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Finland Puts on Best in Show at Flow

While the major acts dominated the main stage at Flow Festival, it was Finlands new talent that really impressed.

Published: August 20, 2014 (Issue # 1825)



  • Finlands Jaakko Eino Kalevi performing at this years festival.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

  • Held over three days, almost 130 acts performed across nine stages.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

  • A chance encounter led British music journalist Kieron Tyler to becoming a regular on the Baltic music scene.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

  • The popular annual music event continues to attract a loyal following.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

It was to be expected that Manic Street Preachers, OutKast and The National were going to have the biggest crowds at Flow Festival, held in Helsinki, Finland earlier this month. But alongside the big international names, the almost 130 acts that performed at the festivals nine venues across three days also showcased some of the most interesting live acts from the Finnish music scene.

The major Finnish acts included the countrys current biggest international hopefuls, folky English-language singer-songwriter Mirel Wagner now on Sub Pop in the U.S. and electronic musician Jaakko Eino Kalevi, who was recently signed by Domino Records in the U.K. But Flow Festival also offered a whole range of unique and exciting Finnish music from indie folk and alternative rock to reggae and hip-hop.

The Main Stages program opened with Risto, a keyboard-driven, Finnish-language alternative band from the city of Tampere, described by a local as a perfect example of Finnish psychedelia, Finnish craziness, while the Other Sound stage reserved for less conventional music sported Hopeajarvi, a frenzical garage-punk quartet from Helsinki and whose very first chords sent the crowd jumping.

The day after the festival had closed, The St. Petersburg Times sat with Kieron Tyler, a contributor to the Mojo magazine and a frequent visitor to music events both in Finland and Estonia, at the Sokos Vaakuna hotel in the center of Helsinki to discuss Flow Festival and local music in general.

Q: What were your impressions of Flow Festival, specifically about the Finnish artists who played there?

A: Thats an interesting question. Obviously there were Finnish artists playing and I noticed the main stage was about the international big names Manic Street Preachers, Janelle Monae, OutKast. Though there was a lot of Finnish music at Flow Jaakko Eino Kalevi and Siinai (Siinai were playing on a big stage in a big tent) it was interesting to notice that the audience wasnt necessarily going for the Finnish names. So I was watching a band like Mr Peter Hayden, and there were some curious people in the audience, but by the time they finished playing, there were fewer curious people in the audience. However, its very, very good that Flow is putting on and mixing in less known Finnish names to get them in front of that mainstream audience. Thats a good thing. It can only be a good thing.

Q: Could you mention some bands that you found interesting?

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

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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