Finland's State Treasury has issued coronavirus event guarantees totalling almost 73 million euros, less than 30 percent of the total amount available from state coffers.
A guarantee is a commitment to an organiser to cover reasonable costs if an event is cancelled or limited due to official pandemic restrictions.
Guarantees have been issued for more than 150 events. These range from Ti-Ti Nalle children's concerts to the Slush startup and tech event, which is to be held in Helsinki in early December for the first time since November 2019. Other events include business cruises, autumn "K50" fairs for seniors in Tampere and Turku, and Elton John's farewell concert in Helsinki in September.
Altogether about 100 guarantees and nearly 50 million euros have been issued for music festivals, concerts and exhibitions. Eleven million euros have been earmarked for trade fairs and business events. Six million has gone to sporting events, with smaller sums for summer theatre, dance and other cultural events.
Only 12 percent of event guarantee applications have been rejected. The government has set aside 250 million euros for the guarantees.
Oulu pop festival draws 40,000
Guarantees have been granted to several music festivals, including this weekend's Qstock festival in the northern city of Oulu. The line-up includes domestic rock and pop acts such as Nightwish, Yeboyah, Alma, JVG and Jesse Markin as well as UK bands Suede and the Darkness. More than 40,000 tickets have been sold for the two-day festival, which began Friday.
With Covid-19 rates at a four-month high, festival organisers say they aim "to prevent infections by enabling the washing and disinfecting of hands throughout the event, by cleaning even more efficiently, by encouraging the use of face masks, and by deploying other hygiene regulations of Section 58c of the Communicable Diseases Act".
The application period for event guarantees runs until the end of August.