Misc News

New major venue in Helsinki

The venue will offer live entertainment Wednesdays through Saturdays. The first major live act was already announced last week; popular Swedish group The Ark will take the Apollo stage on the 3rd of November.

In addition to special concerts, the Apollo All Stars Band will offer live music in different line-ups with special guest vocalists. The club also intends to bring ‘restaurant theatre’ and comedy acts.

The venue is owned by Sedu Koskinen’s SK-Ravintolat, the company behind bars and nightclubs such as Baarikärpänen, Lux Nightclub and The Club in Helsinki and the Onnela and Giggling Marlin bar/restaurants throughout Finland.

Apollo Live Club is the latest in a series of new major venues opened in Helsinki in a little over one year‘s time. Other newcomers include Club Liberté in Kallio (opened in June 2006) and Redrum in the centre of Helsinki (24th of May, 2007).


Apollo Live Club (in Finnish only)

The Ark

Club Liberté

Misc News

Finnish bands rock against torture

In Pori, Tampere, Turku and Jyväskylä the two bands will be joined by indie group Sister Flo and in Oulu and Rovaniemi by Moses Hazy from Tornio. In Helsinki, the third group on the bill will be Sweatmaster.

Through the No Torture Here! campaign the human rights organisation hopes to get wide public support for its demand that the United States, the European Union and Finland take an active stance against the use of torture. According to Amnesty, terrorism can only be overcome if human rights are respected, and human rights’ violations in the so-called “war on terror” only make the world more insecure.

Concert visitors can sign an appeal against torture. Amnesty International will present the results of the campaign to Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen and the US Embassy to Finland.



The Valkyrians

I Walk the Line
Sister Flo (SF) or Moses Hazy (MH) or Sweatmaster (SM)

Tour dates:

Thu 6 Sept (8 pm): Bar Kino, Pori (SF)
Fri 7 Sept (8 pm): YO-talo, Tampere (SF)
Sat 8 Sept (8 pm): Klubi, Turku (SF)
Thu 13 Sept (8 pm): Club 45, Oulu (MH)
Fri 14 Sept (8 pm): Café Tivoli, Rovaniemi (MH)
Sat 15 Sept (8 pm): Lutakko, Jyväskylä (SF)
Sat 29 Sept (9 pm): Tavastia, Helsinki (SM)

More info on the campaign:

Amnesty International No Torture Here!



Tender melodies – FREE! Magazine interview with Sister Flo 



Misc News

Top metal musicians form new band

At the end of October Northern Kings will release their first album, containing well-known 80s classics that have been given a heavy metal treatment. The first single from the album will be a metal version of Tina Turner’s We Don’t Need Another Hero, out on the 26th of September.

Other tracks on the album include the line-up’s own interpretations of David Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes, Cutting Crew’s I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight, Phil CollinsIn The Air Tonight, Peter Gabriel’s Sledge Hammer and the Dire Straits classic Brothers In Arms.

The songs on the album are sung and played in different metal styles, but symphonic metal will be the uniting factor.

The members of Northern Kings have worked together before. They were also part of the big line-up of Raskas Joulu (“Heavy Christmas“), a metal band that has released two albums containing Finnish language metal versions of well-known Christmas carols and has toured several times since late 2004.


Marco HietalaTarot, Nightwish

Jarkko AholaTeräsbetoni

Tony KakkoSonata Arctica

J-P LeppäluotoCharon

Raskas Joulu



A piece of Arctic Metal music – FREE Magazine's interview with Tony Kakko and Henrik Klingenberg (Sonata Arctica)

Platinum debut for "HevAri" 

Misc News

Finnish film producers in protest: no new films

Finnish public funding for domestic film productions is less than half of the state subsidies in other Nordic countries. In the programme of the new government, film is mentioned as an area of focus. In June Minister of Culture Stefan Wallin hinted at an increase of 1.2 million euros for film productions.

According to the film producers, Wallin is now breaking a promise. In the current budget draft for next year, the amount of state funding allocated to film production is the same as this year: 13.5 million euros. The money comes from the profits of state-owned gambling company Veikkaus.

The statement issued on Monday was signed by 28 Finnish film producers, including Jörn Donner, (former FREE! Magazine columnist) Aleksi Bardy, Timo Koivusalo, Claes Olsson, Marko Röhr, Aki Kaurismäki and Markus Selin. They have agreed not to take up any new film projects until an extra 1.2 million euros for film production is included in next year’s state budget. They have, however, promised to finish ongoing projects that have already received state funding.

Minister Wallin has admitted that he brought up the increase in public funding in talks with the directors of the Finnish Film Foundation in June, but added that he was unaware of the limits on the state budget back then. He has promised to re-consider the matter when the budget draft is finalized, however.


