Misc News

FME attracted 5,000 metal fans

This year’s big winner was domestic metal band Mokoma, which took home three awards: Best album of the year (Luihin ja ytimiin), Cover art of the year and Vocalist of the year (Marko Annala). Nightwish won the Band of the year award, while the band’s Tuomas Holopainen received the prize for Musician of the year. Idols winner Ari Koivunen
was presented with the award for Rookie of the year. This year for the
first time, the winners were decided by visitors of metal website

The main live performers at FME this year included Soilwork (SWE), Municipal
(USA), and popular Finnish metal bands Stam1na, Turisas,
Mustasch and Korpiklaani. In addition, some 50 exhibitors presented
their products at the event.

Misc News

Prime Minister and ex-girlfriend in court

Ruusunen and her publisher Kari Ojala are being charged with violation of privacy for the kiss-and-tell exposé Pääministerin Morsian (The Prime Minister’s Bride), in which Ruusunen discloses many private details about her relationship with Vanhanen.

The Prime Minister filed charges against the publisher of the book in March 2007, just after the Parliamentary elections.

Vanhanen in court

In the Helsinki District Court on Friday, Vanhanen said that the salacious details in the book were not relevant to the public interest and therefore not appropriate for publication.

Ruusunen feels sorry

Ruusunen was heard after the Prime Minister had left the court
building. She and Vanhanen didn‘t exchange words in the
court room.

‘I never meant to harm anyone,’ Ruusunen said sobbing. ’I would have wanted to apologize in Matti’s presence.’

She claimed publisher Ojala ‘wanted sex and politics in the book’ and that she did not know in advance how much of the detail would actually end up being published.

She said that she had been worried in advance if such a book was legal, but that Ojala had told her several times that they didn’t need to get advice on the matter because he had 30 years of experience in the field.

Ruusunen said that her judgement had failed her and that she now regrets that private text messages she had received from the Prime Minister ended up in the book. She said that she regrets making the book and that she was not satisfied with the end result.

She also agreed with Vanhanen’s remark that the book was not relevant to the public interest.

The publisher’s defence

Kari Ojala, the publisher of the exposé, maintained that both Vanhanen and Ruusunen were fully aware of the graphic details that were going to be published.


The PM didn’t seek any damages from his ex girlfriend personally when he filed the charges. From publisher Ojala, on the other hand, he wants 1,000 euros in damages. The prosecuter, however, is calling for Ruusunen to pay a minimum of 7,000 euros. For the publisher, the Prosecutor is seeking heavy fines of at least 50,000 euros.

The court case is seen as setting a precedent in the debate on public figures’ rights to privacy. A verdict in the case is expected on the 5th of March.

Matti & Susan, Matti & Merja

Matti Vanhanen en Susan Ruusunen (then Kuronen) had a brief relationship in 2006, lasting a little over six months.  In April 2005, Vanhanen and his wife Merja had announced their separation after 20 years of marriage. They officially filed for divorce in February 2006.

Matti Vanhanen is not known to be in a relationship at the moment. His former wife Merja, who works as a fight attendant and as a local representative for Vanhanen’s Centre Party, recently went engaged. They have two teenage children.

PM Vanhanen to face former girlfriend in court

The court case in the news:

Vanhanen-Kuronen court case begins – Helsingin Sanomat International Edition (Finland)
Prime Minister defends right to privacy in court case – YLE News (Finland)

Finnish PM sues over kiss-and-tell – The Independent (UK)

Finnish Prime Minister Sues Over Love-Life Book – Press (USA), also in/on:
The San Diego Union-Tribute (USA)
Fox News (USA)
The Kansas City Star (USA)
The Peninsula (Qatar)

The book in the news:

Finnish PM improves his prospects with deft handling of a hot potato
– The Guardian (UK)

Ikea, Nokia and baked potatoes: how a kiss-and-tell book can win you votes
– The Times (UK)

