Tallinn Music Week 2024 draws 18 317 visits to the Estonian capital Tallinn

11 April 2024 ConferenceMusic FestivalNews
  • The 16th edition of the international new music and city festival Tallinn Music Week (TMW) took place last week, from April 3 – 7 in the Estonian capital Tallinn.
  • TMW 2024 hosted 175 artists from 35 countries, 168 conference speakers and over 1200 music and culture industry professionals from all over the world. The event drew a total of 18 317 visits.
  • The next edition of TMW is scheduled to take place from April 3 – 6 2025. A limited amount of TMW 2025 Early Bird passes are on sale at the TMW webshop until April 30.

The 16th edition of TMW, the festival of “tomorrow’s music, arts and ideas” filled Tallinn with music from around the world, tackled the present and future of the music industry and offered explorations from art to diverse neighbourhoods across the capital of Estonia.

President of Estonia Alar Karis welcomed TMW artists, guests and festival partners at the opening reception in Von Krahl on Thursday, April 4. Thanking the festival team for 16 years of resilient work, he said, “Culture has been called “the way of life for a whole society”. But culture does not develop and flourish in isolation. Therefore, it is important to come together, exchange experiences, learn from each other and understand others. To do more in cooperation with other countries in Europe and the world, to value and support every talent so that it can shine brighter because, in the end, it will be our collective win.”

The 3-day music showcase festival reached Telliskivi Creative City, Old Town, Rotermanni Quarter, Noblessner Port and Kopli area, showcasing 175 artists from 35 countries from all over Europe, North and South America, East Asia, Africa, Australia and Oceania. The festival presented an all-time-record number of Finnish and Canadian artists and new international co-curators like the European Capital of Culture Oulu2026, the global classical and art music network Classical:NEXT, a nomadic platform Yugofuturism, NERDS (North European Resonance and Dissonance Society) and Lithuanian Opium Club. The multi-genre programme emphasised local manifestations of global trends, traditional styles and future fusions.

President Alar Karis at TMW 2024 opening reception (Photo: Patrik Tamm)

Notable international names included Dutch post-punk sensation Tramhaus; French brutal pop star SUN; Finnish experimentalists Musta Huone; Norwegian indie-soul artist Beharie; British neoclassical pianist and composer Belle Chen; Canadian soul star Tanika Charles; Lithuanian DJ-s and producers V and Manfredas; Latvian indie rockers Sudden Lights;  Estonian-British dream-pop group Night Tapes and many more. Among the vast variety of domestic talent were folk stylists Mari Kalkun and Duo Ruut, alt-pop artists manna, maria kallastu and Vera Vice; record-breaking electropop act NOËP; jazz newcomer Reti Niimann; punk renovators Kalli Talompoika and Keskkool; Ludens ensemble, playing composer Madli Marje Gildemann’s piece “Osmosis”; chamber choir Avis Animi and EMA – The Ensemble of Estonian Electronic Music Society who performed iconic pieces by Estonian synth pioneer Sven Grünberg

Tramhaus at the Vikendica showcase (Photo: Patrik Tamm)

For the first time, TMW’s partner Telliskivi Creative City in collaboration with Selektor Studio will give a special Studio Award to one TMW 2024 artist, interested in recording, mixing and mastering their new music in EP format in Telliskivi Creative City. More info

“Without a doubt, TMW brought fantastic concerts and a pleasant buzz,” says Jaanus Juss, Founder of Telliskivi Creative City. He adds, ”Given that a top-level studio complex, Selektor Studio, opened in the Creative City a year ago, and TMW brought rising stars from all over the world to our doorstep, it was immediately apparent that there was great potential hidden that led to the creation of the Telliskivi Creative City Studio Award.”

Telliskivi Creative City (Photo: Karolin Linamäe)

The 2-day TMW music industry conference in Nordic Hotel Forum opened on Friday, April 5 with addresses by former Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Director of Music Estonia Ave Sophia Tölpt and Founder and Director of TMW Helen Sildna.

