Singing traditions vary in different regions, for example, women from Kihnu Island have incorporated Scandinavian styles into their traditional singing, whilst in the Seto region they display Slavic influences.
Estonian Song Festivals are held on the Song Festival grounds in Tallinn, once every 5 years, and it is a sight you do not want to miss: combined choirs consist of 10,000 – 20,000 singers, all in their national clothing. Every time, up to 10% of all Estonians participate in the festivals. During the Singing Revolution, more than a third of the Estonian population participated in the Night Song Festivals.
For the rest of the time, the Song Festival grounds are used for hosting large outdoor concerts (rock and pop music) and for various summer festivals. During winter, it transforms into a huge snow-tubing and snow-boarding track.
Folk music is held in high regard in Estonia. There are many annual international folk festivals of which the biggest is Viljandi Folk, attracting performers from all over the world.
The Estonian Literature Museum contains more than 1,300,000 pages of folk songs. As for the size of its folklore collection, Estonia comes second only to Ireland.
In Estonia there is also a large variety of Jew's harps on sale. The Jew's harpis one of the oldest musical instruments in the world.
Modern Estonians, though fond of their singing traditions, are much more interested in modern music: there are plenty rock and jazz bars available with live music and people from neighbouring countries often travel to Estonia to see concerts of the biggest pop stars that sell out in their own country.
In 2008, Estonia organised the worlds first Punk Song Festival in Rakvere. Traditional choirs singing “Anarchy in the UK” made a very special event. Estonian president Toomas H. Ilves opened the event, acknowledging the role Estonian punks played in the regained independence.