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Helsinki's Flow Music Festival Gears Up for Best Year Yet

Flow Festival, one of Finlands premiere music festivals, will play host to over 100 bands from around the world.

Published: July 30, 2014 (Issue # 1822)



  • This years Flow Festival will feature 120 different acts spread out across eight stages during the three-day festival.
    Photo: Jussi Hellsten

  • Tuomas Kallio founded Flow with members of the music collective Nuspirit Helsinki.
    Photo: flow

  • Manic Street Preachers, a Welsh alternative rock band and one of Flows headliners, released their 12th album earlier this year.
    Photo: flow

Flow Festival, one of the most significant summer festivals of music and art in Finland and northern Europe, opens in Helsinki next month. Held in historic Suvilahti, a former power plant area, from Aug. 8 to 10, it will feature 120 music acts from around the world performing on Flows eight stages. This years highlights include Manic Street Preachers, a veteran Welsh alternative rock band, which released its 12th studio album, Futurology, on July 7, and Slowdive, an English band that reunited earlier this year to perform at a number of summer festivals.

Flow Festival or simply Flow, as it is commonly referred to was established by electronic musician and music producer Tuomas Kallio and other members of the Helsinki-based music collective Nuspirit Helsinki in 2004, when it was first held at a now-defunct warehouse-turned-club. Now working as Flows art director, Kallio spoke to The St. Petersburg Times ahead of the event.

Q: When starting Flow, you were a musician rather than a promoter. Did it help? What influence has it had on the festival?

A: Probably a lot. The festival is based on the music itself, on the content. Were not coming from the music promotion business and we are still more concerned about the music. We try to create a good environment each year for the festival, try to provide as interesting and as topical a selection of music and other art as possible, and then we hope it also sells tickets. So its not coming from the kind of idea that we are chasing bands and acts that would sell more tickets. In that sense, its pretty different to most of the festivals concerned with the lineup and who is on the bill instead of on the music that is played. In our case, its the other way around: first and foremost, we think about the actual music, the actual bands that play and whether or not its a good combination.

Q: So is it pretty much about how the bands combine with the setting of the festival?

A: Yes, something like that, and to kind of offer our audience a topical view on what in our opinion is important and worth checking out these days. So its a certain kind of a window to the music scene at the moment. I mean our point of view has been quite international from the beginning, so we are not very much concerned about what is really popular in Finland. Instead we try to create a combination on the whole of what would make sense, Id say, in every part of the world.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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