YEMP4 – Young Event Management Programme

Registration to become a YEMPer is closed! 

What does it take to organise a festival for thousands of singers? How to achieve a career as a choir manager or event organiser? After the success of 2009, 2012 and 2015, the festival EUROPA CANTAT will again offer a training programme for young, active and skilful organisers in the choral world – and beyond.

What is YEMP?

„YEMP is a fantastic opportunity to meet other like-minded arts enthusiasts from around the world” – Cathy (UK, participant of YEMP 2)

“So much more than a programme: great time, great opportunity, GIORNI FELICI!” – Iva (Serbia, YEMP 2 and Youth committee)

“A life- time experience!” – Nora (Sweden, YEMP 2)

YEMP is a two-week training course including lectures and training on the job. After a selection process, 25 young people aged 18 to 30 from different countries will be invited to participate in the programme. The young YEMPers, fully included in the organising team, will be testing themselves with roles of responsibility in the various offices of the festival, under the guidance of two coaches, one Estonian, and one international.

Selected young managers do not need to pay a participation fee but will have to cover their travel expenses. Free food and accommodation will be provided by the festival.

The application phase is over. Thank you everybody who applied and congratulations to the 25 chosen young managers!

With any question considering YEMP you can contact:


YEMPers will be trained under the guidance and mentoring of two coaches. They will be available to help and to evaluate the work of young managers. See down below who are the two coaches for YEMP4!

Plan of the training course

20th July 2018: arrival in Tallinn
21st – 22nd July: lectures and workshops on management skills and preparing the festival
23rd July – 4th August: training on the job for the final preparation and organisation of the festival EUROPA CANTAT with the support from two coaches:
23rd – 26th July: preparation phase
27th July-4th August: Festival EUROPA CANTAT XX Tallinn 2018
The participants of the course will work in one of the departments of the festival, taking responsibilities in the field of music planning, concert organisation, information services, communication, production, etc.
5th August: evaluation meeting, exchange of information and experience, final coaching
6th August: departure

Participation is only possible in the full programme


Selected participants will be informed in February. To secure your place in YEMP we will require to get a copy of the flight /train/Bus ticket in advance of the festival.

Online preparation

Selected participants will be asked to deal with a number of online tasks in advance of the actual training course, between February and June 2018. This will include watching videos of Webinars offered in the frame of the STAMP project (see It will be obligatory to watch the Webinar on Networking and cooperation within Europe and beyond ECA-EC will offer in this context, and if you are planning to apply, you can also directly sign up to follow the Webinar live on Wednesday, December 13th at 15.00, or to any of the other Webinars offered until December 2017.

You can find the list of Webinars on


Reka Balog

Réka Bálog (HU)
Chief programme manager & international executive of the Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra in Pécs, South of Hungary. After her studies in Budapest, France and the Netherlands, Réka returned to her hometown, Pécs to manage international cultural events related to the Pécs 2010 – European Capital of Culture project. Later she became Festival Office manager of the EUROPA CANTAT 2015 Pécs festival. Since autumn 2015 Réka works for the Pannon Philharmonic, running the international tours and highlight projects of the orchestra.

Kaisa Lõhmus

Kaisa Lõhmus (EE)
Kaisa has studied choral conducting in the Tallinn Music High School and cultural management in University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy. She has been member of the organising teams of Tallinn Music Week, Viljandi Folk Music Festival and Estonian Song and Dance Celebration. Currently Kaisa is working at the Association of Estonian Professional Musicians as concert producer, at the International Music Day as program coordinator and at Collegium Educationis Revaliae as a choirmaster and manager of the Girls’ Choir of the Old Town Music House.


How can I apply to the YEMP 4 Programme?

Fill in the online registration form and send a motivation letter, CV and profile photo by 31st January 2018 to

Can I apply for YEMP if I am over 30 years old?

Unfortunately not. YEMP is a programme for young people aged 18 to 30. If you are over 30 you cannot apply for the programme. If you are interested in joining the team as an international volunteer you can send an application for this to Please check for details and conditions

Can I apply for YEMP 4 if I’ve been a part of a previous YEMP?

If you were a YEMPer in 2012 or 2015 and you are interested in taking part of the festival again, you have the following options:

– You can apply for the YEMP again if you are still under 30 (should there be too many good applications and we feel that the places should rather be given to young people who have not participated before, we may offer you to apply as an international volunteer instead)

– You can tell other young people in your country about YEMP and encourage them to apply – and yourself send an application as “international volunteer” (see above)

Can I apply for YEMP 4 if I live outside the EU?

Yes! You can apply and be a part of the YEMP 4 and the EUROPA CANTAT festival, even if your country is outside Europe or if it is not a part of European Union.

Is there any extra financial assistance provided for flights to Tallinn?

The organisers will cover your accommodation and meal costs during the programme and festival, but travel expenses to and from Tallinn are to be covered by each participant. Extra financial assistance cannot be provided by the festival.

