15 ushers will guide almost 800 groups to their places under the Song Arch
The song celebration participants will arrive in Tallinn over the next few days to practice their performances at the Song Festival Grounds for the concert on Sunday. 797 groups consisting of more than 25,000 singers are set to take part in the song celebration. 15 ushers will be making sure they all find their place under the enormous Song Arch.
Each choir should arrive at the Song Festival Grounds at least 30 minutes before the beginning of their scheduled practice slot. Around 20 minutes before the practice starts the singers will be lined up by staff. There will be helpers at the gates on both sides of the Song Arch who will arrange the groups in the order shown in the staging plan. Line-up tags will be used, making it easy for each singer to find their group before taking to the stage. The line-up details will also be announced via loudspeaker and displayed on large screens. As such, when you approach the Song Festival Grounds from the sea side, you will know in advance whether you need to go towards the fire tower or the radio tower.
According to Margus Luur, the Organisational Manager of the Song Festival Grounds, in 2011 they used a special zone behind the stage for the first time to line up the large numbers of performers more efficiently. “This stops the participants getting mixed up with the spectators, and getting onto the stage is faster and simpler,” he explained.
With the singers lined up and moving through the gates onto the stage, more helpers will meet them under the Song Arch and show them to their designated places. “If all of the participants keep to their time slots for practice and follow the instructions given to them by the staff, everything will go smoothly,” said Luur. “Problems are likely to occur if any of the singers miss their practice. The practice session isn’t just about singing, but also about coordinating your movements and your placement on the stage.”
Special attention will be paid to ensuring that soloists and bands are standing in the right places, that the right conductor is ready to begin at the right time and that the flower girls with their bouquets and garlands are in place. It should be noted that the accompanying bands have dedicated staff members to make sure that everything is fine. Some helpers will lead the bands out onto the stage while others will line them up, arrange storage of musical instruments and supervise the lining up of choirs over the loudspeakers. A total of 15 such helpers will make sure that the celebrations go off without a hitch.
“This event features fewer singers than the Song Festival in 2014, which is why the combined choir will also be smaller,” Luur added. “This time, however, we have more young children’s choirs. The smaller combined choir means smoother movement and that will make the concert more enjoyable to watch.”