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Kallio Block Party gathers thousands for fifth time

The annual urban festival in Helsinki, organised by the Kallio Initiative and brought to life by many dozens of volunteers, reclaimed the Kurvi thoroughfare and surrounding areas for pedestrians and cultural events on Saturday. Police say that the festival and its aftermath went off extremely peaceably, with little to no rubbish left over on the road from the more than 10,000 participants.

kallio block party
Image: Yle Helsinki

An urban festival reclaiming Helsinki's public spaces and geared towards solidarity and culture – the Kallio Block Party – was organised this past weekend for the fifth time. Centring on the Kallio district, this year the festival's dozens of events spanned the entirety of the normally busy Kurvi thoroughfare, where people walked or sat on Saturday while enjoying free performances.

This year, as in 2014, Helsinki police had nothing untoward whatsoever to report on the festival of more than 10,000 people, who flooded the sunny and carless streets.

"We have nothing unusual to report, it was like a regular weekend," police told Helsingin Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun). "The Block Party didn't cause any spikes in police tasks. Some cigarette butts are all we came across."

More portable toilets and alternate traffic routes were organised by the Kallio Initiative (siirryt toiseen palveluun) NGO in collaboration with the city and various companies. Not only that, but the Kallio Initiative also launched a new tidiness campaign, called Paljasjalkainen Kallio (or "Barefoot Kallio"), which brought items such as portable ashtray tubes and biodegradeable eating utensils and plates to the festival.

The dozens of performances, clubs and workshops that took place all day were the work of a multitude of collectives and volunteers, including headlining musicians such as rappers Atomirotta and Paleface and Finnish grand old man of rock, Pelle Miljoona.

"We did it, you all did it, together we were able to create an amazing party!" the Initiative thanks all those involved on the event's Facebook page.

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