Tallinn Music Week brought 1 532 international visits and 3 835 overnight stays by visitors from abroad to Estonia

14 June 2024 ConferenceMusic FestivalNews

Foto: Aron Urb

The 16th edition of the international new music and city culture festival Tallinn Music Week (TMW) took place from April 3 – 7 in the Estonian capital Tallinn. The festival drew 18 317 visits, bringing to Estonia 1 532 foreign visitors from 66 countries, who spent 3 835 nights in Tallinn’s accommodations establishments. The festival’s international marketing activities were co-financed by the EU through the Estonian Enterprise and Innovation Foundation (EISA).

TMW returned to April in 2024 to boost travel to Estonia in the low season of early spring. The festival exceeded the goals, which were set to introduce Tallinn and Estonia as an attractive cultural tourism destination by bringing 1 532 visitors from 66 foreign countries to Estonia, who spent a total of 3 835 nights in Tallinn, which equals an average of 2.5 overnight stays per visitor. These guests also brought direct income to providers of local transportation, accommodation and catering services. According to the survey of festivals carried out by LevelLab and The Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences (EUAS), commissioned by the joint organisation of KredEx and Enterprise Estonia, foreign visitors spend an average of 433 euros in Estonia during festivals, which results in 663 356 (1 532 x 433) euros in revenue by TMW’s visitors from abroad.

Head of the Tourism Department at EISA Anneli Lepp notes that international events taking place in Estonia have a great impact on the income of Estonian tourism companies as well as Estonia’s reputation in general. She says, “The fastest recipe for bringing people here is via events with an exciting programme and their loyal returning visitors, especially from neighbouring countries. International visitors often come here not only to enjoy a certain event, but also look around elsewhere and get inspiration for their next trips to Estonia. Tallinn Music Week, which takes place annually, has found a firm place in the calendars of culture lovers and boosts  Estonian tourism in springtime, when the main travel season has not yet arrived.”

“We exceeded the target number of foreign visitors and increased our ticket sales,” says Director of TMW Helen Sildna. “We believe that we are able to increase the results further with the support of EISA. Support for international marketing activities is essential, because if an international tourist leaves an average of 433 euros in Estonia, then the event promoter will receive just 15 – 20% from the festival tickets sales. Given that the event motivates people to travel to Estonia even in the low season, but the main revenue will go to adjacent sectors, it is important to receive the state-level basic support. This gives us both security and the opportunity to develop the quality of services. Our team is of course pleased that we were able to level up this year’s ticket sales by 30%. This means that audiences value our festival and are ready to seal their loyalty with purchases.”

Foto: Jürgen Joost

TMW exceeded the amount and reach of international media coverage by a third of the expected result. Over 170 TMW-related reports and articles have been published in international media, reaching more than 1 400 000 people all over the world. The high-level coverage includes reports on BBC News Europe and BBC Sounds, in the world’s biggest alternative music portal Louder, public broadcasters, leading dailies and weeklies of neighbouring countries and music, culture and lifestyle media across the continents. 

Extensive coverage and feedback from various target groups shows that the festival is highly rated among its international visitors. 82% of the international respondents of the festival survey plan to visit TMW also next year. 98% of music industry PRO pass holders consider returning to Estonia also for vacation, and 96.2% of them assess positively hotel service and hospitality during TMW. Whole 97.4% of the foreign artists who performed at the festival would recommend playing at TMW to other musicians.

The event’s sustainable development goals, including those related to equality, were also effectively met. As one of the central events of TMW, Keychange, an international initiative for gender equality in the music industry, marked the fifth year of operation and the beginning of a new phase. Of the 175 artists/artist collectives in the TMW line-up 50% were women or gender minorities, and over half of the TMW conference’s 168 panelists were women or gender minorities.

The TMW programme provided a crash course of the best and most exciting in the cultural life of Tallinn, directing its visitors through various events and tours also to unexpected places and hidden pearls like the brutalist monument Tallinn City Hall and the abandoned cellar clubs from the 90s, and to art gallery tours by Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center. In addition to Tallinn-based establishments and activities, TMW introduced events outside the capital and Harju County, including Viljandi Folk Music Festival and Station Narva festival, unda festival by European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024, etc.

TMW’s PR & marketing activities, which introduced Tallinn and Estonia as an attractive cultural tourism destination, were co-financed by the EU through the Enterprise and Innovation Foundation (EISA) with 75 000 euros. The aim of the grant was to expand the target groups interested in Estonian music and culture and to introduce Estonia and Tallinn as an attractive culture tourism destination.

TMW 2024 in numbers

18 317 festival visits
1 532 foreign visitors
3 835 overnight stays of foreign guests
170 reports in international media, reaching over 1 400 000 people
175 artists (collectives) from 34 countries, 50% of them women or gender minorities
168 conference speakers, more than 50% of them women or gender minorities


TMW 2024 was organised by Muusikanädal NGO in collaboration with Shiftworks and various partners and co-organisers.

TMW’s marketing activities, which introduced Tallinn and Estonia as an attractive cultural tourism destination, were co-financed by the EU through the Enterprise and Innovation Foundation (EISA).  

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 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.

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, Delfi Tasku Muusikanõunikud, AVISA

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

TMW 2025 passes are on sale at the TMW webshop.

TMW 2025 artist applications are open via TMW homepage until November 4, 2024.