Imatra’s signature musical event, the Imatra Big Band festival, sounds off Thursday in Finland’s south-eastern city and will run through to July 7. This summer the celebrations reach a high pitch, as the event celebrates its 30th year.
Preparations – and more importantly ticket sales – have so far proceeded as planned, with more than 11,000 seats sold for different events in pre-event sales.
Pekka Laasonen, executive director of the event, says the anniversary is being commemorated with an especially diverse programme.
“Children for example can look forward to a completely different programme than in previous events, especially free events. Now families with children can get a taste of 'big band fever' and the 'Imatra spirit'. They can visit concerts and puppet shows, among other things,” Laasonen explained.
For young adults, the festival offers a 'Big Chill Park' at Koskipuisto on the opening weekend, while music enthusiasts will get a chance to enjoy more live sounds with the extension of the series to ten days.
Scores of concerts, hundreds of performers
For its 30-year anniversary, festival organisers have laid on nearly 60 different concerts, with artistes drawn from Finland and abroad.
Concert fans this year can expect the likes of Macy Gray, Vocapeople, Chisu, Imatra Big Band, Osmos Cosmos, SF-Blues and the Buggle Bells. Altogether several hundred performers will take to the stages.
The Imatra Big Band Festival begins with a gala concert Thursday, which promises an exciting programme.
“We will have the Imatra Big Band and the Lappeenranta City Orchestra as well as Finland’s leading soloists. Osmos Cosmos also promises a one-of-a-kind performance. And there are sure to be surprise guests on stage. Jarkko Tamminen will host the entire show,” Laasonen said.
This year about 70 volunteers, supported by local clubs and associations have worked to ensure the show goes on, lending a hand in activities ranging from pitching tents to serving as bouncers.
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