Tallinn Music Week celebrated the end of summer by filling the city with music, art and discussions on the future of culture sector


The next edition of TMW festival will take place from 6 to 9 May, 2021

The 12th edition of music and culture festival Tallinn Music Week (TMW), initially scheduled took place across the festival’s 60 venues over 4 days.

The festival’s opening night, co-curated with Tampere Hall and Tampere 2026 Capital of Culture teams tonian Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas. President Kersti Kaljulaid gave a public interview at the TMW conference.

During this challenging time for the entire culture and events sectour in the Lasnamäe district, restaurant programme Tastes, musician’s flea market and a charity record fair in collaboration with the Gift of Life Cancer Treatment Foundation.

140 artists from 10 European countries performed on 11 stages at the festival. The music showcases were visited by 11 000 people over 3 days, including 778 music and culture industry representatives, who also participated at the Creative Impact Conference. 160 volunteers lent a helping hand. In total, including the free city programme events, the festival had 20 233 visits.

TMW 2020 was organised in a reduced capacity, in line with the rules aimed at reducing the spread of the coronavirus currently applicable to strict hygiene demands as well as a 50% maximum capacity limit.

The festival opened at Fotografiska Tallinn on Thursday, 27 August in collaboration with Tampere Hall, the largest cultural centre in the Nordics, and the Tampere 2026 European Capital of Culture bid team.

In his opening speech, Esto the start of the emergency situation in the spring. The postponement of the festival affected people throughout the world. You came out of the situation stronger and richer by important experiences.”

The opening ceremony included performances by the Finnish ambient jazz legend Tapani Rinne with his Radiotonia’s talent was represented by over 100 acts, including the renowned representatives of their genres like Trad.Attack!, Mari Kalkun, Mingo Rajandi Quintet, Collegium Musicale, mixed choir HUIK!, Anna Kaneelina, Erki Pärnoja, Mart Avi, Sander Mölder, YASMYN, Lexsoul Dancemachine, Manna, Kannabinõid, Zahir and many others.

For the first time, a team of artist advisers was mentonian musicians performing at the festival.

Some of the most talked about moments at the festival were, for example, the explosive punk performance by Finnish rock band HENRIK! at the GROM showcase in Sveta Bar, and Rita Ray’s spontaneous a capella that defied the sudden blackout that occured during her performance at the Funk Embassy showcase in PROTO Invention Factory.

On 28 and 29 August 128 representatives of the music and culture industries participated in the conference at EKA, 80 of them on location and 48 digitally. The discussions focused on the future strategies of the music industry and cultural management, as well as health and safety measures at public events. The international audience gathered at the auditor of TMW Helen Sildna. Sildna’s opening presentation was joined across the video bridge by colleagues from crisis stricken Beirut and Minsk – co-founder of Beirut Jam Sessions Anthony Semaan and Belarusian music promoter Dmitri Bezkorovainyi,

Helen Sildna’s TMW 2020 conference opening speech:

Barbara Gessler, Head of Unit for Creative Europe – Culture, European Commission, Taaniel Raudsepp, Undersecretary of the Arts at the Estonia.

As Mr Aulake summarised, “Not only do we need a vaccine against the virus, but also a vaccine for societal resilience, with culture as the main ingredient.”

The future education panel focused on the potential of higher education tor of major events at the City of Tampere; and Ieva Irbina, co-chairperson at the Latvian cultural centre Hanzas Perons.

President Kersti Kaljulaid gave a public interview to highlight the significance of arts and culture in the society at all times.

Interview with President Kersti Kaljulaid:

In collaboration with Music Esto Executive MBA programme, and the subsequent panel, where leaders in culture discussed the importance of leadership quality in a changing world. Interview with Finnish music industry legend, founder and head of the Rockadillo group Tapio Korjus by Helen Sildna also met with a warm reception.

The PRO and DigiPRO clients who registered for the conference will have access to participate in online meetings with international music industry representatives.

In addition top Telliskivi, the TMW Tastes programme that highlighted Tallinn’s restaurants and the musicians flea market. In cooperation with the Gift of Life Cancer Treatment Foundation, a charity record fair raised nearly 5000 euros for supporting cancer patients.

According tors of these events as well.”

According to account the characteristics of each venue and event. Our hope is that in the future, if further restrictions are applied, they would be precisely targeted and developed in cooperation with event organisers.”

The next edition of the TMW festival will take place on 6 – 9 May 2021. 

Feedback from TMW 2020 visitors and partners: 

Katrin Isotamm, Head of Communication at Telia Estonia:
“We are very pleased that TMW actually together. Thank you, TMW team!”

Feliks Mägus, Chairman of the Board, Nordic Hotel Forum
“We highly value the courage and decisiveness of the TMW team in organising a city festival in this complicated time in a professional manner and with high quality results. There is nothing more important than finding a way to keep going with what you believe in and care about. The partnership between TMW and Nordic Hotel Forum has lasted for 12 years and it’s still going strong! See you at TMW 2021!”

Jaanus Juss, founder of the Telliskivi Creative City
“TMW is not just about entertainment, it is an important event for the development of the entire Estor in the process. Therefore, we are very pleased that the festival went ahead despite the difficult conditions this year and that the Telliskivi Creative City could participate in the process once again as a partner and supporter.”

Paulina Ahokas, CEO of Tampere Hall Ltd:
“TMW has been chosen among the ten best festivals in the world in various different publications and ratings for several years in a row, and it is no wonder why. TMW once again set the pace for the music and events industries at large, by leading the way to create new opportunities and a more equal future.”

