According to Astrid Nõlvak, the Director of the 15th Hiiu Folk, which ended on Sunday, once again the keywords of the festival were security and family-oriented, and the fact that the event is alcohol-free sets and will continue to set the framework in the future.

“Musicians and many, many visitors say that we are doing the right thing – that it is so good to be in a place where there are no drunk people or abandoned mugs around and everything else you usually see at festivals,” said Nõlvak.

Stefan Timmermans from the Belgian duo ‘Madingma’ said honestly that he felt anxious on stage. “It was my first non-alcoholic festival! – he said. – But it was perfectly okay – and everything is good for music. Wonderful festival – a lot of children having fun, people were very peaceful and relaxed.”

Swedish violinist Daniel Wikslund said that he was surprised by how closely the audience here watched what was happening on stage. “I want to spread the word all over the world and tell everyone that they should come to ‘Hiiu Folk’,” said Wikslund.

15th Hiiu Folk offered the audience particularly rich program full of lovely meetings, educational nature trips and workshops, peeks into places that would not otherwise be visited and, of course, extremely good concerts.

„There is no need to wait until ’Viljandi Folk’ comes, because ‘Hiiu Folk’ is already unwinding!“ said Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas at the opening of the festival.

For the third year in a row, the sunny weather contributed to the success of the festival. This time ‘Hiiu Folk’ started in Sõru boat shed and it also brought people from the sea.

“We arrived at the port and discovered that there was a festival here that we had not participated in, – said one sailor. – The next day we sailed to Orjaku harbour instead. We took our bikes, came to Kassari swing ground and saw that we could party without alcohol!“

After the concerts, the festival guests had the opportunity to visit places introduced by the family members themselves: Mihkel Valdma, the owner of the Vaemla wool factory, showed how sheep’s wool yarn can be made; Peeter Paemurru, the owner of Putkaste manor, told guests about the manor’s multi-faceted history from the Stackelbergs to the state farm and the agricultural school. They got acquainted with the former courthouse of Kärdla, or Ave Vita, where the guests were received by the poet Ave Alavainu.

Songs were sung with Valter Parve in the cosy Kassari Community Centre. Stunning musical experiences were born in small places: in Suuremõisa Castle, the Brazilian musician Eduardo Agni showed what can be enchanted by a single guitar, in the Kassari chapel accordionist Maimu Jõgeda gave a breath-taking concert.

On the way to Vohilaid, the participants were surprised by the oldest resident of Hiiumaa, 102-year-old nimble Liidia Piilberg, welcoming everyone as her dearest guests in her farmyard; the hikers themselves were surprised to break a family waltz in the middle of the sea, accompanied by a melody of reed.

The performance of the morning forest in the habitat of the European mink will remain for a long time in the soul of those who visited the Vanajõgi Valley, guided by the biologist Tiit Maran.

Grateful students were found in the workshops: traditional Estonian and Canadian violin stories were taught by Eeva Talsi and April Verch, Swedish violin stories by Daniel Wikslund, Jew’s harp by Cätlin Mägi, harmonica by Rutt Kirikmäe and Siim Sarv; the latter also taught Estonian dances.

On account of a small jubilee, the festival also surprised the audience – we tried a new place in Ristna Paradise Beach, where the ‘Total Collapse’ fusion-duo, or the drummer of the ‘Radar’ ensemble Paap Kõlar made his debut performance with his bass player daughter Kelli Kõlar.

Tõnis Mägi, Mari Jürjens, Marek Sadam and ‘Sadamasild’, Nedsaja Küla Bänd, ‘Madingma’, ‘Curly Strings’ and April Verch – ‘The Heritage Project’, ‘Women in the Kitchen’, ‘Untsakad’, Olavi Kõrre and Balkan Horo performed on the main venue at Kassari Swing Ground.

On the traditional day of church concerts, Robert and Anti Jürjendal, the Laikrets family ensemble, Eva Väljaots and Tuli Taevast played music. ‘Robirohi’, ‘Nõianeitsid’ and Astrid Nõlvak and Olavi Kõrre finished the festival in Käina.

„A lot of things have been tried for 15 years, now we can say that the golden mean has been achieved,” said Kristjan Arunurm, a long-time organizer of the festival.

See you at the next festival! The 16th Hiiu Folk will be held on July 15-18, 2021.

See about the festival:

https://hiiufolk.ee https://www.facebook.com/HiiuFolk/