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Beat Goes On at Summer Music Festivals

Summer festivals have attracted more attendees than expected this year. Last spring, organisers feared that the recession would have a negative effect on their numbers.

Image: Oskari Pölhö / Yle

The Tuska festival, headlining Megadeth, W.A.S.P. and Testament, came to an end on Sunday in Helsinki’s Kaisaniemi Park. The festival sold out to around 33,000 people. Organisers say that next year the festival will be held in Suvilahti in the Sörnäinen district of Helsinki. However, the move doesn’t mean the festival will get bigger.

“We received messages from the bands saying ‘don’t get too big’. This is a so-called small festival, and we know that's our strength,” says organiser Niklas Nuppola.

Still Have What It Takes

The Puistoblues festival in Järvenpää, southern Finland, sold all 12,000 tickets to its ZZ Top concert. The five-day festival drew around 130,000 people. Other festivals as well have exceeded expectations. About 62,000 people turned up for Provinssirock in Seinäjoki, western Finland. Meanwhile, the country’s largest Midsummer festivals in Himos, central Finland, and Kalajoki, western Finland, both drew over 40,000 people.

Last spring, festival organisers were concerned fewer people would show up for events due to growing unemployment and the worsening purchasing power of youth.

However, Hanna Backända, a promoter of the Roskilde Festival in Denmark, says that the high numbers should be taken with a grain of salt.

”If someone buys a three-day pass to a three-day festival, organisers are counting that as three different visitors. In other parts of Europe, for instance at the Roskilde Festival, a person who buys a three-day pass is considered one customer, not three.”