I had exciting experiences. I had a chance to observe my surroundings. A multitude of people crammed side-by-side. Sucked-in stomachs, smiling faces, apologies, modesties. I got very close to people. Too close?
An overabundance of feet! Open toes, flip-flops, sneakers. But you could have managed barefoot as well; I had to resist the urge to throw away my shoes. Lots of stylish clothes. An outdoor exhibit of sunglasses. Hats and headscarves. Bare shoulders soaking up the sunlight. Food carts. Tacos, burgers and bagels, waffles, cakes and ice cream. Drink booths. They’re selling nothing but beer here, nothing but Coca-Cola there, nothing but gin cocktails over there. Healthy juice? Also available. At concerts, you could slightly hear the music from neighbouring stages: louder songs occasionally interrupted milder ones. What a shame! As well as the countless plastic cups. At the same time, there were no plastic straws whatsoever – a big bonus! In the first evening, we saw the lunar eclipse. Then, on day two, the arrival of the downpour. Fans of different music found their way indoors or under sturdier trees. We all got wet anyway but we were dry again soon, as it was still hot outside.
The best musical experiences
Jeff Mills. This legendary techno-wizard made me dance my feet to shreds (seriously, I could barely walk the next day), but I loved it! The grimy and fast-paced bass didn’t allow the audience to stay still nor leave, forcing them to give their all on the dance floor. This was Mills’ second time in Estonia, as he also performed at the Into the Valley Festival almost precisely a year ago. Naturally, he had more fans there, as the festival’s focus was electronic dance music. At Sweet Spot Festival, he was performing at the big hall of the Creative Hub, yet didn’t have many listeners. The terrific weather, as well as the other five stages, were probably considerable factors. Nonetheless, those who had shown up made the most of it!
Miljardid. Marten Kuningas is a charming weirdo in the best way possible. He started the show in a blue kimono, which he had to ditch as it got hotter. However, that was certainly a jump-start, and his enticing dance moves soon got the audience to join him. As a collective, the band was excellent! It was a joy to see so much talent and cheekiness combined. Never a disappointment!
Nublu. At first, I was surprised at the number of people who were big enough fans to know the words, but I admittedly enjoyed many songs myself. The themes of the songs were pretty odd, ranging from the after party of a cat wedding to gifting a drone to a spy girl, but that’s exactly what made them so catchy. Nublu’s music always brings along hilarious confusion.
Mew. An angelical singer, seemingly from another world. I wanted to protect him from all evil, to lose myself in his music and voice. I remember when I used to listen to their album No More Stories Are Told Today, I’m Sorry They Washed Away // No More Stories, The World Is Grey, I’m Tired, Let’s Wash Away on endless repeat. Back then, it was a means of comfort to a young, curious soul. It was wonderful to hear a few songs from that album live.
Avoid Dave. Feel-good beats, captivating songs, a powerful and trained voice, visually compelling performers.
José Gonzáles. Very laid-back, but fittingly so, blissful even. The repertoire included The Beatles’ Blackbird, reportedly one of the first songs Gonzáles ever learned.
Rando Arand. I swayed, I chanted, we melted together.
Something for everyone
The festival was utmost diverse: there was something for everyone. Even though I didn’t love the whole line-up, there was still a myriad of appealing artists and I can certainly claim to have enjoyed the experience.
The festival area was organized rather sensibly. There were places to rest, drink and eat during the small breaks between the shows. As expected, these areas were flooded with people, some of whom preferred to sit down and have a chat with friends, rather than rush to the front of the stage. Very fitting for the atmosphere.
Some artist/stage arrangements were questionable. For example, the decision to put NOËP and Jarek Kasar to the smallest Pada stage. Nevertheless, it should be considered there were six stages in a relatively small area so it couldn’t have been easy to put the programme together.
Creative Hub and Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia did an impressive job rebounding the music from the concerts, which might have thrilled or annoyed the city folk living nearby. These small disadvantages (or in some cases, advantages) are natural but should be accounted for when organizing a city festival. Which brings into question whether the place is suitable for such an event, although the next year’s festival has already been confirmed, still at the Creative Hub’s Park. Thus, good luck! Sweet Spot Festival was a commendable achievement for its first run!