This open-air amphitheatre is the site of Estonia’s quinquennial National Song Festival, assorted blockbuster rock concerts and other momentous events. Built in 1959, it’s an elegant and curvaceous piece of Soviet-era architecture, with an official capacity of 75,000 people and a stage that fits 15,000. When no events are booked, and by prior reservation, it's possible to climb the 42m Song Grounds Light Tower, where the festival flame is lit. Inside there's a photo display on the song festival's history.
In September 1988, 300,000 people squeezed in here to sing and publicly demand independence in what became known as the ‘Singing Revolution’. Approximately half-a-million people, including a large number of Estonian émigrés, were believed to have been present at the 21st Song Festival in 1990, the last major fest before the restoration of independence. An Estonian repertoire was reinstated and around 29,000 performers sang under the national flag for the first time in 50 years.