President Ilves highlighted the importance of the event, saying, “Here we are at the dusk of the post-Cold War era, we don’t know what lies ahead but what I count on is the creative minds of Tallinn Music Week coming up with new ideas. Ezra Pound said poets are the antennae of the race, I like to think of Tallinn Music Week as one of the antennae of Europe.”

In the keynote leading to the opening panel, CEO of Tampere-talo Group Paulina Ahokas said, “The impacts of music, events and art thoroughly permeate our society: our effects on employment, the economy, visibility, image, well-being, as well as learning capacity are extensive and have been profoundly studied. We need to bring people together and make sure everyone is involved.” Read more

Celebrating 5 years of transformative impact and charting the path forward for gender equity in music, Keychange announced the Impact Evaluation Report (2018 – 2023) and unveiled Keychange Manifesto 2.0 Rewind and Fast Forward at the TMW conference.

Joe Frankland, CEO at PRS Foundation says, “As one of the original partners for the Keychange movement, TMW has achieved its Keychange Pledge target since 2018 and continues to innovate with its lineup and a most welcoming and human-focussed conference. TMW was the natural home for the launch of our impact report and the Keychange Manifesto 2.0 which will certainly shape our collective effort to forge a more inclusive and more effective music industry.”

Curated in collaboration with the national music export and development office Music Estonia, the conference addressed themes from Liveurope’s decennial and mobility in the age of climate change, highlighted the potential of the FinEst joint area and introduced regional markets from the Balkans to Southeast Asia. There were discussions on the future of FM radio and music education and new global and local trendcasts by festival heads, curators and conceptualists from all over the world. The conference also introduced the launch of Music Tech Europe – a pan-European accelerator committed to building bridges between the music and tech sectors – and presented e-Residency as a tool to facilitate global creative sector collaboration. TMW hosted the annual EMEE (European Music Exporters Exchange) meeting and welcomed diverse music industry delegations around the world.

About 170 music industry professionals, entrepreneurs, policymakers, journalists and artists spoke at the TMW conference, among them R.E.M. advisor Bertis Downs, Britpop architect Jane Savidge, Burning Man Project’s Associate Director of City Planning Bryant Tan, CEO of Tampere-talo Group Paulina Ahokas, Managing Director of e-Residency Liina Vahtras, Executive Director of Music Finland, Mikko Manninen, Liveurope’s chief coordinator Elise Phamgia, Secretary-General of European Choral Association Sonja Greiner, music writer Joe Muggs, BBC Radio Scotland’s presenter Vic Galloway, President of Bolt Jevgeni Kabanov and many more. Over 1200 music industry professionals around the world took part in the TMW PRO programme of the conference and networking events.

The TMW city festival took the audience on day trips through, art, food, historic musical trails public talks and city stage gigs from PoCo Pop Art Museum to Viru Keskus and Burning Man’s art-mutant-car Traveling Hedgehog, and from the Record Fair to the opening of the DIY Kosovo Music Embassy, showing how communal spirit can transform our cities into better places for all.

Opening of the Kosovo Music Embassy at Kivi Paber Käärid (Photo: Karolin Linamäe)

TMW 2024 in numbers

  • 175 artists from 35 countries Lineup
  • 168 conference speakers. Lineup
  • 1226 PRO delegates/music industry representatives
  • 28 music showcase nights across 11 music venues
  • 37 programme locations across Tallinn
  • 18.317 festival visits

The next edition of TWM is scheduled to take place from April 3 – 6, 2025.

TMW 2025 passes are now on sale at the TMW webshop. Until the end of April, the Festival Pass and PRO Pass are available at Super Early Bird prices of 49 euros and 125 euros respectively.

TMW 2024 and 2025 PRO pass holders can watch the conference panel recordings on TMW DigiPRO platform from next week.

TMW 2025 artist applications open via TMW homepage on Monday, 29 April.

