WHAT GOES ON IN
Tartu is a university town with a vibrant and colourful cultural scene. This booklet gives you an overview of the major cultural and sports events of Tartu in 2016. Also, many other events take place in Tartu. For more information on these events, see the Window of Culture: kultuuriaken.tartu.ee.
International gymnastics tournament “Miss Valentine” / European Championships in aesthetic group gymnastics 11–14 February For the twenty-first time already the glitter and grace is brought to the wintry Tartu by the gymnasts and group gymnasts to participate in one of the Europe’s biggest gymnastics tournaments “Miss Valentine”, which is also one of the World Cup events of group gymnastics. Top gymnasts from almost 30 countries of the world participate in this very enjoyable competition.
44rd Tartu Ski Marathon 21 February Tartu Ski Marathon is one of the biggest of its kind in Eastern-Europe and professionals regard its track as one of the most picturesque and interesting in the whole world. This lively sports party brings together some 10,000 ski enthusiasts from Estonia and the entire world every year. This marathon of classic technique has an option of 63 and 31 km long tracks. For the younger folks there are very popular Tillu and Mini childrenâ€™s races. Tartu Ski Marathon is part of the international long distance ski race series Worldloppet.
Festival of visual culture “World Film” 28 March – 2 April Anthropological and ethnographic documentaries are screened in the Tartu festival of visual culture “World film” (“Maailmafilm”). During the week the audience is taken to every continent, taking under scrutiny the so-called strangers, and becoming acquainted with these with the help of films. The festival is accompanied by relevant exhibitions, workshops and meetings with filmmakers.
International Gala of Ballet Schools „Unistuse lend“ 30 March The international ballet school gala “Unistuse lend” (Flight of a Dream) takes place in the Vanemuine theatre in the end of March. The Ida Dance School showcases their 4th graduating class. Participants include Tallinn Ballet School, Riga Choreography School, Helsingin Tanssiopisto, Oslo Balletthøgskolen and others. There are several laureates of international competitions among the graduates. Longer excerpts from classical ballets will be performed: “Flames of Paris” and “Swan Lake”, and in cooperation with the Riga Choreography School – Grand Pas from “Paquita”, and a true classic: “The Dying Swan” set to C. Saint-Saens’ music.
Student festival â€œTartu Spring Daysâ€? 25 April â€“ 1 May The spring days that bear the student spirit are an opportunity for the participants and the audience to rest their spirit with the help of an intense entertainment and cultural programme. In Tartu, the positivity that is triggered by joint activities has been valuable mental nourishment for visitors for decades.
Literature festival “Prima Vista” 4–7 May
In May, Prima Vista fills Tartu with literature. Professionals meet the competent and friendly audience, all share the best fruits of the art and discuss together the important questions of literary culture. This festival invites everybody to think of youth and youthfulness and find it in oneself. www.kirjandusfestival.tartu.ee
Author’s song festival “The Song of May” 5–7 May Tens of singers and songwriters from Estonia gather in Tartu for three days every spring in order to bring the thoughts and feelings turned into music before the audience. “The Song of May” (“Mailaul”) is a festival for a listener who wants to feel together with the performing author.
Fashion Show Fashion-Performance-Dance 7 May Fashion-Performance-Dance (MPT) is a fashion event with long traditions that presents the fresh and independent ideas of youth in the fields of clothing fashion, accessories design, video, music and performance arts. The venue of the show changes each year. The aim is to offer viewers an exceptional room experience, and access to rooms in Tartu City that are seldom used and that have an unexpected effect on viewers. In addition to a spectacular show, many thematic events take place already in April.
SEB 34rd Tartu Marathon 8 May SEB Tartu Marathon is the biggest cross-country running marathon in the Baltic States with thousands of participants attending every year. The marathon track lies in the varied South-Estonian landscape. The enthusiasts can choose between the 23 and 10 km tracks, both of which can be covered by running or by Nordic Walking. The event includes also childrenâ€™s races. www.tartumaraton.ee
Night of Museums 14 May During this Saturday evening in May the museums and other memory institutions in Tartu open their doors at a later time and free of charge to celebrate the all-European Night of Museums (Muuseumiöö). This evening’s programme is diverse and exciting. There is a lot to discover in the city which has the highest number of museums in Estonia.
