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Organisers of “Kissing Tartu”: have patience, thousands of people are expected to be at the concert show

The “Kissing Tartu” concert show will be the culmination of the European Capital of Culture’s summer opening programme. A large crowd is expected downtown, as the weather is especially aestival. Tartu Student Club, the organiser of “Kissing Tartu”, explains what the concert show will bring to the city.

20 beloved Eurovision stars will perform on stage at the "Kissing Tartu" concert show in Town Hall Square. Photo: Maanus Kullamaa.
18. May

Many events besides “Kissing Tartu” are taking place in the city, among them the Tartu [pre]opinion Festival, Youngsters Eurovision 2024, Museum Night, and the University of Tartu’s alumni get-together. Because of this, thousands of people are moving around downtown, and we should all take one another into consideration.

Limited visibility at the Town Hall Square

During the week, in addition to the large stage, other structures and equipment have been erected on the Town Hall Square, limiting the audience’s visibility. For example, the technical control point (FOH) is located directly opposite the stage, due to it being the only way for technicians, including sound and lighting technicians, to provide the best possible experience for both the on-the-spot audience and TV viewers. The control point is made as narrow and transparent as possible to minimally limit visibility.

The screens in the Town Hall Square are strategically positioned to provide more visibility in spaces where observability is otherwise limited. One screen is located directly behind the control point and another behind the terrace of pub RP9, because there the sunshades will restrict people’s view no matter what. The positioning of cafe terraces will remain unchanged, however, the sunshades of the first three will be removed. Unfortunately, due to their structure, the rest of the sunshades are not removable, but they will closed for the duration of the concert. 

Estonian Television’s live broadcast buses are located near the side of Tartu Town Hall Square where you can cross the Kaarsild, parallel to the pavement, to take up the least amount of space. For security reasons, the Kompanii street must remain clear. It is the main access point for the Rescue Board and the procession of the University of Tartu’s alumni get-together has to pass through there as well.

The organisers admit that the Town Hall Square is not made of rubber and that not everyone who turns up may find a good viewing spot. Therefore, the organisers recommend arriving well in advance or making plans to watch the live broadcast on Estonian Television, which starts concurrently with the concert, at 21.30.

The organisers advise the public to get acquainted with the layout map, which contains all the necessary information for those moving around the Town Hall Square.

Layout of the Tartu Town Hall Square area. Source: Tartu 2024.

Security and infrastructure have been given thought

The layout map also shows an intriguingly named “kissing area”. This is the name given by the organisers to the fan zone in front of the stage, which will be accessible to around a thousand pre-registered guests. Registration for the area has ended. The concert will culminate in a big joint kiss, but of course, partaking is not an obligation.

Public toilets will be located at the Town Hall Square’s taxi park and also in Tartu Central Park, where the Tartu [pre]opinion Festival takes place on Friday and Saturday. Additionally, there are public toilets in Pirogov Park.

On Saturday, between 20.00 and 24.00, the section of Vabaduse puiestee near Kaarsild will be closed to traffic.

On Saturday there will be security guards moving around in the area and Tartu 2024 volunteers will be there to help. Due to cooperation with the police, more patrols will be out during the weekend. Due to a large crowd being expected and the weather being quite hot, the ambulance will be nearby.

Important information for audiences with reduced mobility

People with reduced mobility are welcome to attend the concert in the fan zone (no need to register). We recommend entering from Rüütli Street. There will be folding chairs available in the fan zone, which can be requested from Tartu 2024 volunteers. Volunteers can be identified by their blue shirt or sweatshirt.

The nearest accessible parking lots to Town Hall Square are located behind the Town Hall building, at Magistri Street and near the Tartu Market Hall (map of parking areas). A valid parking pass for a person with special needs guarantees free parking in the paid parking zones of Tartu. In private parking areas, the established procedures must be followed.

The nearest accessible toilet is located in Tartu Central Park. It is subject to a fee (20 cents). Priority is given to those possessing a Toilet Access Card. A changing table can be found there as well.

The production uses short video clips with subtitles in both Estonian and English.

At the end of Poe Street, there is a newly opened Tartu 2024 information desk, which will be open on Saturday from 11.00–19.00.

The organisers emphasise that the most important thing is to enjoy being together and celebrate the start of the summer of the European Capital of Culture!

The programme on Saturday, 18th of May

10.00–17.30 Tartu [pre]opinion festival (Central Park)

16.00–17.45 Youngsters Eurovision 2024 (Town Hall Square)

16.15–17.00 Autograph session with Eurovision artists (Vanemuise 1, outside)

21.30–23.00 „Kissing Tartu” concert show (Town Hall Square)

Museum Night “Öös on vabadust”

Take a look at the whole programme:

“Kissing Tartu” is the European Capital of Culture’s initiative, which values caring, openness, humanity and respect. We want everyone in Tartu and Estonia to be treated well, regardless of nationality, race, age, gender or worldview.

“Kissing Tartu” is a part of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 main programme. The project is led by NPO Tartu Student Club.