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Tango royalty crowned in Seinäjoki, metal giants rock in Tampere

Weekend pop festivals attracted throngs from Oulu to Vantaa.

Pirita Niemenmaa (oik.) kruunattiin uudeksi tangokuningattareksi ja Johannes Vatjus uudeksi tangokuninkaaksi kuninkaallisessa finaalissa Seinäjoen Tangomarkkinoilla 13. heinäkuuta
Johannes Vatjus and Pirita Niemenmaa won this year's tango competition in Seinäjoki, long one of the most popular events of the Finnish summer. Image: Timo Aalto / Lehtikuva

The annual Seinäjoki Tango Festival attracted more than 100,000 people this year, its 35th anniversary. The five-day dance and music extravaganza ended in western Finland today.

This year's tango royalty was chosen on Saturday night, with Pirita Niemenmaa crowned as Tango Queen and Johannes Vatjus as Tango King. Niemenmaa is a Seinäjoki local while Vatjus is from Haapavesi, further north in Ostrobothnia. Both were first-time finalists.

Domestic acts pull in big crowds

Other weekend festivals also drew large crowds.

The sixth annual Tikkurila Festival in Hiekkaharju, Vantaa, had a record attendance of more than 35,000 over three days. for an all-Finnish pop, rock and hip-hop lineup. Saturday, featuring stars such as Anssi Kela, Apulanta, Elastinen and Evelina, was sold out.

Further north, the Suomipop festival in Oulu was also all-domestic, including many of the same acts. It attracted about 22,000 fans.

Tampere's Sauna Open Air heavy metal fest pulled in 14,000 people to Ratina Stadium over two days. Headliners included veteran bands Whitesnake and W.A.S.P. as well as Finnish cult favourites Amorphis and Sonata Arctica.

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