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Tartu 2024 Grand Opening

Let's meet, dance, and have fun - a memorable year is about to begin in Tartu and Southern Estonia!

Participate in the joyous opening week of European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024, which culminates on 26 January in Tartu, on the banks of the river Emajõgi, with the extravaganza “All is One!”. Beloved artists, actors, dancers, and utterly unexpected new ensembles will take the stage in this spectacular event.

An exciting week awaits, bringing Tartu to life and ushering in a year full of cultural richness. Southern Estonia also commemorates the beginning of the European Capital of Culture with exciting pre- and post-celebrations.

26 January • Opening Day

10.00–12.00 Children's disco

Pre-registration  •  Club Illusion

European Capital of Culture belongs to everyone, including our little ones. The opening day will begin with a joyful Children’s disco at Club Illusion. DJ Maido Möls will be playing music and the dancers of the legendary Dance Camp (Tantsulaager) Britt Kõrsmaa, Märt Agu and Oliver Soomets will perform. The event is co-organised by Tartu kindergarten Helika physical education teacher and head of education Tiina Kivisalu and music teacher Marju Järvpõld.

15.00–23.00 Warm-up Party

Free of charge  •  Tartu Town Hall Square

To beat the January chill, we invite all partygoers to join us at the opening ceremony warm-up party. An unexpected and unique stage setup will arise on the Tartu Town Hall Square. Púr Múdd, Merimell, Magnuss Eriņš, YASMYN, Rozell, Eleryn Tiit, Inga Tislar, Kersten Kõrge, and Robert Kähr perform.

15.00 Kersten Kõrge and Robert Kähr
16.00 Magnuss Eriņš
17.00 Púr Múdd
18.00 YASMYN
19.00 Tartu 2024 Opening Ceremony
20.00 Eleryn Tiit and Inga Tislar
21.00 Rozell
22.00 Merimell

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19.00-20.00 Tartu 2024 Opening Ceremony

Free of charge  •  Vabaduse puiestee riverbank

The European Capital of Culture title year will begin with the opening ceremony “All is One!”. The play will take place between Kaarsild and Rahu bridge on the left-side (where the Atlantis building is located) riverbank of Emajõgi. The public can watch the play on the opposite side, near Vabaduse puiestee. The opening event will include performers such as Trad.Attack!, Sander Mölder, Lonitseera, and many other actors, dancers, and artists. The play is directed by Taavi Tõnisson and the dramaturgist is Eero Epner.

The opening performance of European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 “All is One!” is about the interrelationships between people, places, and eras. At the centre of the story is Tartu: the real and idealistic, dreaming of the future and remembering the past, full of energy, a space where there is room for everyone and life is full of joy. This one-of-a-kind production is played only once at the premiere.

The live broadcast of the opening ceremony will begin on ETV at 19.00.

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20.30-21.30 Festive Procession

Start: Vabaduse puiestee
Finish: Estonian National Museum
Duration: 45 minutes

The evening continues with a procession to the after-party in the Estonian National Museum, which is led by the mutant car called Reisiv Siil (Traveling Hedgehog), accompanied by boisterous music and dance. Come and experience 2024’s most magnificent procession, where performers like Púr Múdd and DJ Magnuss Eriņs will get your feet moving.

Participants can also ride the Släp! Sticker bus (a specially decorated Tartu city bus), starting at 20.30 from Vabaduse Puiestee and moving along with the procession towards the Estonian National Museum. Priority is given to individuals with mobility challenges, the elderly, and children.

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26 January • Official After-Party

21.00–02.00 Tartu 2024 Open-air Rave

Event free of charge
Estonian National Museum, under the roof of entrance A

The afterparty following the opening ceremony is an unprecedented open-air rave in front of the Estonian National Museum. On the largest dance floor of the European Capital of Culture, everyone can express themselves to the fullest. The revival of Tartu’s nightlife begins here!

The main performers will be none other than the D&B legends SIGMA, celebrating the release of their new album “London Sound”. As true world-class musicians, they have claimed the top spot in the UK Singles Chart not once, but twice. SIGMA is truly an innovative force, and their repertoire includes top hits such as “Nobody to Love,” “Changing,” and “Find Me”.

On the same stage you’ll see beloved figures and artists such as Heidy Purga, Estonian Minister of Culture and Emily Makis & Hi-Phi (UK). With a voice described as “heavenly” and “enthralling”, Emily Makis emotive vocal lines can be heard on tracks from the freshest talent in electronic music. Additionally, the father-son duo Sound In Noise x Olivar ft. MC Slin will combine colourful D&B music and rap beats.

