Tallinn Song Festival Grounds
History of Song Festivals
In 1869 Johann Voldemar Jannsen established the Estonian Song Festival while the nation was still a province of the Russian Empire. This festival was considered responsible for fostering an Estonian national awakening. After that, the new tradition was born and the Song Festivals are still held every five years.
Lauluväljak – The Tallinn Song Festival Grounds
The first stage on its current location between Narva Road and Pirita Road in Kadriorg, was built in 1928 for the 9th Estonian Song Festival. It was designed by Karl Burman and provided space for 15,000 performers.
During the Occupation of Estonia by the Soviet Union, a need for a larger stage cropped out. The new and current arched stage was built in 1959 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Estonian SSR in the upcoming year. It was designed by architect Alar Kotli. The 15th Estonian Song Festival in 1960 was celebrated on the new stage. The stage was meant to hold over 15,000 singers but the reverse way became also possible – the performance will take place in front of the stage and audience is sitting on the stage. On the northern side of the song stage is the 42m high fire tower, which is used during the Estonian Song Festivals. It is also opened for the public all year long.
In 1988 Estonians gathered at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Estonian: Lauluväljak), to sing patriotic hymns in what became known as the Singing Revolution that led to the overthrow of Soviet rule.
Today, Tallinn's Song Festival Grounds are also used for hosting international acts, such as Iron Maiden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, 50 Cent, Metallica, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Andrea Bocelli, Madonna, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Lady Gaga, Green Day, José Carreras, Robbie Williams and the contemporary dance music event, the Sundance Festival.
In August 2009, Madonna performed in front of a sold out crowd of 72,067. In June 2006, Metallica gave a concert for more than 78,000 fans. In August 1997, Michael Jackson performed in front of a 75,000 head crowd.
An optimal capacity for concerts is 75,000 fans. Though, in June 1988, during the Singing Revolution days, up to 300,000 people attended the Night Song Festival. In the years to come, however, the figure has been put under a question mark. During the Song Festivals, when the Grounds are well packed, the number of people in the audience reaches as much as 100.000.
Michael Jackson, Metallica, Pink, 30 Seconds To Mars etc. have performed here.
- Red Hot Chili Peppers performed here as part of their tour on July 30, 2012
- Lady Gaga performed here for the European leg of her Born This Way Ball Tour on August 25, 2012.
- Green Day performed here with their 99 Revolutions Tour on June 25, 2013
- Elton John performed with Tallinn Star Weekend on June 29, 2013
- Robbie Williams performed at the venue on August 20, 2013, as a part of his Take the Crown Stadium Tour. The show was broadcast live in cinemas across Europe.
- "Lauluväljak aastani 1957" (in Estonian). Lauluväljak. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- "Muutused lauluväljakul 1957-1960" (in Estonian). Lauluväljak. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- "Billboard Boxscore". Billboard (New York City, New York: Prometheus Global Media) 124 (38). 13 October 2012. ISSN 0006-2510. Archived from the original on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
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