Some of the representatives of Estonia’s own talent pool who have managed to use TMW to ply their trade on the international scene are folk stylists Maarja Nuut, Trad.Attack! and Mari Kalkun, avant-pop act Mart Avi, shoegazers Holy Motors, metal group Talbot, indie rockers Ewert & the Two Dragons, singer-songwriter Iiris as well as jazz and neoclassical musicians from Kadri Voorand to Kirke Karja. 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, Kate NV 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.
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.
Throughout the festival’s eleven-year existence, the TMW conference has hosted numerous high-profile music experts and mavericks, including the legendary founder of Sire Records Seymour Stein, polymath musician Barry Adamson, influential managers Simon Napier-Bell, Marie Fredriksson, Edward Bicknell, and Peter Jenner; protest punk rock act Pussy Riot, artists-turned authors Viv Albertine (The Slits), John Robb (The Membranes), Bob Stanley (St Etienne), and acclaimed pop culture scholars like Simon Reynolds and Adam Harper.
Since 2016 the TMW conference has expanded from music industry topics towards a wider social agenda, inviting speakers like the entrepreneur and philanthropist Hamdi Ulukaya, artist and activist iO Tillett Wright, gene researcher Lili Milani, MEP Julia Reda, city developer Gunvor Kronman, pioneering post-punk designer Malcolm Garrett, and many other visionnaires from different disciplines and walks of life.
TMW awards, credits, honorary mentions
- 2014: British daily The Guardian and Sunday paper The Observer picked the top 5 music festivals in the world for winter breaks, among them Tallinn Music Week.
- 2014: Tampere Music Award for Exceptional Achievements in Music to Helen Sildna, the founder and director of Tallinn Music Week
- 2014: the “Best Host City Champion” for promoting the city of Tallinn.
- 2012: the “Best Hotel and Convention Bar” with the festival’s hotel and convention center Nordic Hotel Forum.
- 2011: the “Best Newish Event in 2011” award at The Great Escape music conference
TMW artist award winners chosen by the festival delegates and audience
- 2018 Mart Avi, Mari Kalkun, Holy Motors
- 2017 Mart Avi, Erki Pärnoja, NOËP
- 2016 I Wear* Experiment
- 2015 Maarja Nuut
- 2014 Odd Hugo
- 2013 Elephants From Neptune
- 2012 Talbot
- 2011 Ewert and the Two Dragons
- 2010 Iiris
- 2009 Popidiot
Notable international artists at TMW music festival
- Eric Copeland (US)
- Vashti Bunyan (UK)
- Glen Matlock (UK)
- C Duncan (UK)
- The Membranes (UK)
- Kara-Lis Coverdale (CA)
- Motorama (RU)
- Shortparis (RU)
- Kate NV (RU)
- Molchat Doma (BY)
- alyona alyona (UA)
- Kate Boy (SE)
- Jaakko-Eino Kalevi (FI)
- Kimmo Pohjonen (FI)
- Rubik (FI)
- K-X-P (FI)
- Liima (DK/FI)
- Hauschka (DE)
- Alexander Hacke (DE)
…and many more