Sustainable festival

It is important for us to organize a festival in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way. We care about the environment, our ecological footprint and social aspects of the sustainability.

Points of attentions at Viljandi Folk Music Festival 2021:

  • Reusing and recycling materials
  • Collecting and sorting waste
  • Reducing and compensating our ecological footprint
  • Accessibility and safety
  • Awareness-raising
  • Alternative means of transport
  • Social equality


We use recycled materials to design the stages and the festival area. Most of the materials have seen many festivals already and will, in different forms, see many festivals to come. We organize different collecting actions, if needed, to reuse old clothes, records etc in the organizational works of the festival.

The youth of ETHNO camp will have a uniform by printing the ETHNO logo on the old T-shirts they bring along themselves.

We create many products on the principles of recycling. For example, in collaboration with NGO Workshops (which focuses on creating working opportunities for mentally challenged people), the old fabric banners get a new life as bags for folk friends. With the help of Estonian Native Crafts Department of Viljandi Cultural Academy, we have recycled the old festival T-shirts by printing new patterns on them or by turning them into new products altogether. We offer pure drinking water to everyone and we invite everyone to refill their bottles and cups before and during the festival to reduce the amount of plastic bottles bought at the festival.


Organic waste, packagings and mixed municipal waste are collected separately.  “Waste sorting is the key because that is the only way how we can recycle packagings and compost organic matter,“ stresses the field maintenance manager Kirsika Meresmaa, “This year we are involving volunteers for the first time to make the sorting as efficient as possible, we’ll have so called “green ambassadors” at the waste collection points who are advising the festivalgoers on waste sorting.”

The festival is co-working with Väätsa Landfill to compost compostable dishes and food waste. The project manager of Väätsa Landfill Toomas Laidmets says that this is the first time of composting a material like this, both for the festival and for the Väätsa Landfill. ”That’s why we can’t give a 100 % promise of what will the final result be and when will it be ready.  Nevertheless, it is crucial to start trying and testing because the topic is extremely important,” adds Laidmets. “For the landfill it is vital that the festival hands us waste sorted as well as possible and Viljandi Folk Music Festival is the first big event in Estonia that is prepared to do such a thorough preparatory work.”


We want our festival to be accessible and safe for everyone. We have made our website accessible to visually impaired people. Everyone is welcome at the festival, the accompanying person of a visually impaired person can enter the festival for free.


We are promoting green lifestyle together with Estonian Green Movement. People can find out more about restorable energy resources through practical activities at the Energy Point of the Festival. You can create electricity and boil water to make coffee, tea or porridge, or switch on a light bulb, hair dryer or some other electrical equipment – all that by riding a bike. Different bigger and smaller sun panels help you charge your phone. In addition, the experts are present to answer all environment and energy related questions. There’s also a chance to find out more about sorting waste – children can play a sorting game and grown-ups can examine real sorting systems and containers.


We recommend our guests to use alternative and sustainable means of transport to get to the festival. There’s a Folk Train to Viljandi, a special price offer for festival guests in collaboration with Hansa Liinid to get to the festival and back home by bus, a bicycle parking lot by the main entrance and a chance to leave your backpacks to luggage hold. Since the city of Viljandi is comfortably small, we encourage our guests to get around and explore it on foot.


Everyone is welcome at our festival regardless of race, gender or age. We value Estonian regional culture and traditions. We do everything to cherish and carry them on. We also equally respect other cultures of the world and invite representatives of different cultures and traditions to perform at our festival – all that in order to present and preserve the diversity of the world.