This Friday and Saturday, country music festival Urissaare Kantri is opening its gates to country fans everywhere and celebrating its fifth anniversary at Urissaare Rantšo in Viljandi County’s Mulgi Municipality.
Urissaare boasts its own herd of cattle, and has invited horses, sheep, chickens and goats in addition to Estonian country music legends to the festival. Following the conclusion of live performances each evening, DJed country music will keep the dance going all through the night.
The fifth anniversary festival lineup includes true gems of Estonian country music: Justament, Untsakad, Kalle Sepp ja Purple Gang, Jarek Kasar & Chalice, Villu Talsi, Kaisa Ling Thing, Mando Trio and Tribute to Johnny Cash, and the legendary Univere Laine and the Urissaare Rantšo House Band.
“For five years now, a 1,500-strong group of friends gets together at Urissaare, where everyone is welcome to come enjoy music, games and good food,” said Priit Oks, chief organizer of the festival.
At the rancho’s saloon, festivalgoers can learn line dancing from Kaie Seger and harmonica from Erki Uus, and compete in Estonia’s staring contest championship, right where the world record for staring was broken in 2015 with a 42-minute stare. Various country food vendors, piemakers and coffee-brewers will also be offering food and drinks on site.
“What’s amazing at Urissaare is that a cowboy hat, cowboy boots and plaid shirts are completely normal,” Oks said. “Everyone comes dressed to the nines in country gear, which is simply amazing.”
Environmentally friendly country
In addition to an exciting program, this year’s festival will be putting a bigger focus on being environmentally friendly, using only biodegradable or reusable dishes, and sorting and recycling waste.
“This time things will be like at home or when visiting friends — we’re calling on everyone to help reduce waste by bringing along their own half-liter cups and dishes,” Oks noted.
Organizers will ensure the availability of fresh drinking water as well as water for washing dishes.