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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

Thursday, Oct. 30


Dental-Expo St. Petersburg 2014 concludes today at Lenexpo. Welcoming specialists from throughout the federation, the forum is an opportunity for dentists to share tricks of the trade and peruse the most recent innovations in technology and equipment, with over 100 companies hocking their wares at the event.



Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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