Comments from the TMW 2024 partners and PRO delegates

Ragnar Berthling, Managing Director of Musikcentrum Öst and Co-founder of Keychange:
“TMW has proven to be a unique and inalienable meeting place for the music sector since its start. But it has become more than that – a think tank addressing the big issues of today and how the music industry can and must engage. From the Keychange perspective, it is about the work for a gender-balanced music sector and intersectional representation. But it reaches far beyond that – to the climate crisis, equity and solidarity and a fight for peace and protection of civilian lives in any conflict or war. TMW held respectful, bold, and constructive discussions to find a way forward together. TMW creates small and wonderful universes in various venues with all those musical free-thinkers, to be enjoyed by a curious audience of locals and international delegates. This is truly changing us deep inside, on so many levels.”

Paulina Ahokas, CEO of Tampere-talo Group:
“I feel privileged to have learned so much here: all the most cutting edge and important new phenomena have not only been discussed here but also taken into action: TMW was working on sustainability way before any other live event I know started to work on their environmental programmes. Also, the value-based industry has been at the heart of the discussion here for 10 years already, and new technologies have been at the core of TMW since the beginning. So, TMW really puts the needle on the record and thinks of its mission: a festival for tomorrow’s music, arts and ideas.” 

Mikko Manninen, Executive Director of Music Finland:
“Over the years, TMW has developed into one of Europe’s most interesting and professional events in the international music industry. This year, a record number of Finnish companies and artists took part in TMW. Music Finland cooperates with TMW and Music Estonia in various ways around the event in terms of content, networks, performers and professional meetings. At the same time, the Finnish and Estonian music markets have converged significantly in all sectors of the industry.”

Elise Phamgia, Liveurope general coordinator:
“TMW has become a staple of the music conference circuit so it quickly appeared as a natural event for us at Liveurope to launch the celebrations for our 10 years boosting the circulation of new European artists. This was also a great occasion to bring all our venue representatives to visit Paavli Kultuurivabrik who recently joined Liveurope as the only Estonian member in our platform. By gaining the Liveurope quality label, Paavli has not only been recognised among Europe’s top concert halls, but the venue can also receive support to take more risks in bringing to Tallinn new European acts.”

Koen ter Heegde, Founder of Yugofuturism, curator of TMW 2024 Vikendica showcase:
“TMW steadily keeps its finger on the pulse of adventurous European developments. It always showcases stellar new acts, and emerging Baltic talent and provides narrative and a coherent context for its curated showcases. That alone is quite valuable and rare these days. As a showcase host, it was wonderful to see the audience and delegates blend from the interactive installation “Kosovo Music Embassy” – highlighting its thriving scene, and cutting some rug to the futuristic pop, wall of sound and activist poetry to come.”

Kairi-Liis Ustav, Representative of Canada to Estonia:
“The Canadian Embassy has had the pleasure of being a TMW partner for the past 10 years.  Throughout this time, the collaboration has developed and brought together a diverse range of partners and performers from across Canada. TMW is a distinctive blend of emerging talents, a modern perspective, and the sustainable development of urban spaces. In 2024, Canadian artists at TMW ranked third, following Estonia and Finland. Despite the geographical distance between our countries, we share similar values such as diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunities. Our partners in Canada include Women in Music Canada, Mundial Montreal and funds that support the creative industry and, of course, artists who wish to perform in Tallinn. Made in Canada showcase is a source of pride for us, and we believe it has the potential to foster more successful collaborations at TMW.”

Marili Jõgi, artist manager, Founder and CEO of Moon Management
“This year’s TMW was groundbreaking. The festival empowered both my artists – Mari Kalkun, Duo Ruut and Kadri Voorand – and myself. I met music professionals and mavericks from different fields, including one possible world-class mentor for the future. It’s essential to let it all simmer and work out because talent export is a time-consuming continuous process. But I believe that we are on the cusp of great opportunities for Estonian music. TMW already has a proven track record – we just have to think big, find ways to weave the newly found threads together, keep up with the contacts made at TMW and call them back.”