An exceptional rule applies to 5 YEMPers connected to organisations which are partners in the programme STAMP (see -> project partners) who will receive a subsidy to their travel expenses through the project subsidized by the EU Erasmus + programme.

How many people will be selected for YEMP4?

There will be maximum of 25 people selected to be a part of the YEMP.

Will I be at a disadvantage if I don’t speak Estonian?

No! The knowledge of Estonian is not needed, but it won’t be bad if you know some words (our wonderful Estonian team will provide you with a small list of words needed to survive). There will be positions in the festival for which it is not necessary to speak or understand Estonian – for others we will try to find Estonian or Estonian-speaking YEMPers.

Will I be at a disadvantage if I don’t have fluent English?

Depending on the department in which you will be placed during the festival, you do not need to be fully fluent. However, you should be able to communicate with your colleagues and with participants in spoken English and you should understand instructions (oral/written) in English, since it is the official language of the festival as well as the language in which the training will be offered.

Is accommodation provided for participants?

Yes. The organisers will provide accommodation for participants of YEMP in rooms with two or more beds in student-type accommodation.

Where will we stay?

All participants of YEMP will be hosted in hostels or student dorms, details will be published shortly before the actual event.

Is it necessary to be a singer to be part of YEMP4?

The programme is mostly aimed at young managers in the choral field from which 20 out of the 25 participants will be chosen. You can also be a part of the YEMP if you are a singer, conductor, composer, musician, non-musician, choral lover etc… It is just important that you know how the choral world is functioning and that you love choral singing of course. / In 2018 we will also choose 5 YEMPers who do not necessarily need to be connected to the choral world. They have to be connected to one of the partner organisations in the STAMP project (see -> project partners).

Is it necessary to be there for the entire length of the course and the festival?

Yes! It is very important that you stay during the whole festival – and not only that! You will have to arrive in Tallinn 10 days before the festival itself begins, on July 20th 2018, stay during the festival and leave 2 days after the final concert, on August 6th, so that you can participate in the final evaluation and the staff party on August 5th. If you cannot stay during the full period from July 20th to August 5th 2018 you cannot be accepted to the YEMP!

Please note that you will also need to be available full-time during this period. Even if you live in Tallinn, you will not be able to spend time on other activities during this period.

What should I bring with me?

Please, bring your laptop if it is possible; you’ll need it for work. It might also be useful to bring a smart jacket, depending on the function you will have during the festival, some comfortable clothes and shoes for the week before, sunglasses and other protection against the sun as well as warmer clothes and rain-gear (in Tallinn in July / August it can get hot in the sun, but it may also rain and temperatures can fall below 10 degrees on some days.

If you want, you can also bring some music from your country and some specialties to share with your colleagues 😉

Is it ok if I do not have any previous knowledge or experience in event management?

The knowledge or experience in event management is desirable but not necessary. You are coming to learn and experience new festival management skills! We will, however, offer you a task in the festival that corresponds to your experience and to your wishes and it is helpful for us to have people with experience in certain positions.

Will I be able to take part in an atelier or the conductors’ programme if I want to?

Because of the main goals of the YEMP, which is getting to know the festival organisation, be in the heart of one of the biggest event in Europe, you will not have the time or possibility to take part in an atelier or to join the programme for conductors and composers. However, during the moments that you are free of your job (this will differ for each YEMPer depending on their department and tasks during the festival) you will be able to attend concerts and/or some discovery ateliers / lectures for conductors, composers and managers in agreement with the head of your department and the staff office.

Will I be able to sing a concert with my choir if I want to?

Generally speaking, participating in the YEMP is a full-time job and you cannot combine it with anything else. If you will only need to join your choir for a one-hour-concert once during the festival, this may be possible but you will have to check it with the “boss” of your department in each individual case to make sure there are no problems with your absence in your department.

How do you distribute the tasks of YEMPers?

During your application you can already indicate in which field you would like to work: in Music, Communication, Management and coordination of participants and volunteers, Production, Finances or Protocole. The final decision on where you will be working will be taken on the weekend before the festival.

Special feature of the 2018 YEMP:

The 4th YEMP will be part of the project STAMP – Shared Training Activities for Music Professionals. STAMP responds to a need voiced by professionals in the music sector for greater professional training and the related process of lifelong learning and will aim at developing exemplary tools for vocational training (workshop models, guidelines for mentors and trainers), made available in an online platform, and improving employability and entrepreneurship within the music sector in Central, East and South Eastern Europe. STAMP is coordinated by the European Music Council – EMC and co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. More on

In the frame of STAMP, the partners in the project shall be able to propose candidates from outside of the choral field, and five of them will be included in the 25 YEMPers. In addition the Estonian Academy of Music and the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat will cooperate with the EUROPA CANTAT festival and offer a training workshop for trainers, presenting YEMP as a win-win-model for the training of young managers. Further features in connection with STAMP will be a more intensive online preparation of the YEMP-participants which will include a series of streamed webinars prepared in the frame of STAMP.