Misc News

Ted Nugent gig cancelled

Misc News

International student film prize to Finland

Misc News

Helsinki Day becoming more multicultural

At an extensive free event, there will be music by among others afro-beat/soul singer Mad Ice (UGA) and soothe-voiced Brazilian singer-songwriter Thais Morell.
The evening programme will also showcase dances from Britain to Tahiti
and from Indonesia and China to the Balkans and the Middle East.

The taste buds can be pampered with the ethnic food available at the
market outside, which will also offer lots of non-Finnish handicrafts.

The cultural event at Rastis is free of charge and starts at 15.00 (music and dance from 17.30).

More information at

Misc News

Long-time Editor-in-Chief of Finnish Donald Duck magazine dies

During his time as Editor, Kivekäs innovated the magazine drastically,
among other things by developing it with more varied use of the Finnish
language (with lots of wordplays, references and synonyms). He also
started printing the names of the illustrators that worked on the
stories, which had been taboo until then.

During his life time, Kivekäs met both Walt Disney (1901-1966) and legendary Donald Duck illustrator Carl Barks (1901-2000). The latter he brought to Finland for a visit in 1994.

Aku Ankka, first published in 1951, is one of Finland’s most
popular magazines, both among children and adults. It is currently read
by over one million people a week, a huge number considering the
country's population of  just 5.2 million.

Aku Ankka (in Finnish)

Misc News

Russia’s Dima Bilan wins ESC 2008

Misc News

Teräsbetoni through to Eurovision final

During the first semi-final, held on Tuesday night (21.5), frontman J. Ahola
and the other members of the warrior-style metal group brought
explosions, flames, leather, muscles and warrior weaponry to the
Belgrade Arena.

Their song
in Finnish, with lots of “huh hahs“, will be among the 25 entries
participating to win this year‘s pan-European contest. The other
countries that managed to get through the first semi-final are Greece,
Romania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Russia, Israel, Azerbaijan, Armenia,
Poland and Norway.

Big financial contributors Spain, Germany, Britain and France and host
country Serbia are already certain of a place in the final, which will
be held on Saturday (24.5). The live broadcast will start at 10 p.m.
Finnish time (9 p.m. Central European Time).

UPDATE: The countries that got through the second semi-final on
Thursday (23.5) are: the Ukraine, Croatia, Albania, Iceland, Georgia,
Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Turkey and Portugal. Finland's Teräsbetoni
will be the 8th to perform in Saturday's final.

Misc News

Blondie coming to Helsinki this summer

This year, it’s 30 years since the release of the band’s classic album Parallel Lines. A new special edition of the long player will be released during the tour.

Blondie was formed in 1974, initially billed as Angel and the Snake. Renamed to Blondie in 1975, the band was successful in the New York underground scene until the release of Parallel Lines, which brought the group international fame. Blondie disbanded in 1982 after core band member Chris Stein
had been diagnosed with a serious illness and the band’s latest album
had flopped. The band reformed in 1997 and scored another world hit
with ‘Maria‘ in 1999. Blondie was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

Tickets for the band’s Helsinki concert cost 50 euros and will go on sale on Monday the 19th of May via Lippupalvelu.

Misc News

Nightwish finish most successful European tour ever

During the tour that started mid-February, the band played 39 gigs in
18 countries in front of a combined audience of over 175,000. The
entire tour entourage consisted of 55 people. For the transport of all
the tour gear and personnel four trucks and four buses were needed.

The group originating from Kitee, Eastern Finland, is currently on tour
in North America for the second tour to promote their latest album Dark Passion Play.

The next time Nightwish will perform in their home country is on June
26th in Kaisaniemi Park in Helsinki. The band is also part of the
line-up of Ruisrock (4.7, Turku), Ilosaarirock (13.7, Joensuu) and
Miljoonarock (9.8, Tuuri) as well as a number of festivals elsewhere in
Europe, including Rock am Ring, Rock Werchter and Wacken Open Air.

Misc News

Iolanta from Moldova wins Ourvision

MUSIC Iolanta Savva from Moldova has won the second edition of Ourvision, the song contest for people with non-Finnish roots organised by International Cultural Centre Caisa.