TMW 2024 Conference (Photo: Jessica Mirely)

TMW 2024 was organised by Muusikanädal NGO in collaboration with Shiftworks and various partners and co-organisers. The conference programme was completed in collaboration with the national music industry development centre and export office Music Estonia. Selected music industry delegates and media representatives were brought to Tallinn in collaboration with Music Estonia and Estonian Business and Innovation Agency. The festival was supported by Nordic Hotel Forum, Visit Estonia, the Ministry of Culture, the Cultural Endowment, the city of Tallinn, UNESCO City of Music Tallinn. Embassy of Canada to Estonia, in Tallinn, British Council Estonia and The Tallinn Liszt Institute.

TMW 2024 was co-financed by the European Union. The European Cohesion Fund supported the marketing efforts of TMW 2024 promoting Tallinn and Estonia as an attractive destination for cultural tourism.

TMW is a co-founder of The Federation of International Music Conferences (FoMC), and a member of the European talent exchange programme ESNS Exchange, the global gender equality network Keychange and the European showcase platform for global music UPBEAT.

TMW 2024 partners: Music Estonia, Viru Keskus, Telliskivi Creative City, Go Travel, PIletilevi, Vita Pictura, e-Residency of Estonia, GO Hotel Shnelli, Tallink Hotels, Tartu 2024, Hub for the Exchange of Music Innovation (HEMI), WOMEX, Flow Festival, Paradise Worldwide, MyFitness, Media partners: Postimees, Raadio 2, Edasi, Bobe.me.

Music festival curators: Club HALL, Damn.Loud, Dark Disko. Estonian Choral Association, Estonian Electroacoustic Composers Association, Estonian Funk Embassy, Estonian Heavy Music Association, Fenno-Ugria, Intsikurmu Festival, JV Production, OOPUS, Paavli Culture Factory, Viljandi Folk Music Festival, Võnge Festival, Üle Heli. International partners: Keychange, Classical:NEXT, Oulu2026 and Music Finland, The Women in Music Canada and Mundial Montreal in partnership with Estonian Music Week, with the support of the Government of Canada, FACTOR, SODEC and SOCAN Foundation, Yugofuturism, Opus Club, Blowup, Cindy & Kate, NERDS, Dirty Deal Audio

City festival partners: Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center (ECADC), Telliskivi Creative City, Viru Keskus, Rotermann Quarter, Record Fair, Terminal Records&Bar, Tallinn City Hall, Finnish Institute in Estonia, Õpilasmalev, Burning Man Project, Uus Laine, Muusikanõunikud, AVISA

Conference centre: Nordic Hotel Forum

Music venues: Club HALL, Erinevate Tubade Klubi/Club of Different Rooms, F-Hoone, Fotografiska Tallinn, House of the Blackheads, Independent Dance Stage, Kivi Paber Käärid, Paavli Culture Factory, Telliskivi Green Hall, Uus Laine, Von Krahl
Art galleries and locations: PoCo Pop And Contemporary Art Museum, Okapi gallery, Kai Art Center, Tütar Gallery, Temnikova & Kasela Gallery, Positiiv gallery, Juhan Kuus Documentary Photography Centre, Fotografiska Tallinn, Vaal gallery, Telliskivi Creative City outdoor galleries

City Stages: Viru Keskus, PoCo – Pop And Contemporary Art Museum, Traveling Hedgehog, Nihe,  Terminal Records & Bar, Singa Karaoke

Tastes restaurants: Aarde Pagar, Barbarea, F-hoone, Fika, Fotografiska Tallinn 6th floor restaurant, ISU, Karjase sai, LORE Bistro, Nihe, Noho, Peet Ruut, The Kurze, ÜLO, Viru Food Hall, VLND Burger, Mikkeller Tallinn Old TownTMW homepage and DigiPRO platform: Raik Ilves

Visual identity and design: Vello Lutter and Uku-Kristjan Küttis (AKU Collective)

TMW 2024 (Photo: Jürgen Joost)