Ex-Lover's book no hot potato for Finland's Prime Minister – The Australian (Australia)

The book:

Pääministerin Morsian (in Finnish)

The story's main characters:

Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen
Prime Minister's Office

Susan Ruusunen – Wikipedia
Susan Kuronen, stop opening up-petition (in Finnish), signed over 65,000 times (alternative title: Be quiet, Susan Kuronen)

Kari Ojala, publisher, Etukeno (in Finnish)
Etukeno publishing house

Merja Vanhanen – Parliamentary elections website (in Finnish)

Misc News

Lenny Kravitz: two concerts in Finland

Earlier this week (Tuesday), Kravitz was forced to postpone the first
leg of his European tour after he had been taken to a Miami hospital
suffering from severe bronchitis. He had been scheduled to tour Europe to promote his recently released new album ‘It Is Time For a Love Revolution’, his first solo album in nearly four years. The tour was set to begin next Monday (18.2) in London and run until the end of March.

Later this year, Kravitz is expected to release yet another new album, called ‘Funk’, a project he is said to have been working on since 1997.

Lenny Kravitz has performed in Finland once before, in 2005, also at the Hartwall Areena.

Also check: Coming to Finland

Lenny Kravitz: Official website | MySpace

Art Features

When sculpture and architecture dialogue

It is said that the Finnish architect Viljo Revell considered his buildings to be complete only when a Henry Moore sculpture was part of them. And all year round visitors can admire the Reclining figure on a pedestal by H. Moore at Villa Didrichsen, designed by V. Revell. But from the 9th of February visitors of the Villa Didrichsen are also able to admire an interesting selection of works by the renowned 20th century British sculptor, collected in the exhibition The challenge of architecture.

Henry Moore sculpture

As the title clearly states, the focus is entirely on those sculptures that are either placed in architectural settings or somehow connected with architecture. On display are, among the others, masterpieces like the Archer, that Moore sculpted in white marble, and subsequently used as a model for the sculpture with the same name placed in Nathan Phillips square in Toronto, facing Revell’s City Hall; the working model for the Hill Arches, placed in 1973 in front of Fischer von Erlach’s Karlskirche in Wien; the working model for Three piece n. 3: vertebrae, now gracing the plaza of Dallas city hall (project by I.M. Pei).

The relationship between architecture and sculpture is explored in different facets: part of the exhibition is devoted to Moore sculptures and the architectural settings they are placed in. Another section is more intimate, the sculptures being placed in the part of the villa the Didrichsen used to live in. Here the visitor can see how harmonious and surprising is the interplay between, for instance, Square form with cut, whose enlarged version was on display in Florence at the Forte Belvedere in 1971, and the villa itself. Anita Feldman, the curator of the exhibition and of the Henry Moore Foundation, explain that after considering for a while whether to place this particular piece in the Villa’s garden, she opted for putting it inside, under a huge skylight, the opening on the villa’s ceiling echoing the one in the sculpture. Ms Feldman also points out the architectural quality of most of Moore’s works: of course you can walk around them, but most of the time you can actually walk through them, as if they were proper architectural spaces, with their lights and inner and outer spaces.

Henry Moore sculpture

It’s therefore quite interesting to get to know how the collaboration between the architects – Revell, Pei but also Marcel Breur – and Moore developed. Moore didn’t work on commission: it was rather the architect who visited the sculptor studio and was somehow left to choose among already existing sculptures what would suit the architecture he had in mind, somewhat reversing the connection/relation between architecture and sculpture.

The exhibition is a great occasion to get acquainted with the work of one of the greatest 20th century artists. Or, for those who are already familiar with his work, to discover a new dimension to his art: the ability “to dialogue with intimate domestic spaces” that Mary Moore, the sculptor’s daughter, is pleased to highlight.