FREE! Magazine columns by film maker Aleksi Bardy:

Finnish cinema reaches abroad

Art makes the world go around

Dark people make dark films

Monkey business

Misc News

Finland wins Eurovision Dance Contest

Dance couples from 16 European countries took part in the finals of the dance competition held on Saturday night in London.

Koukkula and Väänänen, who danced a rumba routine to Carmen McRae's All In Love Is Fair and a freestyle paso doble to The Unforgiven by Apocalyptica, managed to score 132 points.

Ukraine’s Ilyia Sydorenko and Julia Okropiridze finished second, 11 points behind the Finnish couple. Mick Donegan and Nicola Byrne from Ireland ended in third place with 95 points.

The voting process was identical to the one used during the European Song Contest.

Other than with the singing competition, the next edition of the Eurovision Dance Competition will not be held in the winning country, Finland. British public broadcaster BBC has vowed to organize the first two editions in London.

Watch Katja and Jussi's winning dance performances:
(courtesy of RTR Planeta TV, Russia)

1. Rumba / All In Love Is Fair – Carmen McRae

2. Freestyle Paso doble / The Unforgiven – Apocalyptica

More info:

Eurovision Dance Contest 2007 – official site

The winning couple (YLE)


Misc News

Hanoi Rocks meets the fans!

During the happening in Helsinki the band will play some of their songs in acoustic version. Later on, Hanoi Rocks will play three album release gigs at Tavastia club in Helsinki on September 14th and 15th. The first show on Saturday 15th has no age limit and starts early at 7 pm



Another shot on the rocks – FREE! Magazine's interview with Hanoi Rocks

Misc News

Exit: Thunderstone lead singer and keyboard player

‘Everything was done in good spirits and we thank the guys for an
unbelievably great and fun seven years and wish them all the best in
their private endeavors‘, according to a statement by the band. 

split came at a very inconvenient time, however.
Thunderstone was just preparing for their European tour with Swedish power metal band Nocturnal Rites. As they didn’t want to let down the fans, the tour will go ahead as planned.

The band found top class musicians willing to fill in for Rantanen and Tornack at short notice: Stratovarius’ Swedish keyboard player Jens Johansson and on vocals Tommi ‘Tuple’ Salmela, who, together with Marco Hietala is responsible for the vocals in Finnish metal band Tarot.

The Nordic Metal Mayhem Tour 2007 will start on the 27th of October in Lenzburg, Switzerland and end at Hamburg’s Markthalle in Germany on the 11th of November.



Jens JohanssonStratovarius
Tommi 'Tuple' SalmelaTarot

Nocturnal Rites

Misc News

History made during Sturm und Drang performance

The Judas Priest guitarist happened to be in Finland and went to Salo to meet the young band from Vaasa. He then decided to join André, Calle, Jeppe, Alexander and Henkka on stage to play the legendary British metal band’s classic hit Breaking the Law.

During the joint performance history was made: it was the first time ever that K.K. Downing played in public with any other band than Judas Priest.

Sturm und Drang's own remarkable story

Sturm und Drang’s own history is nothing but remarkable. The band was formed in the autumn of 2004 when the members were just 12 and 13 years old. They got a record deal with HMC – Helsinki Music Company in late 2005 and played with The Hellacopters from Sweden and opened for Glenn Hughes (Black Sabbath, Deep Purple) even before they released their debut single Rising Son last February (2007).

After extensive touring through Finland and Sweden, playing major rock festivals, they signed a European record deal with GUN-Records in Germany, the same record label that catapulted HIM to international fame. Only then their first album “Learning to Rock” was released in Finland (30.5.2007).

In August (2007), Sturm und Drang recorded a new version of Forever with Udo Dirkschneider (U.D.O., Accept) after he had heard the young band play at Sweden Rock festival and had proposed to work together with them. In addition they recorded a cover version of Judas Priest’s Breaking the Law. Both tracks were only released in Germany.

It is widely known that the Sturm und Drang members are big fans of Judas Priest.

U P D A T E Sturm und Drang's German website is reporting that the band will be supporting Apocalyptica on their European tour this October and November.

Sturm und Drang with K.K. Downing at VRock, Salo [WMV]

Sturm und Drang: official siteMySpace
K.K. Downing: official site
Judas Priest: official siteMySpace
U.D.O.: official siteMySpace

VRock (in Finnish) 


Metal God's predictions – FREE! Magazine's interview with K.K. Downing

Releasing a violent storm of music – Interview with Mick Cervino about his Violent Storm project with K.K. Downing

Headliner Amy Winehouse cancels Provinssirock 

Misc News

Love & Anarchy programme out

Other highlights this year include Musta Jää by Finnish director Petri Kotwica, 2 Days in Paris a romantic comedy directed by and starring Julie Delpy, and Canadian director David Cronenberg’s latest film Eastern Promises.

