As we enjoyed it so much last year, we could not avoid the Viljandi festival this year ! It is a folk music festival, that takes place at the end of July in a small town in the south of the country.
Like we did last year, we took the train to go to the festival. It was full of young people, dressed with the most strangest clothes they could find, with colourfull hats, etc.
This year, we slept in in our tent at some friends of our friend Piia’s (the pastor’s wife) garden. It was a particularly beautiful house and an immense garden. And Christian and Anita, our hosts, were so nice. We really spent some good times together, sharing 2 hours long breakfast with estonian specialities, such as kama (some keefir/sour milk mixed with some cereal powder), cold beetroot soup, some cherry jam, eggs, bacon, pastries, and even more !
As last year we really enjoyed the festival. We met many people that we knew there : volunteers, colleagues, friends who we hadn’t seen for a long time. It is really a special place to meet again with people during the summer.
On Friday night, we only saw one concert, called “Armastuse ja rõõmu laulud” (songs of love and joy), it was a very nice concert, in a small room, with traditionnal estonian music. Some of the songs were very old, and we particularly loved to hear kanel, this typical estonian instrument. The artists also sang some Regilaulud, these songs which tell stories and which repeats all the time. The public was completely into it, the atmosphere was intimate. Well we enjoyed it !
On Saturday, we had took the day pass to see as many concerts as possible. If the music of the first russian band Trio Solnyshko was good, we prefer the ukrainian estonian one called Svjata Vatra, who really shared their music with the audience. We then heard one american guy Bruce Molsky who charmed us with his blues music and his banjo. After we decided to see the end of one famous estonian band Vägilased, and to go to see Majorstuen, some very good violonists from Norway. Impossible to access to the Zetod concert, a Setu band from the southern part of Estonia, because it was full of people.
We instead decided to go with or new friends Christian and Anita to a such nice place : a very cosy open air café, where we could eat home made estonian food. And the originality of this place was that there were no prices at all, we could give at the end of the meal what we wanted to give. It was very popular during the whole festival, so we were lucky that Christian and Anita arranged kindly a table for all of us !
We finally finished the day, assisting to a gipsy music band concert. If we are quite used to this type of music in France, it was a complete discovery for the estonians who were jumping all around at the rythm of the music. Even the members of the gipsy group Parno Graszt were amazed by this so warm atmosphere.
On Sunday, we were first planning to leave by train in the beginning of the afternoon. But we finally decided to stay a little bit more longer, to see Mari one of our estonian friend who we haven’t seen for a long time, but also to hear the Flook concert, an irish band and we didn’t regret it. The concert was really good, the musicians were really talented, the one at the irish flute but also the one at the bodhran. They even played a breton piece, and we loved watching estonian people trying to dance with their little fingers !
We are now back in Tallinn, but we will keep in mind all these nice memories from the festival !