The Opinion Culture Festival’s website now features the full festival program – 36 discussion areas will host approximately 200 debates and the festival will also expand to Paide’s central square for a vivid entertainment program.
The festival will be held in Paide on August 14th and 15th to discuss topics ranging from self-driving technology to alcohol consumption culture. Issues as diverse as education, values, health, science, economy and refugees will be discussed among others. The program will mainly comprise of nearly 200 debates, relying on the input of 100 different organisations.
“This year’s program has been compiled by many organisations and people, holding discussions on topics that they believe are relevant in Estonia today and invite everyone to think and speak along. The festival of opinion culture 2015 is truly an exercise in cooperation,” said the festival’s discussion areas program leader Maiu Uus. “The program is diverse enough to excite everyone and hopefully will engage people in lively discussions.”
The festival area will expand from Paide’s Vallimägi Hill to the central square and Tallinn street, where an exciting entertainment program by the Estonian Academy of Arts and other organisations will be on offer.
The Opinion Culture Festival in Paide is not the only one of its kind, similar meetings between people interested in the future of their respective countries are happening all across Scandinavia. This year Latvia hosted its first opinion culture festival in Cesis, using best practices gained from the festival in Paide. The Estonian opinion culture festival was inspired by the Almedalen week, which has been regularly happening in Sweden for over half a century. The hosts of festivals in different countries liaise with each other to exchange ideas, knowledge and experience to achieve the best possible result.
It is possible to support the festival through a kickstarter crowdfunding campaign until August 1st to ensure an even cosier event. Every kickstarter donation shall contribute towards the construction of the festival area, the building of a reusable rain shelter or the well-being of the hundreds of volunteers during the festival.
Just as in Scandinavia, the festival in Estonia is organised jointly with the local municipality and residents – the festival’s biggest supporters include the city of Paide, Järva county municipalities and local businesses alongside local residents, many of whom participate as volunteers. Another major supporter is the Open Estonia Foundation. Other sponsors include the Civil Society Foundation, the European Commission’s Estonian representation, the European Parliament’s information bureau in Estonia and several corporations, including Eesti Energia, Eesti Telekom, Nortal, Swedbank and UP Invest.
The kickstarter campaign is hosted by Hooandja: hooandja.ee/projekt/arvamusfestival-2015