July 14–17, 1994
Audience: 120 000 people altogether in four days
Lineup More than 40 artists
Estonia 2 Quick Start, Kuldne Trio, Ultima Thule, Agressor, Noisy Nation, Hypertrance, Mr. Lawrence, Röövel Ööbik, Eastwood, Compromise Blue, Apelsin Reunion, Terminaator, Mr. Harlem & Lattikas, Modern Fox, Hot Pipes, Black Moon Boys
Finland Dingo, Smilers, Remu Plays Hurriganes
Ireland The Pogues
Jamaica Chaka Demus & Pliers
Russia Alla Pugatshova, Filipp Kirkorov, Korrozija Metalla
Sweden Pandora, Basic Element, Rob’n’Raz
Switzerland Psycho P
UK Sweet, Fish, Napalm Death, Hysterix, Pasadenas, Status Quo, David Palmer Orchestra featuring Steve Hackett, Comanche Park
Ukraine Tabula Rasa
USA Iggy Pop, Omar & The Howlers
Headliners Status Quo, Iggy Pop, David Palmer Orchestra featuring Steve Hackett
Sound From Norway
Makarov Muusik Management
Marlboro Music, Tallink, Sony, TDK, Rumba, Vigur Powersnacks
ORT (Russia), Ukrainian TV, Lithuanian TV, Latvian TV, YLE (Finland), Estonian TV
“I feel sorry for people who didn’t make it to the Song Festival Grounds, because you should have seen the show. Both onstage and off.” /Eesti Päevaleht, July 18/
“There was only one band at Rock Summer (which has just finished) who really made the crowd go wild. Obviously it was the fantastic, mesmerising and legendary Status Quo... The audience came alive right from the first sounds of the guitar: they cheered, laughed, clapped and jumped... Rock fans did not embarrass their country, “In The Army” was sung at least as loud and clear by the crowd as it was played on stage.” /Post, July 18/
“The crowd that had gathered in front of the A-stage on Friday witnessed an extraordinary performance. The 47-year-old Pop offered musical treats such as “No Fun”, “Passenger”, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and others... To spice up what was otherwise a good performance, the Friday night headliner insulted the crowd with all kinds of different profanities, which nonetheless failed to diminish the star’s popularity in the eyes of the audience. The ecstatic punk jumped around the stage tirelessly, knocking over anything that stood in his way. Pop’s nemesis seemed to be his main piece of equipment - his microphone. The man handled it like an empty beer can with a piece of string attached to it.” /Post, July 18/
“Mr. Joala announced that Fish is a good-natured and very intelligent rocker, respected by audiences and his peers alike. Joala is probably right... The concert was magnificent, he performed most of his last album, a good chunk of his first album and some hits from the album “Misplaced Childhood” from his “Marillion” days... What else is noteworthy about Fish, is that he had in-depth knowledge of where he’d come to perform. Before Rock Summer he had familiarized himself with Estonia thoroughly...” /Post, July 18/
Summer’s over, it’s raining by Annika Koppel
Rock Summer ‘94 that lasted for four days at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds came to a close on Sunday night: David Palmer Orchestra and Steve Hackett brought the rocking audience that had been going wild back to Earth. The ending was, as always, something “special and sublime, not very raucous”.
Over the fours days there were performances by bands and solo artists on three stages. There were artists from the UK, USA, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and Austria, not to mention the Estonian bands.
The Thursday night headliner Alla Pugatchova didn’t bring a great crowd, although she got a warm welcome. The other Russian artist Filipp Kirkororov didn’t perform, even though he was originally scheduled. Apparently his reason for cancelling was the lukewarm success of Pugatchova.
Friday’s concert drew mainly a middle-aged audience, with nostalgic acts such as Sweet (UK), the former vocalist of Marillion, Fish and Iggy Pop (USA).
Friday also featured a fight between the members of two bands with death defying names: Russia’s Korrozia Metalla and UK’s Napalm Death. Apparently, of all the vices the Russians indulged in, such as pornography, sex, drugs, alcohol, satanism and fascism, the Brits found the latter unacceptable. The incident ended with the metalheads removed from the festival site.
The main event on Saturday was definitely Status Quo - a British rock band with a 27-year career, whose many accolades include the honour of being the first rock band to perform in front of the Royal Family (1982). The Estonian audience gave the warmest welcome to the mid-’80s hit “In The Army Now”. Singer and guitarist Francis Ross said it’s just a nice song. But it was the favourite song of all the boys in the Baltic States who were heading off to army service at the time. Either way, the audience knew all the words and sang the song together. There were 17 620 people at the festival on Saturday.
Safe and hot
The feeling at Rock Summer ‘94 was hot, a bit dusty and with a few long drinks, but on the whole quite safe. While this article is being written, the final number of festival-goers has not been announced yet. The head organizer Jüri Makarov thinks there were more people this year who bought a one-day or two-day ticket. But there was no shortage of dedicated punters, who had bought their ticket earlier. There were free wooden whistles handed out. The kind audience didn’t feel the need to whistle at any of the acts.
The lineup followed the golden principle of “something for everyone”, which is why all friends of rock music could enjoy the feeling. Although, a few did say that Makarov hadn’t managed to secure a piece de resistance like Big Country (Summer of 1988), Jethro Tull (Summer of 1991) or Marillion (Summer of 1992).
What can be said, is that the long-term experience had helped the organizers create quite an enjoyable and safe atmosphere. Security in their red shirts was not as intrusive as last year and the people catching trespassers were not as loud.
However, this year’s press center and the distributing of information to journalists were not at the same level as before. The room chosen as the press center beneath the Tallinn Song Stage had bad acoustics due to which a lot of information was lost.
But the weather favoured the festival-goers. Jüri Makarov had implied in previous interviews that he had “made a deal upstairs”. Some people definitely thought the deal was even too good, that is, until Sunday. Summer’s over, it’s raining. /Postimees, July 18/
- Logo of the festival was designed by Mart Anderson
- There were 5 different tickets available. Tickets were exchanged for wristbands
- Upon entry every ticket-holder received as a gift a wooden festival whistle
- Kadrioru Tennis Hall was turned into a nightclub making it the first after-party venue in modern Estonia, where people could dance from midnight until 5 in the morning. There were performances by Cut’n’Move from Denmark, Rob’n’Raz, Stella Getz and Basic Element from Sweden, Noisy Nation from Estonia
- A campsite was opened near the Song Festival Grounds for the visitors