amps turned all the way up, the Finnish shoegazers Joensuu 1685 are readying for their global comeback; also from Finland comes the grime and dubstep mixing hip-hop star View.
Estonia’s own music scene will be represented by around a dozen cutting-edge acts. The ‘true child of post-genre’ Mart Avi will present his high-end concepts of 21st Century pop from the upcoming solo album “OtherWorld.” The Lovecraftian milieu will provide a perfect setting for the darkly atmospheric hip-hop shamanism of 12EEK Monkey. The dance version of Estonian indie founders Röövel Ööbik, Una Bomba 50+, will vent their hooligan house steam, whilst the noise-rock stalwarts Zahir guarantee to fly everyone to the other side of rock ’n’ roll. Sõpruse Puiestee (aka “Friendship Boulevard”) will deliver their trademark melancholy vintage melodies, whilst art-punk provocateur Indrek Spunginwill throw a weirdly wonderful performance of “behavioural schoolbook mistakes, poetry and music.” There will be Guesthouse’s powerful beats and relentless flow, and the force of gangsta rap mixed with Oeselian dialect by “Estonia’s Mayakovsky“ Beebilõust. The Russian-speaking Estonian music scene will be represented by the hip-hop unit Eksponatika Klan, Narva’s finest rapper Propazha, and an acoustic kitchen-style gig by local troubadours Tam i Tut.
Besides the main musical frenzy, the whole city will come alive with sights, sounds and interactions – from art activities in Narva Art Residency to the heated public talks under the umbrella of the Narva’s BAZAR opinion festival, and from the yard picnics to the home concerts by local untapped talent. Never-before-seen trilingual stand-up performance will take place in cooperation with Comedy Estonia, and the European Commission Representation in Estonia will arrange fun and enlightening Speak Dating sessions. Joining forces with Narva’s own Lamprey Festival, Station Narva will bring Nordic street food to Narva River Promenade. At the promenade, Tarmo Tammiste, Mayor of Narva City, will receive the annual title of the autumn cultural capital of Estonia at midday, followed by a public get-together meal at the long table with a backdrop of the picturesque River Narva and the silhouette of the Ivangorod Fortress over the borderline.
Station Narva’s info desk along with DIGIX Games Café will be open in the main atrium of Narva College of the University of Tartu from 20th to 23rd September. The full programme of Station Narva 2018 and new performers will be announced during July and August.
The pre-sale of Station Narva 2018 Festival Passes begins on Tuesday, 3rd July at 10 am at Piletilevi web shop and sales points across Estonia. The first 200 passes will be available for only 29 euros. Next round of passes will cost 39 euros. Single Day Tickets can be purchased from September.
Station Narva is organised by Shiftworks OÜ (previously Musiccase) — the team behind international music showcase festival Tallinn Music Week — in cooperation with representatives from Narva: Narva Gate Ltd, Art Club Ro-Ro, Narva College of the University of Tartu, Narva Art Residency, festival BAZAR, Comedy Estonia, Lamperey Festival, and NGO Uus Sild.
Station Narva 2018 is part of the Estonia 100 festivities. The festival is powered by Telia and supported by the Narva City, the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Estonia, the Swedish Institute on Estonia, the Finnish Institute in Estonia, the European Commission Representation in Estonia, and the digital media incubator DIGIX.
In cooperation with TheNordics.com, Station Narva aims to show how Nordic thinking and Nordic values characterised by common ideas and values like openness, trust, and new ways of thinking, sustainability, and equality can work across borders, cultures and generations.
2018 marks 100 years since the founding of the Republic of Estonia. For more information on centenary events, please visit EV100.ee.