Music Festival â€œIndiefestâ€? 19â€“21 May Tartu Indiefest brings the local and foreign alternative music to the audience and introduces the independent culture in general. During the daytime, the audience is invited to debates with interesting guests. In the evenings, there are concerts and screenings of relevant films.
Tour Of Estonia / Tartu Grand Prix 27â€“28 May The stages of international competition of top cyclists pass through the beautiful Estonian towns and villages. The cycle tour ends on 28 May with the popular Tartu Grand Prix, driven on the Tartu city rounds, bringing thousands of spectators on the streets. Tour of Estonia belongs to the programme of Estonian Cycling Weekend.
SEB 35th Tartu Road Race 29 May
The biggest cycling road race in the nearby countries is both for top athletes and enthusiasts. Some 7,500 people participate in the events of Tartu Road Race (Tartu Rattaralli) programme events which offer 135 and 65 km tracks. The race track follows mostly the winding South-Estonian roads and it begins and ends in the Tartu city centre. Popular childrenâ€™s races also take place in the city centre. Tartu Road Race belongs to the Estonian Cycling Weekend programme. www.tartumaraton.ee
Tartu County dance festival „Hingepuu“ 29 May The “Hingepuu” (Soul Tree) dance festival takes place in the end of May. The festival tells us about the joys and sorrows of being human. Folk dancers from different age groups will perform in the Raadi mansion park, telling the audience a story about the connection between mankind and nature. The birth of a new being is also the birth of the soul tree. It is a contract with nature: we take care of you, so perhaps you’ll take care of our child.
Children’s Day 1 June The International Day for Protection of Children is celebrated in Tartu with a joyous, family-friendly festival “Õues õppida on mõnus” (It is pleasant to learn outdoors). This open-air festival is equally suitable for toddlers and their grandparents. It is a good opportunity to spend a day in good spirits, discovering one’s talents, gaining new knowledge and sharing the joy of being together through games and good entertainment.
Estonian Aviation Days 4â€“5 June
The largest outdoor aviation event welcomes aviation fans both young and old on June 4â€“5, in (and up above) the territory of the Estonian Aviation Museum in Tartu county. It is possible to see parachutists, or go on a sight-seeing flight. Different attractions are open, e.g. simulators, a catapult, a parachute simulator, trampoline beds etc. Two days filled with state of the art aviation equipment and an interesting programme both on land and in air. www.lennundusmuuseum.ee
International Night of Churches 10 June
Together with numerous churches in Europe the churches of Tartu open their doors to all the visitors in the evening of 10 June. During the Night of Churches one can observe the everyday life of various confessions, receive answers to questions, discover the art treasures hidden in churches and enjoy the music in a relaxed atmosphere. There are activities for big and small, from quiet meditations to the conquering of towers. www.kirikuteoo.ee
Wow Run 11 June Wow Run is a 5 km running event. What makes it special is the use of powder coloursâ€”after each kilometre, nature friendly and completely safe powder colours are thrown at the participants. Using these powder colours is what makes the event so thrilling. The aim of participating is not winning, but simply enjoying movement and the company, that sets Wow Run apart from other similar endeavours. Using powder colours provides a breath-taking additional effect. It is not important whether you run, walk or practice Nordic walking. This is not a competition but pure fun.
Pop Choir Party 2 July The Pop Choir Party held in Tartu is an expression of joint singing. Excellent choirs, solo artists and dancers bring the best songs from the Estonian pop and rock music heritage to you. Among others, the best Estonian Eurovision songs will be also performed this year. Everybody sings at the Pop Choir Party!
Festival “Glasperlenspiel” 7–12 July Glasperlenspiel (“Klaaspärlimäng”) – the name of the festival is inspired by the novel by Hermann Hesse. It provides a hint that the festival expects musicians that interpret the music from an unorthodox angle. This prestigious festival focuses on special instruments, unusual associations and relations with other fields of art and philosophy.
