Many concert-goers attending the annual Ruisrock festival in Turku over the weekend were taken aback – and taken – by 24 year-old Timmi Tuutti, who attempted to swim his way undetected into the festival areas in the guise of a duck.
Tuutti’s botched plan however turned around when a Turku company announced that it would gift him a ticket for next year’s festival.
"So next year he can enter via the main gate," clothing company Jukka-Tukku said on its Facebook page.
Commercial broadcaster MTV launched Tuutti into the spotlight when it reported how sea rescue officials noticed an "unusually determined-looking duck" in the sea near the event and went to investigate. Rescue workers found that the duck was in fact a fake attached to Tuutti’s body. The young master of disguise told Yle he had been hatching the plan for about two years.
"It was a bit of an unreal feeling," he said as he described the moment when his plot took flight.
According to Tuutti, creating the duck costume required glue, screws and masking net, which cost him just a few euros at a local store.
"It just came to mind that with an empty duck, I could cut the bottom open and put a snorkel inside. I used a mirror inside the duck to see what was ahead of me,” he explained — he swam to the site on his back.
Duck disguise a flop
Although he described himself as a veteran swimmer, Tuutti said that the cold water gave him the shivers during his two-kilometre swim.
"I did get a little hypothermic and began to shiver so much that I couldn’t see in front of me."
However, the duckman found himself in hot water when he encountered an underwater obstacle: a fallen tree, which effectively clipped his wings. It was then that volunteer lifeguards fished him out of the water and send him away from the festival area.
"I was just 20 metres away. I was a little bummed."
However, it seemed that this was not the end of the duckman’s journey to Ruisrock. Tuutti later went into some bushes and climbed over a fence into the festival area. Both duck and man then enjoyed the festival without having paid the entrance fee.
Doubts about ditching the duck
Following his weekend escapade, Tuutti said that he has left the duckman behind – at least for now. Next year he plans to attend the summer event like ordinary folk – with a ticket in hand.
"If a guy swims two kilometers with a rubber duck and masking net on his head because he wants to get to Ruisrock, then I would be happy to sponsor such a young entrepreneur," said Jukka Laurila of Jukka-Tukku.
Tuutti said he’d like to take up the offer, but he may have second thoughts about the mail condition of the deal – he’d have to hand over his rubber duck in exchange for the ticket.
"I don’t want to give up the duck," he declared.
Promoter: A unique case
Ruisrock promoter Mikko Niemelä said that he couldn’t help but be amused when he heard of the attempted duck landing and rescue mission.
"I had to admit it was a bit amusing that someone would go to so much trouble. Of course I am critical of entering a restricted area without permission and to do so swimming could be dangerous," he added.
He noted that every year many people try to enter the festival without paying up.
"This is undoubtedly a unique case," he concluded, laughing.