Tallinn Music Week 2020 artist applications now open

22 October 2019

The twelfth edition of the new music and city culture festival Tallinn Music Week (TMW) is scheduled to take place in the Estonian capital Tallinn from 25 – 28 March 2020. 

Applications from artists wishing to play at the next edition of TMW are accepted until 1 December at 23.59 at tmw.ee/apply 

TMW is the key networking event for musicians and music industry professionals across Europe, with a track record for helping emerging acts break into the international scene. TMW’s music programme is acknowledged for its diverse mix of the most unique talent across Europe and beyond with all manner of genres from experimental electronica to neo-classical represented. The line-up, selected from applications by a broad-based team of Estonian and international music experts is presented across Tallinn’s best venues to an audience of around 20,000 and 1,000 industry professionals.

Curated to represent “tomorrow’s music, arts and ideas”, TMW takes extra care of spotting and nurturing distinctive talent. Among the foreign artists whom TMW has helped to pave the way to break across Europe is a new wave of Russian acts like Shortparis, Glintshake and Lucidvox as well as Belorussian post-punks Super Besse and Molchat Doma, Danish neo-psych band Get Your Gun and Ukrainian rap sensation alyona alyona. Some of the representatives of Estonia’s own talent pool who have managed to use TMW to ply their trade on the international scene and scoop awards in the album of the year polls are folk stylists Maarja Nuut, Trad.Attack! and Mari Kalkun, experimental pop act Mart Avi, shoegazers Holy Motors and metal group Talbot as well as jazz and neoclassical innovators from Kadri Voorand to Kirke Karja.

Among the notable acts that have performed at the festival throughout the years are British folk legend Vashti Bunyan, Scottish composer and multi-instrumentalist C Duncan, Finnish electronic maverick Jaakko-Eino Kalevi, accordion adventurist Kimmo Pohjonen and rock legend Ismo Alanko, Swedish synth-pop group Kate Boy and the piano experimentalist Hauschka from Germany.

TMW 2017 Funk Embassy showcase. Photo by Rasaa Etten

TMW has just successfully concluded the three-year project period (2017, 2018, 2019) in cooperation with Enterprise Estonia (EAS). TMW exceeded the initial objectives of the project, bringing 5105 foreign guests to Estonia. As a result of the festival’s press activities, Estonia with its flagship festival TMW was highlighted as an attractive tourist destination in 565 international articles. TMW has been recognized as one of the best winter festivals of the world by The Guardian and The Observer, as one of the most exciting cultural events in the world by The New York Times and as a tireless promoter of adventurous leftfield artists in music publications from The Quietus to Under the Radar.
More info: “Tallinn Music Week attracted more than 10 000 overnight stays by foreign tourists in Tallinn in the course of three years” Read more from Tallinn Music Week attracted more than 10 000 overnight stays by foreign tourists in Tallinn in the course of three years

After the successful 10-year run, the 2019 edition of the festival marked a clear goal not to grow in numbers, but in content, quality, user-friendliness and sustainability.

The twelfth edition of TMW is scheduled to take place from 25 – 28 March 2020. TMW 2020 core is the new music festival (26 – 28 March) and Creative Impact conference (27 – 28 March). TMW’s side events cover art, design, public talks, and various urban space activities throughout the duration of the festival.

TMW 2020 artist application round runs until 1 December at 23.59 at tmw.ee/apply.

The full line-up will be announced in February 2020.

TMW 2020 Early Bird Festival Pass and Conference + Festival Pass will be on sale at TMW web store shop.tmw.ee from 1 -8 November. 

TMW festival is founded and run by Shiftworks OÜ.

TMW music programme is organized jointly by TMW and the Damn.Loud Agency. TMW’s strategic partner is the industry development centre and export office Music Estonia.

TMW 2020 applications are run in collaboration with Gigmit.

TMW 2019 in numbers:

170 artists from 28 countries
75 festival venues, incl 18 showcase venues
22 587 festival visitors
956 delegates, incl 456 international delegates
200 journalists, incl 100 international journalists

Comments by TMW delegates:

Stepan Kazaryan, head of Moscow Music Week and BOLь festivals (RU):
“Young bands from the New Russian scene that have been selected by TMW curators have managed to enjoy success among both professionals and the audience in such controversial times. TMW is truly independent and politically unbiased event.”

Kimmo Pohjonen, acclaimed Finnish musician:
“I was pretty amazed what has happened to the Estonian music scene. Many different and great venues with good technical conditions and the overall feeling very positive at TMW.”

Oisin Lunny, Forbes:
“The maverick spirit of TMW is one of adventurous cultural integrity. You could expect the unexpected at TMW.”

Simon Reynolds, music critic and author (US):
“I’ve been to great number of music festival/conferences over the years and this was one of the very best experiences.”