Tartu Mill Triathlon 8–10 July Tartu Mill Triathlon is a city triathlon, which has been held for several years. The programme includes a real challenge for professional athletes as well as amateurs’ triathlon for everyone and children’s triathlon. The competition track is very demanding for the participants and offers the audience an exciting spectacle.
Hanseatic Days 9â€“10 July
Tartu Hanseatic Days celebrate their 21th birthday this summer and bring a medieval vibe, joyousness and many splendid events to Tartu in midsummer. For two days, the visitors of Hanseatic Days will partake in live concerts, playful performances and other events that invite both young and old visitors to join in. As usually, the plentiful Hanseatic fair is open. www.hansapaevad.ee
Music Festival “Punk N Roll” 15–16 July “Punk N Roll” is Estonia’s biggest and oldest punk-rock festival in the open air. It takes place in the Raadi manor park and gives an overview of the cream of Estonian punk bands as well as a selection of performers from abroad.
Auto24 Rally Estonia 2016 15â€“17 July An auto-sport and entertainment event Auto24 Rally Estonia 2016 is an official round of FIA European Rally Championship. The leaders of the European rally will compete in the category of historic cars as well as modern rally cars in Tartu and on the gravel roads of South Estonia. There will be over 10,000 tourists from about 20 countries. The televised rally will reach 20 million viewers. There will be enough entertainment during the 3 days for the whole family: it is possible to view the competition alongside the track from audience areas, it is worth to come and see the attractive start and finish ceremonies and the exciting city round in Tartu, in addition, an open air concert will take place. www.rallyestonia.ee
The summer concert of Vanemuine Symphony Orchestra 31 July To the great satisfaction of Tartu citizens a popular tradition of the first quarter of 20th century has been revived – a free summer concert of mainly classical music. This year’s open-air concert is conducted by Paul Mägi, the music director and chief conductor of theatre Vanemuine. The concert will take place in a natural amphitheatre in the heart of the city – the Kassitoome Valley of Toomemägi.
10th Tartu Love Film Festival “tARTuFF” 1–6 August
Tartu Love Film Festival tARTuFF has offered great emotions, self-discovery, longing and a warm sense of recognition since 2006. 12 films in six days will be shown at the Tartu Town Hall Square, each speaking directly or indirectly about love. Love can be painful, beautiful, tormenting and forgiving. www.tartuff.ee
Emajõgi River Festival 5–6 August The focal point of the festival is the most essential natural symbol of Tartu – River Emajõgi. Several competitions are arranged around it. Events take place on the river and its banks with lots of good music. This high-spirited event is an excellent meeting place for all folks!
12th Wind Band Festival “Mürtsub pill” 5–7 August
“Mürtsub pill” fills Tartu with the music of wind instruments. Dance and children’s orchestras, big bands and the festival’s joint orchestra perform in this festival of orchestral music, which is biggest in Estonia and unique in the Baltic States. There is a parade of orchestras and a gala concert. Foreign performers come from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Russia, Finland and Sweden. www.potartu.ee
The Food Festival 13â€“14 August
Tartu Food festival, a great celebration of Estonian food, takes place on August 13â€“14, in the centre of Tartu. A wide variety of Estonian food and fresh produce will be presented and made available for purchase. The cafes and restaurants in Tartu will be offering attractive snacks and dishes made up of local produce. There will be a family-friendly entertainment programme in addition to the enjoyable food. www.ettevotlus.tartu.ee
Urban Festival UIT 17–20 August
“UIT” is a place that is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. However, “UIT” visits Tartu in the form of a city festival from 17 to 20 August. The festival excitedly grabs the hands of visitors and playfully runs to discover the Tartu where no one usually happens to go in their everyday life. “UIT” is an international festival with shows, installations, tours and concerts studying the urban space of Tartu, making us notice both new and old, common and extraordinary places and the way the city breathes and hums with life. Happy wandering! www.uit.ee
10th Tartu Inline Skating Marathon 21 August
Sports friends can enjoy a marathon track and a halfmarathon track during the Tartu Skating Marathon, the biggest inline skating marathon in the Baltic States and Scandinavia. A day before that, the Tartu Inline Skating Sprint and events for children will be held. www.tartumaraton.ee
Street Art Festival “Stencibility” 5–11 September Stencibility is an annual street art festival that began in 2010 in Tartu, and now it simultaneously takes place in other cities as well. The name is a reference to the stencil technique. The festival is about introducing, promoting and creating new street art. Guided tours and street art maps are available. www.stencibility.eu
Estonian Theatre Festival Draama 5â€“11 September Draama will take over Tartu once more at the beginning of September. The Estonian Theatre Festival Draama is a curator festival. The main programme consists of the most interesting and the best productions of Estonian Theatre. In addition to the main programme of the festival, the topic of which will be published in May, the festival offers an exciting side-programme, music events and an opportunity to spend time in the cosy festival club.