Solveig Jahnke, Head of the Communication Department of the Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA):
“EKA is honored tonia (and EKA). I wish the TMW team even more strength and determination for the future!”

Ave Tölpt, Directonia:
“Considering the limited conditions in which TMW was organised this year, you could say it was an exceptional yet firm decision took place in the real, physical world, offering the listeners, artists and the city space a broad-based, major musical event.

Perttu Pesä, Director of Major Events of the City of Tampere:
“The courage TMW shows us makes me happy. We might have to push forward. Events like this are important for the whole industry. The TMW team really knows what ‘Sisu’ is.”

Liina Maria Lepik, Directonia
More than half of the Esto praise successful events organised during such a complicated time.

Kristel Sooaru, Marketing and Communication Manager of Viru Keskus
“For Viru Keskus, it is important to Puuluup’s music in the middle of the day was just infinitely uplifting.”

Ann Virkus, head of special project at Port Noblessner:
“Every year, TMW comes like a fresh and exhilarating gust of wind, bringing with it bold visions, music and a future-forward attitude. We are happy to contribute.”

Henri Roosipõld, head of Live Music Estonia
“In addition tor showed interest in forming stronger ties both with Tallinn and Tartu.”

Daniel Cole, music journalist: Electronic Beats, Bandcamp Daily, DJTechTools:
“A real pearl in the festival and conference circuit, proving to be an eye-opener for new and extremely talented, diverse local acts. Tallinn is the ultimate location for a multitude of sonically, fascinating sounds, business meetings, and networking, with everything connected like magic, and organised within an inch of perfection.”


Henrik Ehte, founder of Estonian Funk Embassy:
“Everyone is tired of staring at screens and being isolated. The music industry is by nature an area where ideas are born and implemented in a team. Defying the enormous difficulties and risks, TMW reunited the industry people physically. This enabled communication and let us experience, for example, a panel that discussed the possibilities of the future of concert life with the Glasto avoid.”

Sandra Vabarna, Trad.Attack!
“It’s extremely cool and powerful that despite the difficult circumstances, the TMW organisers found creative solutions and opportunities for making the festival happen. Having organised many big events with our band and performed at various festivals, we know very well how many challenges and obstacles can be faced in event promotion. Great respect to keep the flag high also this year!”

TMW 2020 in figures:

140 performers from 10 countries
160 volunteers
60 festival locations, including 11 music venues
11 399 music festival visitors
778 conference visitors on-site and digitally
7776 visits across different city festival events
20 233 festival visits in total


TMW 2020 was presented by Telia Estonia

TMW 2020 was organised by Shiftworks OÜ in cooperation with many partners and co-organisers. The TMW music programme was developed in cooperation with Damn.Loud Agency. The TMW conference programme for the music industry was developed in cooperation with the Estonia.

The festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Cultural Endowment, the Tallinn City Culture Department, the Tallinn City Enterprise Department, Enterprise Estonia (EAS) and Integration Foundation (INSA).

The international activities of TMW, aimed at introducing Estonia as an attractive destination for those interested in music and culture, are supported by funds from the European Regional Development Fund.

Programme partners:, Damn.Loud, Estonia, OOPUS, Record Fair, Smoke Break, Sõru Saund Festival, Tampere Hall & Tampere 2026, Telliskivi Creative City Outdoor Gallery, TIKS Rekords, Viljandi Folk Music Festival, Void Valley, Wilde Renate, Maarja Merivoo-Parro, Terje Trochinsky

Festival contributory, Soundhouse, RGB, Meeskond Security, Piletilevi, Baltic Station Market, Tanker, Vita Pictura, AW Stuff

Foreign partners: Embassy of Finland, Finnish Institute, British Council, Noise Unit PR, Keychange, ETEP, EMMMA, WOMEX, Classical:Next, BIME Pro, Tampere Region 2026, Tampere Hall, Sevkabel Port, HEMI, Antti Kiuru, Lena Sme

Festival venues:

Conference centre: Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA)

Music programme: F-Hoone, Fotografiska Tallinn, HALL, Kai Art Center, Kauplus Aasia, KinoMaja Bar & Stage, Kalju Baptist Church, Kivi Paber Käärid, Nobel Hall, Telliskivi Creative City main square, Sveta Bar, Von Krahl,

City stages: Viru Keskus, Nordic Hotel Forum, Telia Estory and Botik in collaboration with Koplifest, design bureau Velvet, Põhjala Tap Room, Sveta Bar outdoor area.

Art programme: Kai Art Center, Temnikova & Kasela gallery, EKA Gallery, Juhan Kuus Documentary Photografiska Tallinn, KinoMaja bar and stage

TMW Talks: Terminal Records & Bar
TMW Kids: Telliskivi Vivistop
Record Fair: Baltis Station Market’s Evening Square
Musicians Flea Market: Fotografiska Tallinn
Lasnamäe Sunday: Laagna community garden, restaurant Zanzibar and various locations in Lasnamäe

TMW Tastes restaurants: Barrell Street Food, Bekker Bakery, Burger Box, F-Hoone, Fika Leib- ja Kohv, Fotografiska Restaurant, Frenchy, GC Gastrobar, Homeart, Kampai, Kivi Paber Käärid, KOKOMO Coffee Roasters, Kärbes Kitchen&Bar, La Muu, Lendav Taldrik, Lore Bistro, Pegasus, Põhjala Tap Room, Reval Café, ROOTS coffee bar, Suvila, Kurze, Trühvel, Vegan+, Von Krahli Aed, VLND Burger, Wrap’n’Roll, ÜLO

Festival website by: Velvet and Festivality
Visual identity by: AKU
Interior design: Ott Kangur


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