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Finland’s festival season dramatically reduces

Ruisrock, Ilosaarirock, Provinssi and Sideways have been called off for a second consecutive year due to uncertainty surrounding the summer

By IQ on 16 Apr 2021

Finnish promoter Fullsteam has cancelled Sideways Helsinki 2021

Finnish promoter Fullsteam has cancelled Sideways Helsinki 2021

image © Sari Soininen/Sideways 2019

Finland’s 2021 festival season has dramatically shrunk with the cancellations of major festivals such as Ruisrock, Ilosaarirock, Provinssi and Sideways.

Though event cancellation insurance for organisers may be on the horizon, according to the Finish government’s newly unveiled exit strategy, restrictions on public events will be the last to ease.

A lack of certainty about the forthcoming festival summer is the primary cause for the second consecutive cancellation of Ruisrock (9–11 July 2021), the oldest festival in Finland and the second-oldest in Europe.

In a statement on the festival’s website, the organiser writes: “Our biggest wish this past year has been that we could organise Ruisrock again. The longing for the audience, performers and all of us for the festival has been hand touching and we did everything we could to have organised a party in Ruissalo after a hard year.

“There are no conditions for [gathering people] in the current uncertain situation”

“Ruisrock has gathered people together for over 50 years to experience unforgettable experiences. However, there are no conditions for this in the current uncertain situation, so it is with a broken heart that we have to cancel the summer festival.”

Martin Garrix, Major Lazer, Zara Larsson, Blackbear and Alan Walker were among the artists who would’ve played Ruisrock 2021. The festival will return between 8–10 July 2022 in Ruissalo, Turku.

The 50th-anniversary edition of Ilosaarirock  – the second longest-running festival in Finland – has also been cancelled due to ‘the rapidly changing and largely uncertain situation with Covid-19’.

“We believe that Ilosaarirock deserves to be celebrated at full throttle and a scaled-down version of it just will not do,” reads a statement on the festival’s website. “Since the current situation is so unpredictable, it is simply not possible to go ahead and organise an event of this size and scale.”

Organisers have said that by cancelling this year’s festival they are able to secure the future of Ilosaarirock.

“It is simply not possible to go ahead and organise an event of this size and scale”

Liam Gallagher, Yungblud and Sam Feldt were due to play the 2021 edition. The 2022 edition of Ilosaarirock Festival is slated for 15–17 July in Joensuu.

Elsewhere, Finnish promoter Fullsteam has pulled the plug on Provinssi (1–3 July, Seinäjoki), which debuted in 1979, and Sideways (17–19 June, Helsinki).

In similar statements, the organisers say they are ‘focusing our energy on next year’s festival’.

Sideways, which would have hosted artists including Kelis, Jarvis Cocker and Belle & Sebastian, will return between 16–18 June, 2022.

Povinssi, which would have been headlined by Korn, Pendulum Trinity and The Offspring, will be held between 30 June–2 July next year.

At the time of writing, Superstruct’s Flow Festival (13–15 August) and Live Nation Finland’s hip-hop event Blockfest (20–21 August), are still on.


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