Opinion Festival brought 10,000 people to Paide

11th Opinion Festival that took place in Paide on 11-12 August hosted around 150 discussions, also workshops, concerts and other cultural events.

Photo: Henri-Kristian Kirsip

Public was drawn to each and every discussion area regardless of its specific topic among a very diverse variety presented at the Festival. “The program was really packed this year, and many interesting discussions took place at any given time. However, there were so many visitors in Paide that all 20 discussion areas were filled with people interested in the issue,” Kaspar Tammist, Head of the Opinion Festival, commented.

While walking around discussion areas one could notice that despite summer vibes people were rather attracted to difficult topics. For example, at the Mental Health area, the complexity of diagnosing ADHD was discussed, while at Education area, sexual abuse in hobby schools and sports was under discussion. At Political area, previously lacking tax debate was taking place, at the Security area, the possibility of controlling electric scooters was looked at, at the area of Crisis and Security, visitors were drawn to discussion on preparedness in national defense.

“This year’s innovation were several discussion formats where, in addition to experts, all festival visitors could have a say. The purpose of the Opinion Festival is to promote good discussion culture, and it’s a pleasure to see that there are increasingly more people who dare, wish and know how to express their opinion,” said Tammist.

In addition to the discussions requiring active participation of the Festival visitors, a number of different workshops took place at the Festival. To name just a few, the participants could put themselves to a test at Conspirology World Cup, learn about music therapy and psychodrama methods, learn assertive public speaking techniques, and have a chat with civil protection experts about crisis preparedness. Festival’s cultural program also offered something to enjoy. An art building was set up in the old Paide shopping center, where you could see exhibitions by young Estonian artists fascinated by the topic of physicality, while in the evening you could let yourself go at the Elephants from Neptune and Jarek Kasari concert or the Möku rooftop party.

Opinion Festival photo gallery can be accessed here: www.flickr.com/photos/arvamusfestival/albums. All discussions, their format permitting, were recorded, and can be listened to as podcasts from September on on Opinion Festival channels.

Next year’s Opinion Festival will take place on 9-10 August 2024.

The Festival is strongly supported by hundreds of dedicated volunteers, and sponsors. The Festival is grateful for support to town of Paide, National Foundation of Civil Society (NFCS), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, Foundation Järvamaa, Office of the European Parliament in Estonia, Representation of the European Commission in Estonia, Police and Border Guard Board, Norden, Telia, Magnum, Maxima, Rohetiiger (Green Tiger), Democracy Center, Sunly, State Forest Management Centre (RMK), Open Estonia Fund, Miltton, Fermi, RGB and UC Rent.

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