The closing film this year will be the eagerly awaited Du levande (You, the Living) by Swedish director Roy Andersson (A Swedish Love Story, Songs from the Second Floor).

This year three new themed series will be introduced at the festival: Itä Lähellä (The East Nearby; films from the Middle East), México Lindo (Mexican directors) and Perverssi mediaopas (Perverted Media guide; media critical documentaries with subjects stretching from hip-hop culture to modern art).

The advance ticket sales will start on the 7th (festival passes) and 11th of September (individual tickets).



20 – 30 September, 2007

Festival cinemas in Helsinki:
Bio Rex, Mannerheimintie 22-24
Kino Engel and open air cinema Kesäkino Engel, Sofiankatu 4
Andorra and Koff-screen Dubrovnik, Eerikinkatu 11
Maxim, Kluuvikatu 1
Kinopalatsi, Kaisaniemenkatu 2

More info:

Cover story Misc

Sport 2.0

{mosimage}Is it a sport? Is it a reality show? It’s
Leet! A couple of years ago, a young Finnish entrepreneur Jaakko Mäki-Petäjä
thought that it would be a good idea to create a new sport. But how to make
people play it? Easy! Recruit teams around the world, take them to a reality TV
show and offer a one million dollars reward. That’s the Leet challenge.

What it looked like a crazy idea late at
night, which would be soon developed into an adventurous business opportunity.
Jaakko and his partners at Spring Sports Ltd, Keni Simola and Iiro Lahdenranta,
met with top executives of the sports and media industry, like Formula 1 chief
Bernie Ecclestone and British television producer Mark Burnett. A few months
later, they were ready to present Leet to the world.

Justin Chacona, Marketing Manager for
Spring Sports, is the first face in front of the Leet cameras. He briefly
explains the concept of the new game: “
The sport itself is played with a plastic stick
with which players can receive, carry and pass a rubber ball. Two teams of up
to ten players, only four of which may be on the playing surface for each team
at any given point, must try to surge past their oppositions’ defense to reach
the goals located high in the air at each end of the fifty-five yard long

concept reminds Rollerball, the old sci-fi film from the seventies, but Leet is
not about smashing heads and slaughtering the opponent. “While essentially a
non-contact sport in nature”, continues Justin, “Leet is specifically designed
to exploit the best of one’s speed, agility, and hand-eye coordination. Hard,
rough, and full of non-stop movement, Leet can be enjoyed and played in your
backyard (where ‘Street Leet’ rules apply) or on top of the world in the
international Leet arena.”

{sidebar id=11}Start training

But before the competition, it was
necessary to create the rules and have someone to instruct the players. The
Leet team needed a trainer so they hired Coach Flanagan who became the fourth
member of the company. He spent one thousand man hours creating the rulebook,
travelling to China to test the prototypes of the sticks.

To spread Leet, the necessary equipment
(the stick and the ball) will be sold through the web in January. Then everyone
can start training and preparing for the TV show. Filming will start in the
autumn of 2008, but you can already pre-register your team at There you can already take a glimpse
of what Leet is about, but expect a full launch of the website in less than one

Misc News

Also DMX replacement gig cancelled

According to DMX’s management the hip-hopper still hasn’t gotten permission to leave the United States. He was stopped at the airport when he was about to travel to Finland for the kick-off of his European tour at the beginning of the month, apparently because he had failed to attend a court session involving driving without a licence.

The concert in Helsinki on the 2nd of August was cancelled only one day prior to the scheduled date, as was a performance at Pipefest in Vuokatti scheduled for the next day. This time, the Finnish concert organizer Speed Promotion & Agency was given four days to spread the news that the replacement gig in Helsinki won’t take place either.

Concert promoter Kalle Keskinen is furious. ‘Now it’s enough! Complete messing around! As far as we are concerned DMX can be in court and stay in Yankeeland for the rest of his life!,’ Keskinen rages in his press release, written in capitals and containing lots of exclamation marks.

‘I am sorry for all the DMX fans! And we, too, have wasted enough time and money on this case. I am sick and tired of it!,’ the angry concert promoter continues.

The management of the rapper has announced a video by DMX with explanations and apologies.

Keskinen: ‘Let’s see whether we will get any video […] here in Finland or if it, too, will stay at customs, in police custody or at passport control.

‘We won’t start this game with the gentleman in question for a third time any more however! Under no circumstances do we want to cause new disappointment to the fans, nor do we want to get disappointed ourselves!’


Ticket holders can get their money back at Lippupalvelu ticket offices.


