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“Kissing Tartu”: group kissing and ESC songs in Estonia

“Kissing Tartu”: group kissing and ESC songs in Estonia

Musically accompanied by live performances of Eurovision Song Contest songs, before thousands of people in the European Capital of Culture Tartu on Saturday evening. In the “Kissing Tartu” group kissing event at an outdoor concert in Town Hall Square in Estonia's second-largest city, several people wanting to kiss pressed their lips together, embraced each other or kissed others on the cheeks. It should be an example of openness, humanity and respect.

The highlight was a shared kiss to the sounds of the ESC award-winning Estonian song “Everyone” by Tanil Badar and Dave Benton, with which the duo won the competition in 2001 – Estonia’s first and only win to date. The group kissing song was sung by former Estonian Eurovision participants and Austrian ESC star Conchita Wurst. “Thank you for letting me be a part of Kissing Tartu,” said the artist who also sang her hit song “Rise Like a Phoenix” – the 2014 ESC Award winning song.

In addition to Wurst, 19 other artists who once represented Estonia at the European Singing Contest performed in Tartu. They sang their own songs and some other artists' songs, including Nicole's “A Little Peace”, which the singer won for Germany in 1982.

“This year we celebrate 20 years since Estonia joined the European Union, and we also celebrate our participation in the Eurovision Song Contest for 30 years,” city mayor Urmas Klaas told the German news agency in Tartu. “I still remember the first performances well and how important they were to us at that time. It was an introduction to Estonia – we were once again allowed to stand on the free stage of Europe as a free country with our musicians.”

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The stage in Tartu is set up in front of the historic city hall around the fountain with two bronze statues of two students warmly embracing and kissing under an umbrella. The sculpture, called “Kissing Students,” is a Knapp landmark
A university town with a population of 100,000 – and should be a call to emulation. In Estonia, Tartu is also called the “City of First Love”.

“Kissing Tartu” was considered one of the most prominent events of the year of the European Capital of Culture in Tartu, which bears the slogan “Arts of Survival.” In addition to the Estonian city, the cities of Salzkammergut and Bodø in Norway will also hold the title of European Capital of Culture in 2024.