The Song Celebration tradition began with the first Song Celebration organized by Johann Voldemar Jannsen and the “Vanemuine” society in Tartu from 18–20 June 1869. 51 male choirs and brass bands encompassing 845 singers and musicians gathered in Tartu. With a few exceptions, the number of singers has been growing gradually, reaching 30,000 singers in 2014.
The venue of the Song Celebration is the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Tallinna Lauluväljak). It is located by the sea from the city centre, Narva mnt 95. The Song Festival Grounds fit up to 100,000 people. The performers sing under a great constructed arch, that carries sound evenly over the whole spectator area. The Song Festival Grounds have hosted the celebration since 1960. The Lighthouse is 42 meters high and offers fantastic views over the sea and land. The fire of the celebration is lit on top of tower at the beginning of the celebration.
One of the highlights of the Song and Dance Celebration is the procession, which passes through the main streets of Tallinn and reaches the Song Festival Grounds, thereby uniting the Dance and the Song Celebrations. The procession is attended by all the performers and thousands of spectators who have come to the streets to welcome the singers and dancers.
There are two different concerts during the Song Celebration:
- 1st concert of the XXVII Song Celebration „To the Teacher“ on Saturday, 6 July from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- 2nd concert of the XXVII Song Celebration Sunday, 7 July from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Tickets need to be bought for the concerts separately and there are tickets of different price ranges, from 5 euros to 50 euros. Ticket sales will begin in the beginning of 2019.
The concerts of the Song Celebration will take place at the song festival grounds: https://lauluvaljak.ee/en/ in the open air. If it rains, we kindly ask you to wear raincoats. Umbrellas are not permitted during the concerts because of visibility issues.
Meaning of the theme
Every celebration is assigned a specific theme that is symbolic to the time we live in and to what society is coping with. The production of the Song Celebration follows this theme and narrates a story via singing. The theme of the 2019 celebration is „My Fatherland is My Love“.
The Chief Conductor is.
The programme of the XXVII Song and XX Dance Celebration “My Fatherland is My Love”:
- Relay of the Flame 1.06 (Tartu) – 3.07 (Tallinn). THE JOURNEY PASSES ALL ESTONIAN COUNTIES IN 33 DAYS
- Choral concert at St Mary’s Church on Thursday, 20 June IN TARTU
- 1st performance of the Dance Celebration on Thursday, 4 July at 7 p.m. KALEV CENTRAL STADIUM IN TALLINN
- 2nd performance of the Dance Celebration on Friday, 5 July at 11.00 a.m. KALEV CENTRAL STADIUM IN TALLINN
- 3rd performance of the Dance Celebration on Friday, 5 July at 6 p.m. KALEV CENTRAL STADIUM IN TALLINN
- Folk music concert on Friday, 5 July at 2 p.m. KALEV CENTRAL STADIUM IN TALLINN
- Procession on Saturday, 6 July from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. FROM THE CENTER OF TOWN TO THE SONG FESTIVAL GROUNDS
- 1st concert of the Song Celebration „To the Teacher“ on Saturday, 6 July at 7 p.m. TALLINN SONG FESTIVAL GROUNDS
- 2nd concert of the Song Celebration on Sunday, 7 July at 2 p.m. TALLINN SONG FESTIVAL GROUNDS