The music and city culture festival Tallinn Music Week (TMW), which took place from 29 September to 3 October, brought 830 international guests from 35 countries to the Estonian capital, who spent a total of 1,811 nights in the local accommodation establishments. The festival provided jobs and income to 132 Estonian companies and spread the news about Estonian music and culture to about 800,000 people around the world.
Impact on the Estonian economy and tourism
TMW 2021 enlivened both international and domestic tourism as well as the entire Estonian music and cultural ecosystem. The festival was attended by 830 guests from abroad, who spent here a total of 1,811 nights, an average of 2.18 nights per person. Compared to TMW’s initial forecast, the number of foreign visitors to the festival increased by 16% and the number of nights spent in Estonia by 17%. Most visitors came from Finland, followed by Latvia, Lithuania and Russia.
“Our international guests needed extra motivation and also personal encouragement to travel to Estonia this season”, comments Helen Sildna, the founder and director of the festival. “Several visitors said that they were travelling to Estonia because they trusted our competence to minimize virus risks at the festival venues. A recent study by the Estonian Health Board shows that cultural events and leisure activities account for 1 – 1.5% of infections. Controlled events with a Health Pass are secure is a statement the Estonian culture sector is proud to say.”
TMW provided employment and income to a total of 132 Estonian companies, 48 of them the tourism service providers, who valued highly both the festival’s contribution to the revival
of tourism and the positive marketing of Estonia.
According to Killu Maidla, CEO of the Estonian Hotel and Restaurants Association, events like TMW have a significant impact on the demand in the accommodation market: “Tallinn would not be the same as it is today without festivals like TMW, Jazzkaar and PÖFF/Tallinn Black Nights Festival. When culture is supported, then it will also support our sector.”
Feliks Mägus, Chairman of the Board of the Nordic Hotel Forum, also praises TMW’s contribution to cultural tourism: “TMW has once again shown that a responsibly organized festival attracts both foreign and local audiences. It is also important that cultural activities are open and accessible to help people cope mentally in difficult times. After a major overhaul, NHF is now the corona-safest hotel in Estonia, and both TMW and Tallinn Black Nights Festival have helped to boost our sales this autumn. Culture is indeed the engine of the economy and also the mental health caretaker.”
Rista Koit, Sales Director and Member of the Board of Go Travel, adds: “The growing interest from the foreign countries towards TMW shows that we are starting to adapt a bit to COVID, that we are able to protect each other, and that Helen Sildna’s firm patronage for both the festival and the cultural sector as a whole has been fruitful.”
Impact on music and culture sector
The festival showcased 177 artists from 21 countries, 103 of them from Estonia. In the festival feedback, musicians rated the importance of the festival as a promoter of Estonian music to wider markets on a five-point scale with an average score of 4.8. 70% of the respondents said that TMW is an important platform for them to achieve international contacts and high-level international media coverage.
Ave Tölpt, Director of TMW’s strategic partner Music Estonia says, “TMW is undoubtedly an annual key event for the industry. We collaborate throughout the year within various projects and bring a large number of international partners and industry players from around the world to TMW. For this year’s editions, we were proud to invite 30 representatives of Live DMA and lay together the foundations for new developments.”
More than 70% of the festival’s international PRO delegates admitted that TMW provides a crucial insight into the Estonian music scene. Many industry professionals highlighted also TMW’s curatorial level and multi-genre approach, noting that they experienced genres like folk, metal and dance music, which they don’t usually work with, but may explore further as a result. Many international artists pointed out the booking offers received at or after the festival, as well as encouraging media coverage.
TMW 2021 media reports reached almost 800,000 people worldwide via more than 130 articles. The coverage includes reports in the influential music publications Mixmag, The Quietus and Loud & Quiet, the award-winning tourism channel Culture Trip, trade press publication Access All Areas, the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, as well as the Baltic broadcasters and major dailies.
The next edition of TWM is scheduled to take place on 4 – 8 May 2022 in Tallinn that is among the cities designated as the UNESCO City of Music in 2022.
The artist application for TMW 2022 runs until 19 December 2021.
TMW 2022 passes are on sale at the TMW webshop
TMW 2021 conference panel recordings are available for viewing for TMW PRO and DigiPRO clients via pro.tmw.ee until the next festival edition.
TMW festival is founded and run by Shiftworks. TMW’s strategic partner is the Estonian music industry development centre Music Estonia.
TMW’s international activities, the aim of which is to introduce Estonia as an attractive destination of music and culture, are supported by the European Regional Development Fund.