Henry Moore: the Challenge of architecture
The Didrichsen Art Museum 9.2. – 28.9.2008
TUE-SUN 11-18 WED 11-20 (1.6.-31.7. • 11-18)

Written by Silvia Costantini

Misc News

R.E.M. coming to Finland

R.E.M. was formed in 1980 by Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry and is best known for mega hits like Losing My Religion, Man On The Moon, Daysleeper and Everybody Hurts. Drummer Bill Berry retired from the band in 1997 to become a farmer.

In April, the band releases its fourteenth studio album Accelerate, the first new studio album in four years.

The group has performed in Finland twice before: at the Provinssirock
festival in 1989 and at a sold-out Hartwall Areena in 2005.

Also check: Coming to Finland

Official site | MySpace

Finnair Stadium
(in Finnish)

Misc News

Eurovision 2008: Kari Tapio and Movetron through to national final

Twelve artists are competing for the honour to represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade. Other hopefuls include popular metal group Teräsbetoni and near-drag act Cristal Snow, former Idols candidate Kristian Meurman, singer-songwriter Jippu, and former Ultra Bra singer and actress Vuokko Hovatta.

The final will be held on Friday, the 1st of March from 20:00.

Click on the names below to go to the artists' websites and click 'listen' to listen to their Eurovision 2008 entries

Eurovison 2008 Finnish Qualifying Rounds
(broadcast live on YLE TV2)

Qualifying Round 1: Friday 8 February, 21:00

Hanna Marsh [MySpace]”Broken Flower” – listen (Choose 'Hanna Marsh' in player)
music & lyrics Hanna Marsh | arr. Lennart Östlund

Kari Tapio []– ”Valaise yö”listen (Choose 'Kari Tapio' in player) –> Final
music & arr. Pertti Haverinen | lyrics Ilkka Vainio – Pertti Haverinen 

Movetron [MySpace]– ”Cupido” listen (Choose 'Movetron' in player) –> Final
music Jukka Tanttari | lyrics Timo Löyvä | arr. Jukka Tanttari – Timo Löyvä

Crumbland [MySpace] ”Pleasure” – listen

(Choose 'Crumbland' in player)
music Crumbland | lyrics Jonas Genberg | arr. Crumbland – Mikko Raita

Qualifying Round 2: Friday 15 February, 21:00

Ninja [MySpace] – ”Battlefield Of Love”
music & lyrics Susan Nova | arr. Susan Nova – Jani Saastamoinen

Kristian Meurman [] – ”Jos en sua saa”
music & lyrics Kristian Meurman | arr. Kristian Meurman – Tapio Niemelä – Imre Szabó

Jippu [MySpace] – ”Kanna minut”
music & lyrics Jippu – Markus Koskinen | arr. Markus Koskinen

Mikael Konttinen [MySpace] – ”Milloin”
music & arr. Kerkko Koskinen | lyrics Kyösti Salokorpi

Qualifying Round 3: Friday 22 February, 21:00

Jenna – ”Sinua varten”
music & arr. Risto Asikainen | lyrics Ilkka Vainio – Risto Asikainen

Cristal Snow [MySpace] – ”Can't Save Me”
music, lyrics & arr. Cristal Snow – Heikki Liimatainen – Jimi Constantine

Vuokko Hovatta [MySpace,] – ”Virginia”
music & arr. Kerkko Koskinen | lyrics Anna Viitala

Teräsbetoni [MySpace] – ”Missä miehet ratsastaa”
music & lyrics & arr. J. Ahola

Eurovision 2008 (YLE, in Finnish)

The 2008 dozen revealed
(ESC Finland)

Misc News

Judas Priest in Helsinki this June


  • A little (wild) speculation…
  •  COMMENT  A support act for the concert in Helsinki has not been announced yet, but some of us here at FREE! are placing our bets on Sturm und Drang. The members of the popular Vaasa-based band have often publicly said that they are huge fans of Judas Priest. K.K. Downing even went on stage to play with the young band when he saw them perform at the Vrock festival in Salo in August last year. It was the first time ever the guitarist and founding member of Judas Priest played in public with another band than his own.
  • Sturm und Drang have made a 'storming' career and joined Apocalyptica on their European tour in October and November last year. The young metal sensation will go on their first own European tour in late March. They will be back well in time to be at the Judas Priest gig in Helsinki, whether on stage or amongst the audience…