During the final held on Saturday night (26.4) at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki, she managed to impress the jury with her versions of Céline Dion’s ‘Just Walk Away’ and Beyoncé’s ‘Listen’. The 18-year-old student won a cheque worth 2,500 euros, a record deal with Edel Records and her first music video.

Kadi Vija (22) from Estonia was the runner up. Third place went to Cuban reggaeton artist Norlan Leygonier Santana (31) and his group.

The jury was made up of Humane singer Kim Herold, Tidjan Ba (Kwan), rap artist Mariska and Edel Records product manager Ilkka Vainio.

In addition to her winning the final with her overall performance, Savva was awarded for Best Voice of the entire Ourvision competition. As the winner of Ourvision, she will be scheduled to perform at the World Village festival at the end of May and the Night of the Arts in August.


Misc News

First comics Finlandia to ‘crying’ Milla Paloniemi

{mosimage}COMICS Milla Paloniemi has won the first ever Sarjakuva Finlandia, the ‘comics version’ of the prestigious Finlandia Prize. The creator of the popular Kiroileva siili (‘The swearing hedgehog’) comic was announced as the winner of the prize at the Tampere Kuplii comics festival, which took place in Tampere during the weekend.


The Sarjakuva Finlandia, worth 5,000 euro, is awarded to the maker(s) of a praise-worthy comic album. Dancer/choreographer Jorma Uotinen had the honour of choosing the receiver of the first ever Sarjakuva Finlandia. He praised the swearing hedgehog as a ‘lovely creature, visually shady’ and said that there was nothing dull, nothing ‘petit bourgiois’ about it. He added that Milla Paloniemi has courage and intellect and that she dares to take a risk.


Other comic makers and comic lovers were less enthusiastic about Uotinen’s choice. Some of the criticism heard was that the comic was nothing original and light entertainment.

Kiroileva siili started out as an internet comic. After it gained huge popularity, the hedgehog has appeared in the awarded comic album, as a newspaper comic, on cellphone backgrounds, T-shirts, mouse pads and even on a bankcard.

Paloniemi’s acceptance speech on Sunday was projected on a screen in comic form.

When asked what she will do with the 5,000 euro prize money, she replied: ‘Pay off loans. Boring. I’m saving for the time when nobody likes the hedgehog and me anymore.’

The comic album about the politically incorrect hedgehog has so far sold over 50,000 copies.

Kiroileva siili (in Finnish)

Sarjakuva Finlandia (in Finnish)

Tampere Kuplii comics festival
(in Finnish)

Misc News

Björk to take open air venue into test use

FESTIVALS / MUSIC Björk will come for the first time to Helsinki this summer. The small Islandic singer, who has been big on the world stage for many years, will perform in the capital on the 10th of July as part of this year‘s Helsinki Festival. She will take into test use Finlandia Park as a new open air music venue. Around 10,000 people are expected to attend the concert on the shores of Töölö Bay behind Finlandia Hall.

Tickets costing 69 euros will go on sale next Monday (21.4) at 9.00 via Lippupalvelu and Tiketti ticket services. To the price of each ticket one euro is added for Unicef.

Björk was scheduled to perform during the festival already in 2000, but had to cancel her performance. Earlier she performed in Finland at Provinssirock (with the Sugarcubes) in 1989, at Pori Jazz in 1996 and at Ruisrock in 1998.

Helsinki Festival 2008

The Helsinki Festival is this year organized for the fortieth time. This year the festival takes place early, from the 15th until the 31st of August. The first performances taking place under the festival banner, however, start already next Monday (21.4) with famous Romanian concert pianist Radu Lupu and on the 5th of May with the Berlin Philharmonic with conductor Sir Simon Rattle, both at Finlandia Hall.


Other highlights at this year’s edition of the Helsinki Festival include Seun Kuti, the son of Nigerian afrobeat legend Fela Kuti (1938-1997), with his father’s 15-member strong band Egypt 80 (16.8), award-winning Malian singer-songwriter and guitarist Rokia Traoré (17.8), Swedish singers Eva Dahlgren and Peter Jöback (15.8), Grammy-award winning American neo-klezmer band The Klezmatics (27.8), the Finnish premiere of Tero Saarinen’s choreography Next of Kin (27.8), and the premiere of Peter von Bagh’s new film Helsinki, ikuisesti (15.8).

