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Estonia’s Station Narva welcomes international acts

The fourth edition of city festival Station Narva took place from Thursday 5 to Saturday 7 August, welcoming international acts including British DJs Roni Size and A Guy Called Gerald, Russian hip-hop duo Aigel and Finnish singer-songwriter New Ro to Estonia’s third-largest city.

Taking place at Narva’s 13th-century Hermann Castle (which also includes Narva Museum), Station Narva 2021 was the first music festival to utilise rapid testing and Estonia’s digital Covid-19 pass to ensure all 2,297 attendees were coronavirus-free. Of those who attended, 53% of visitors came with a digital Covid certificate and 47% with a negative rapid Covid-19 test taken on site. (No positive results were found.)

The festival, organised by Tallinn Music Week promoter Shiftworks, also featured 15 Estonian artists, as well as an urban art competition, talks and debates, a technology camp, creative incubator Objekt, and tours of Narva’s dacha district, Kudruküla.

“Everyone was smiling and giving off such a positive charge”

Aigel, whose Station Narva show was their first post-pandemic concert outside Russia, say: “Everyone was smiling and giving off such a positive charge. We really didn’t expect such a warm welcome, because we had no idea whether people knew our songs here or whether they would understand us. The reception was fantastic.”

The festival’s head of community affairs, Valeria Lavrova, adds: “It was great that this year we had to do a lot less explaining about what Station Narva is. Our people already know about the festival. Personally, I discovered that at its core there are two seemingly opposite concepts: experimentation and safety.

“This festival always experiments with something that hasn’t been tried before, from venues to programme parts and performers, but at the same time it is very safe. I’m not even talking so much about health and the now-important certificates and QR codes, but more about the festival atmosphere and the extent to which the organisation has been considered. For example, while the dacha owners were a bit cautious at first, on the day of the tour they were all in high spirits and they had a great time. It was a truly heartfelt experience.”


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