Metal God's predictions – FREE's interview with K.K. Downing (February 2007)

History made during Sturm und Drang performance – news (28.8.2007)

Also check: Coming to Finland

Judas Priest: official website | MySpace | K.K. Downing
Jäähalli (in Finnish)

Sturm und Drang: official website | MySpace


Misc News

February good ‘free film’ month

Films offered free of charge include box office hits like Man's Job (Miehen työ), Mr. Bean’s Holiday, Shrek the Third, The Passionate Life of Edith Piaf, The Holiday, Kaurismäki films The Man Without a Past and Lights in the Dusk, and V2- Dead Angel.

With some cultural centres offering Finnish documentaries from the recent DocPoint Helsinki Documentary Festival
(many with English subtitles) and extra children’s films during the
school winter holidays, the total number of free film screenings is
close to one hundred.

Misc News

Hanoi Rocks drummer replaced

Popedia (formed in 1977) has announced a new line-up which, in addition to founding member Pate Mustajärvi (vocals) and long-time members Costello Hautamäki (guitar) and Jyrki Melartin (bass), consists of Lahtinen and keyboard player Iso-Pate Kivinen. A new album by the group Tampere-based group is scheduled to be released this autumn.

Lacu Lahtinen has played with Hanoi Rocks since lead singer Michael Monroe and guitarist Andy McCoy
reformed the band in 2002. Before that, he worked with Monroe on his
solo projects.

Hanoi Rocks
will announce the name of a new drummer soon.

Lacu Lahtinen: MySpace

Hanoi Rocks:
official website | MySpace

Popeda: official website (in Finnish) |


Another shot on the rocks – FREE!'s interview with Hanoi Rocks (May 2007)

Review: Street Poetry – Hanoi Rocks

News: Hanoi Rocks meets the fans! (31.8.2007)

Misc News

Legendary nightclub closes its doors

The nightclub closed because it couldn’t compete any more with the ever growing number of other nightclubs in the Finnish capital. Last Saturday (26.1) was the discotheque’s last club night, a special night open to all, to which members and other regular customers had been invited by SMS.

Celebrities and yuppies

Hotel Helsinki’s nightclub opened its doors on Hallituskatu (nowadays Yliopistonkatu) under the name ‘Helsinki Club’ in 1971. Before that, the hotel had run a restaurant under the same name and the hotel’s nightclub was called 'Helsinki-by-Night'.

For a long time, the club attracted especially lots of celebrities. As late as in 1989, even the Rolling StonesMick Jagger went to party at the Helsinki Club after a gig.

In the 1980s the Helsinki Club got a yuppie image, when the well-off could become club members and walk straight past the cues outside for 500 marks (about 83 euros) per year. Later, the membership became free of charge.

The Helsinki Club, for a long time one of only a few nightclubs in the capital, saw many ups, but also had its downs. During the early nineties there were often fights reported at the club. Once a man was even beaten to death in front of the premises. Some racist customers harassed people with a foreign background. Also notorious were the arguments between taxi drivers.

The Helsinki Club changed its image and interior many times, and last reopened in September 2006.

Since then, the nightclub still managed to attract enough costumers during weekends. But
on other days visitor numbers just were not high enough any more to
cover the high rental costs of the A location property in the capital’s

In the future, some of Helsinki Club’s bars will be open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. On other days the former nightclub can be booked for private occasions. In February the place will renovated and prepared for its future purposes.