For more information, check the Helsinki Festival website

Misc News

Finnish TV format wins international Emmy

The prestigious international Emmys were presented at a gala during the
international MIPTV fair, held this week in Cannes, France.

Staraoke is a cross-media format based on a karaoke-style game
that includes a console version (PlayStation 2), a TV show and an on
line game. In Finland, the TV show can be watched on MTV3. It also runs
on Swedish TV 4 and on Minimax in Hungary.

Misc News

2 Finnish winners, 4 ‘striking’ candidates announced

MUSIC  Two Finnish a cappella
groups have been announced as the winners of prestigious awards awarded
by the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA). Club For Five will receive the CASA Award for ‘Holiday Album’  of the Year for their Christmas album Rekiretki. Rajaton was even announced the winner in two categories: Folk/World Album (for Maa) and Folk/World Song (Nouse lauluni).
The CASA prizes have been awarded since 1992. Club For Five and
Rajaton’s albums are this year’s only non-English language prize

Meanwhile in Finland, the Iskelmä-Finlandia organization has raised a few eyebrows. It has announced rock artists Muska Babitz, Olli Lindholm, Timo Rautiainen and Hanna Pakarinen
as this year’s candidates. Iskelmä can be translated as schlager and
(pop) hit. The organization has announced, however, that it wants the
prize to be a commendation of a wide range of ‘light music’ styles and
that the name can be discussed. The winner of this year’s
Iskelmä-Finlandia is chosen by promotor Juhani Merimaa. The 10,000 euro prize will be awarded on the 24th of July.

Misc News

Stratovarius: the end

Timo Tolkki forms new band

One of Finland’s best known metal groups, Stratovarius,
is no longer. After a long time of speculation, leading band member
Timo Tolkki announced on Wednesday that he has pulled the plug on the
legendary Finnish power metal band.

He officially announced the split on his own website after
a long period of silence, citing among other things many and persistent
differences of opinion within the band.

Tolkki is forming a new band called Revolution Renaissance “to continue the legacy of Stratovarius“. The band does not have a permanent line up yet, but will release its first album ‘New Era’ on the 6th of June. The album contains songs written by Tolkki initially meant for Stratovarius.

Stratovarius was formed in 1982 by Tuomo Lassila, Staffan Stråhlman and John Vihervä under the name Black Water. Tolkki joined the band in 1984, the year after the name change, replacing Stråhlman on guitar and also taking up vocals.

After many successful yet turbulent years , with many internal
conflicts and different line-ups, the band broke up in 2003. Tolkki
soon afterwards was hospitalized after suffering a severe nervous

The band members eventually temporarily patched up their differences in 2005 and released one more studio album, simply called Stratovarius. The atmosphere inside the band just would not return to normal any more, however.


In a long on line statement Tolkki explains some of the tensions that let to the split and that he informed the other band members already in October last year that he was
"stopping the band". According to the guitarist, he had to wait with the
official announcement because of "legal reasons".

Stratovarius managed to put out 14 albums, with combined sales
totalling nearly three million copies. During six world tours the band
played over a thousand concerts around the world.

Official announcement by Timo Tolkki

Video: Stratovarius live at Wacken 2007, Germany
(The band playing the so far never released song Last Night On Earth. It was during this concert that Tolkki, left, dressed in black, "fully realized that this band [was] over".)

Tolkki's call for band members for Revolution Renaissance

Stratovarius: Official | MySpace

Timo Tolkki
Timo Kotipelto
Lauri Porra

Misc News

Sex Pistols and Elton John to play Helsinki

CONCERT NEWS Legendary British punk band The Sex Pistols will come to Helsinki at the end of the summer. The band will perform at the capital’s Jäähalli (Ice Stadium) on the 23rd of August in the original line-up with vocalist Johnny Rotten, guitarist Steve Jones, Glen Matlock on bass guitar and Paul Cook on drums.

Also Elton John, legendary in his own way, will head to the
Finnish capital later this year as part of his Red Piano Tour. The man
responsible for among others such varied hits as I’m Still Standing, Rocket Man, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me and Candle In The Wind will play at the Hartwall Areena on the 1st of December. Tickets will go on sale via Lippupalvelu on Monday, the 7th of April.

Elton John last performed in Finland in November 2005. The Sex Pistols
played at a midsummer festival in the Finnish city of Lahti in 1996.