19th Tartu Mountain Bike Marathon 18 September The mountain bike marathon which is third in size in the world provides joy of participation for cyclists of many age groups and different training level â€“ some 7,500 cyclists ride the marathon. Main tracks are 89 and 40 km long and take the cyclists away f rom the city noise, to the varied landscape of South-Estonia. Also, childrenâ€™s races are held for the youngest.
Festival of archaic arts “RegiÖÖ” 23–25 September REGIÖÖ 2016 celebrates its 15th anniversary with the leitmotif “There’s beauty all around”, which is inspired by a world of emotions existent both in past and in present, in which beauty has been viewed and created in different ways, dependent on one’s region and culture. It has influenced the sense of beauty throughout generations, and is seen both in ancient and modern traditional creation. The goal of RegiÖÖ 2016 festival is to mediate these emotions through the examples of art, music and dance. We expect performers from Scandinavia, the Baltic sstates and from the Northwest of Russia. www.tartu.ee/regioo
Japanese Pop-Culture Festival AniMatsuri 23â€“25 September AniMatsuri is a Japanese pop-culture festival held for the tenth time and intended mainly for youngsters. Interesting lectures, exciting competitions, workshops, martial arts demonstrations and much more will take place. The main attraction is the cosplay contest taking place on the second day. The winner of one of the categories will fly to London for the European championship. In addition, many exciting events will take place during September.
Researchers’ Night Festival 25–30 September
Researcher’s Night Festival TÖF is a festival with a colourful programme for the whole family that opens the door to the world of science and values knowledge. In 2016, TÖF will already celebrate its 11th birthday. We will investigate the latest topics in various fields of science. Therefore, the newest achievements in research will be discussed, those who are interested will be taken to discover secret laboratories, the elite scientists will introduce their work and it is possible to take part in free workshops, Science Theatre viewings, movie nights and experiments. www.teadlasteöö.ee
5th Tartu City Marathon 1 October Tartu City Marathon is one of a kind in Estonia â€“ the whole 42 km long marathon distance is run on one circle. That means that each kilometre of the track is unique and offers new experiences. In addition to the full marathon, runners can choose between 21 and 10 km distances. www.tartumaraton.ee
International Author’s Song Festival “Fall of the Leaf Music” 7–9 October
International author’s song festival is a real treat for the listeners and performers of the author’s song genre. The festival holds a solid place among similar festivals of the world. Well-known and talented bards with a long and successful career in the genre, perform at the “Fall of the Leaf Music” (“Lehesaju Muusika”) festival. Performers from faraway countries and different places of the world come to the festival. www.mellnovfest.com
International Early Music Festival â€œOrient et Occidentâ€? 13â€“16 October The festival is focused on Oriental culture and its relations with early European, primarily Medieval culture. The goal is to create an artistic whole in which the topics are handled in depth from different viewpoints. Typical to this festival is a double concert format, with an ensemble from Europe playing in the first part and an ensemble from Asia playing in the second part and a final joint improvisation of both ensembles.