Helsinki Club (in Finnish)

360° virtual tour

Misc News

All What You Can Get: English-language theatre in Helsinki

The fresh comedy, written by Romanian Ioan Peter and directed by David Kozma, tells the story of three Romanians on their way to the England of their dreams. They wait for instructions at a train station. While many trains are rushing by, they get orders from a certain ‘Mr. Polonius’ through a public phone. The bones of Hamlet and Ceauşescu and the statue of Lenin lead the threesome from one situation to another. Ultimately they find out whether the grass is really greener at the other side of the fence.

All What You Can Get, described as 'a comical mixture of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, a road-movie and a satirical thriller', is performed daily until the end of January (except on Thursday the 24th and Monday the 28th).


European Theatre Collective

23.1, 25-27.1 and 29-31.1

at 19:00

KokoTeatteri [website, in Finnish]
Unioninkatu 45

Tickets: 15 / 10 €
Groups (min. 8): 8 € /person

  • All What You Can Get

  • Director: David Kozma

  • Dramaturgy: Markus Alanen

  • Performers: Romulus Chiciuc, Timo-Pekka Luoma, Salla Kozma, David Kozma

  • Music: Lauri Wuolio

  • Choreography: Mari Koponen
Misc News

Also stopping by in Finland: Rihanna, Juanes, Foo Fighters, Deep Purple and Nazareth

Popular R & B star Rihanna will fill Helsinki’s Hartwall
Areena on the 14th of March. Tickets will cost 49 and 46 euro and will
go on sale on Tuesday at 9.00 via Lippupalvelu. Latino heartthrob Juanes
performs at Helsinki’s Jäähalli (Ice Hall) on the 31st of July. Tickets
costing 53 euro are available via or from Thursday (24.1)
via Lippupalvelu.

Also Deep Purple and Nazareth are heading to
Finland as part of their 40th anniversary tour. The legendary British
rockers play the Jäähalli in the capital on the 12th of August
(tickets: 57 euro) and the Kuopio Hall in Kuopio (50 euro) the next
day. Tickets can be bought via or from Friday (25.1) via

For more info and more foreign acts playing in the country, check Coming to Finland

UPDATE: The organisers of Provinssirock in Seinäjoki, held for the thirtieth time during the second weekend of June, have announced this year's first big international act performing at the festival. The Foo Fighters will take the stage on Sunday, the 15th of June. It will be the first time the American rock group lead by Dave Grohl play in Finland at a publicly accessible event.

Misc News

Good Charlotte coming to Helsinki

Other foreign bands that have announced gigs in Finland include
Low (5.4 Helsinki), Down (21.3 Tampere, 22.3 Helsinki), No Use for a Name (27.4  Helsinki) and Neverstore (11.3 Helsinki, 12.3 Turku, 13.3 Tampere, 14.3 Joensuu and 15.3 Seinäjoki).

For more info, check Coming to Finland

Misc News

No Oscar for Miehen Työ

Miehen Työ (Man’s Job) tells about family father Juha (Tommi Korpela) who, after being fired from his job at a concrete factory, ends up secretly working as a prostitute.

Last year, leading actor Korpela won the Best Actor award at the Marrakech International Film Festival. Director Aleksi Salmenperä was nominated for the Golden Saint George at the International Moscow Film Festival. Miehen Työ was also nominated for the Nordic Council Film Prize and submitted as Finland’s entry for the European Film Awards.

On Tuesday (22.1) the Academy Awards selection committee will announce the final five nominees for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film. The winners will be announced during the live televised awards ceremony on the 24th of February.


UPDATE: The final shortlist of nominees was announced on the 22nd of January. The five films that are nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film are: Beaufort (Israel), The Counterfeiters (Austria), Katyń (Poland), Mongol (Kazakhstan) and 12 (Russia).

Miehen Työ
– official site (in Finnish)
Miehen Työ / Man's Job – Blind Spot Pictures
Trailer (with English subtitles)

The Oscars

4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days – official site

Persepolis – official US site

Misc News

Rufus Wainwright in Helsinki in April

Rufus Wainwright:
official site | MySpace