22.00 Heidy Purga (Estonian Minister Of Culture)
23.00 Emily Makis & Hi-Phi (UK)
00.00 Sound In Noise x Olivar ft. MC Slin
01.00 SIGMA Dj Set ft. MC Degs (UK)

Additional night buses operate for free during the Tartu 2024 afterparty at the Estonian National Museum (ENM). More information.

Near ENM, parking lots A (26.01 – temporarily closed from 7 PM to 9.30 PM), B, C, and Tartu Snow Park’s parking lot will remain open. These parking lots are free of charge.

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21.00–02.00 ÖÖ24 at ENM

Tickets  10/15 €  •   from ENM
Estonian National Museum, entrance A

NB! The pre-sale of tickets has ended. Additional tickets will be available on-site only in case of no-shows.

On 26 January, the grand finale of the opening celebrations will take place at the Estonian National Museum.

Guests will be greeted by a long table that stretches from the entrance to the exhibition halls. Estonian legends, each of whom will be representing a different decade, shall take us on a musical journey through time with their favourite tunes. The performers will include Eiki Nestor, Peeter Volkonski, Jüri Makarov, Heivi Saaremets, Paul Oja, Hannaliisa Uusma and Micaela S. Spectacular lighting will help in creating a completely unique atmosphere. Exclusively, on the B-side of the museum, you can see something that no one has seen before – some of the installations of the exhibition Who Claims the Night? (the full exhibition will be opened on 17 February). The interior of ENM will transform into a true poetry of the night.

Additional night buses operate for free during the Tartu 2024 afterparty at the Estonian National Museum (ENM). More information.

For information regarding Tartu’s parking fees and parking lots, visit the city’s official website. Near ENM, parking lots A (26.01 – temporarily closed from 7 PM to 9.30 PM), B, C, and Tartu Snow Park’s parking lot will remain open. These parking lots are free of charge.

More information

26 January • Accessibility and other important info

Tartu 2024 Information points

Feel free to ask for information about the Tartu 2024 opening celebrations and programme from Tartu 2024 information centres, where you can also find flyers about the opening week programme. On the backside of each flyer, you can find information about the Tartu 2024 stamp game, which starts 22 January.

Tartu 2024 Embassy (Raekoja plats 6)

Visit the main Tartu 2024 Information Centre, where you can find not only friendly people and abundant information but also many surprises. Tartu 2024 Embassy is open 20-27 January, from 12.00 to 19.00 (with an exception on 26 January, from 10.00 to 22.00).

NB! The embassy also stores found items to be returned to the original owner.

Lõunakeskus Information Point

In Lõunakeskus, we welcome all Southern Estonians to the European Capital of Culture celebrations 25 January from 10.00 to 21.00 and 26 January from 10.00 to 17.00.

Tallinn Airport Information Point

We expect many guests from abroad for the opening celebrations. Tartu 2024 joyfully welcomes all visitors at the airport and directs them towards Southern Estonia. The information point at Tallinn Airport is open 24-25 January, from 10.00 to 21.00.

In addition, the regular Tartu 2024 information desks are open at Tasku Centre (Turu 2) and Tartu Visitor Centre (Raekoja plats 1a).

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Tartu 2024 Information Phone: +372 5411 2024
We answer calls 20-27 January, from 12.00 to 19.00 (with an exception on 26 January, from 10.00 to 22.00).

Email: [email protected]

26 January • Media

During the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 grand opening, there will be a separate programme and opportunities for journalists to cover the ceremony. The media day begins at 11.00 with a press conference at Kolm Tilli and concludes with an after-party at the Estonian National Museum.

We ask for accreditation from all media representatives, including photographers and videographers, who wish to cover the opening ceremony of the European Capital of Culture.

23-28 January • Opening Week

The opening week’s programme is packed with events and cultural experiences. This week, don’t hold back and fully immerse yourself in culture: exhibitions, parties, music quizzes, theatre performances, and other enjoyable activities are available. The opening week’s schedule includes, among other things, the business festival sTARTUp Day, which will take place on 24-26 January.

Opening Ceremonies in Southern Estonia

Southern Estonia celebrates the arrival of European Capital of Culture! The official grand opening of Tartu 2024 is preceded and followed by celebrations in Southern Estonia: in the cities of Viljandi, Valga, Võru and Põlva.