Helsinki's Flow Music Festival Gears Up for Best Year Yet
Flow Festival, one of Finland’s premiere music festivals, will play host to over 100 bands from around the world.
Published: July 30, 2014 (Issue # 1822)
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 Flow’s eight stages. This year’s 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 Flow’s 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. We’re 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 it’s not coming from the kind of idea that we are chasing bands and acts that would sell more tickets. In that sense, it’s 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, it’s the other way around: first and foremost, we think about the actual music, the actual bands that play and whether or not it’s 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 it’s 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, I’d say, in every part of the world.
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