Tallinn Song Festival Grounds
Location: N59° 26` 35.2", E24° 48` 19.7"
Tallinn Song Festival Grounds have been the home of Estonian Song Festivals since 1928. The stage was built at its current place in 1928 to host the 9th Song Festival. It had to provide space for 15,000 performers. The architect of the current arched stage, which was built in 1959, is Alar Kotli. The mouth of the arch is 73 metres wide and the whole construction weighs 80 tonnes. The rooms under the stage are very spacious. There are offices for administration but also the rooms for performers waiting for their order. Some rooms are named after pop stars who have used them, for example Jackson's suite after Michael Jackson. There are five entrances to the stage which allow the quick change of performers. On the northern side of the song stage is the 42-metre-tall festival's fire tower, which was renovated in 1988. Opposing the fire tower, the ''Radio House'' is a four-storey building which was very modern part of the building for reporters in 1980s. In 2004, the bronze sculpture of Gustav Ernesaks, one of the driving forces behind the national song festival, was unveiled at the 24th Song Festival. The sculpture is 2.25 metres tall and weighs 2.5 tonnes. Gustav Ernesaks was deeply admired and respected Estonian composer and choir leader.
Although the first national song festival was held in Tartu, in 1869, starting with the 6th festival, the festival tradition moved into Tallinn. The first seven festivals were held under the power of Russian Empire. Between World War I and World War II four festivals took place. During the Soviet occupation, 10 song festivals were held. The Soviet authorities didn't allow very national songs into the repertoire. All the songs had to get the approval from the Communist Party.
The Song Festival is held every five years. The joint choir has comprised more than 30,000 singers. There are also special song festivals held at the song grounds. For example 'Gaudeamus', the International Student Song and Dance Festival, uniting the Baltic States; and the Youth Song Festival every five years. Even the hard times have brought people together to the Song Festival Grounds. In 1989, the event, which became known as the Singing Revolution took place here. The Night Song Festivals were held. The last Night Song Festival titled as 'Time To Notice', was held to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.
In addition to song festivals, different other festivals and concerts are held there. Several world -famous pop stars like Michael Jackson, Brian Adams, Tina Turner, 50 Cent, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Robbie Williams, Armin van Buuren, etc. have performed there. Every year traditional Õllesummer Festival takes place there since 1996. It is a rock music festival which is very popular among people having thousands of visitors each year.