15th International Modern Music Festival AFEKT 15â€“25 October The 15th AFEKT is a continuation of the Estonian Composersâ€™ Festival. The name has changed, as the festival has evolved into an international event, and a name focused on Estonia in particular would no longer represent the essence of the festival. The composers of the festival are George Friedrich Haas, a living classic of spectral music from Austria, and Toivo Tulev from Estonia. The central theme is visual music theatre. The main performers are the Klangforum Wien, The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, The Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Nicholas Hodges, Simon Steen Andersen, ensemble Adapter.
Tartu jazz and rhythm music festival “IDeeJazz” 10–13 November
The Tartu jazz and rhythm music festival “IDeeJazz” brings into Tartu the Estonian music that is packed with creative power. Keywords like good sound, improvisation and idea connect the best thoughts of the Estonian jazz elite and the bold projects of the young musicians’ generation, filled with positive energy. The festival draws no clear genre borders – providing very diverse music from mainstream and chamber jazz, ethno and world music to groove rhythms and fusion. www.ideejazz.ee
European Poetry Slam Championship / festival “Crazy Tartu” 11–12 November Winners and organizers of the championships of 20 European countries will be expected to participate in the European Poetry Slam Championship. The contest takes place in restaurantcafé Vilde. A true merry-making of European performance poetry will be due. At the same time, the annual festival “Crazy Tartu” takes place. In addition to Estonian representatives, performers from Sweden, Belgium, Austria will appear.
Tartu Black Nights Film Festival PÖFF 11–27 November Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) is an international film festival that will take place for the 20th time in 2016. PÖFF also hosts the animated films’ festival Animated Dreams, short film festival Sleepwalkers and children and youth film festival Just Film. PÖFF offers its Tartu audience an outstandingly diverse and exciting film programme each year. In addition, many events take place outside the cinema halls during the festival. The festival of 2016 will focus on Flemish film art.
Street dance festival â€œBattle of ESTâ€? 10 December Battle of EST (BOE) is the oldest street dance competition with the most impressive list of performers in Northern Europe. The main events include breakdance team competitions. One can also witness hip-hop, popping and solo b-boying contests. This yearâ€™s 16th international BOE festival is an honest rejection of everything with a fake glitter, turning the dance battle competitors into real artists of life! It is a riot of people dancing themselves breathless, while living and breathing the dance culture.
More events: Tartu Winter Music Festival
2–9 January www.facebook.com/TartuTalvemuusikaFestival
The opening of the University of Tartu Natural History Museum 16 January www.natmuseum.ut.ee/
10. JAFF Japanese Animation Film Festival 8–17 April www.animefest.eu
The Tartu Russian Ball 9–10 April
City district festival “The Supilinn Days” 18–24 April www.supilinn.ee/supilinna-paevad
Estonian Enduro Weekend 29 April – 1 May www.enduroestonia.com/
The opening of the University of Tartu Museum 1 May www.muuseum.ut.ee/
7 May www.ettevotlus.tartu.ee/laadad
City district festival “The Karlova Days” 16–22 May www.karlova.ee/karlova-paevad
Tartu Gymnastics Party 31 May tartuvoimlemispidu.weebly.com
The Antonius’ Fashion Show 10 June www.loovtartu.ee/lmk
Beach Volleyball Premium7 Cup 11–12 June www.volley.ee
Victory Day and Midsummer Eve at Raadi 23 June www.erm.ee
Tartu City Day
29 June www.tartu.ee/linnapaev
Dance.Film.Teatre 1–6 August www.tantsuteater.ee
20 August www.küüslaugufestival.ee
International Powerboating competition 19 September www.veemoto.ee
23–24 September www.tarturally.eu
Opening events of the Estonian National Museum 24 September – www.erm.ee
Tartu Autumn Days 10–16 October www.studentdays.ee
Christmas Town Tartu 27 November – 24 December www.joululinntartu.ee
10 December www.ettevotlus.tartu.ee/laadad
Design: Jaan Saar, OĂœ Saar Graafika Print: OĂœ Paar Complied by: The Department of Culture of Tartu City Government
The calendar has been complied on the basis of the information available to the Department of Culture of the Tartu City Government on the 20 November 2015. Authors of the calendar hold no liability for possible changes in the programme.