Speed Promotion & Agency (in Finnish)


DMX gigs in Finland cancelled, European tour delayed

Misc News

Night of the Arts draws record crowd

The show by the acrobats from Melbourne who performed on top of 4-metre high flexible poles was the single most watched performance in the history of the Night of the Arts. According to the police, their first performance drew an audience of 20,000 people. Their second even managed to attract about 30,000 spectators.

Police taken by surprise
Taken by surprise by the huge number of people watching Strange Fruit's  performances, the police had to close off Mannerheimintie in front of the parliament building and trams had to be diverted. Long-distance bus traffic suffered delays.

The Night of the Arts is part of the yearly Helsinki Festival and was this year organized for the nineteenth time. In all, the 2008 edition of the Night boasted more than 200 different cultural happenings throughout the city.
This year, the event was held for the first time on Friday instead of Thursday.

The Helsinki Festival continues until the 2nd of September.

Helsinki Festival

Strange Fruit

Misc News

Registration OurVision 2008 has started

OurVision 2008 takes place during the spring of 2008. New this time is, that also musical talents from Northern America, Europe and Oceania may apply.

This year’s first edition of Caisa’s song contest was won by 25-year-old Samantha Marie José Sayegh, who originates from Lebanon.

On the Night of the Arts from 7 pm ‘till 8.30 pm, Caisa will host the Best of OurVision 2007 Concert, with highlights from the first edition of the popular contest.


International Cultural Centre Caisa
(Fennia block)
Mikonkatu 17 C / Vuorikatu 14

Night of the Arts (24 August 2007)

Cover story Misc

Are you in a game?

stake-outs and penetrating high security areas may seem like a list of
television themes but you may find yourself caught in the middle of one of them
without even knowing. Some may say that the era of pervasive gaming is upon us,
where digital mobile technologies mean that we can interact with unseen
opponents 24/7. However, the fact is that pervasive games, or games which
transgress the “magic circle” of traditional games, have existed as long as street



gaming aims to break the boundaries (the “magic circle”) of what are considered
traditional games. These boundaries include: place, the games can be played
anywhere; time, although the gamer may choose when they want to consciously
interact with the game, the gaming never stops; and people, individuals may not
even know that they are a part of a game.

Researcher Jussi Holopainen, a key
collaborator and planner of IPerG (Integrated Project on Pervasive Gaming)
recalls stories where people have played roles in pervasive games without even
knowing that they are doing so. Holopainen, who has researched the
relationships between technologies, gaming and play since 1998 at Nokia
Research Centre, recalls one scenario where the challenge of a game was to
penetrate a high security area of a hotel. Gamers were trying to persuade staff
to allow them into the area. Unknowingly, the hotel staff had become
characters/obstacles in the game. In another example, gamers were required to
obtain a specific artwork from an art gallery. In this scenario, the unaware
staff had considered the scenario so far-fetched that they began “playing” with
the gamers.

anywhere may be consciously or not involved in a game, whether through pure
spatial circumstance or due to the technology that they utilise. Holopainen
describes how traditional games generally had a start and an end, whereas
pervasive games are continuous. In Citywide games, non-players may also become
spectators, particularly when gamers have drawn attention to themselves through
actions out of the ordinary. Through these scenarios professionals such as
performance artists have capitalised on the combination of a live audience and
real-space, and the capabilities of broadcasting online via wireless
technologies, to bring art out of the gallery. On rare occasions, unaffiliated
bystanders have been hijacked through gamers mistaking them for other gamers.

IPerG began
in 2004 and will continue until 2008. It is a collaboration between the University of Tampere,
Nokia Research, Interactive Institute, Swedish Institute of Computer Science
(SICS), the University of Nottingham, Fraunhofer Institute, Sony NetServices, Gotland University and Blast Theory. IPerG is
devoted to supporting research in pervasive gaming which spans topics such as
analysing how new technologies can be incorporated into pervasive gaming, what
the ethical implications are of pervasive gaming, how gaming may be developed
in terms of entertainment and feasibility, and what the social impacts of the
gaming are.

Holopainen’s own research looks at how PDAs (Personal Digital
Assistants) and regular mobile phones may be utilised for gaming purposes. A
characteristic which makes gaming via these mobile devices more significant
than via regular PCs is that they have been designed specifically for personal
usage. In other words, the mobile phone is an individual’s trusted belonging
containing highly personal information such as SMS:s and phone numbers.
Holopainen cites research of mobile phone games from the older Nokia 3310, 3330
and 5110s Snake Game (incidentally the most played mobile phone game in
history) to games which utilise all the functions of a phone such as the
calendar and alarm.

In regards
to the future of pervasive gaming and pervasive game research Holopainen
speculates that in the future, more so than now, games will be running all the
time. Where now the idea of observing grown men secretly handing large brown
envelopes and intercepting other’s telephone calls may seem peculiar or
criminal, in the future there is the possibility that continuous real-space
gaming may become as normal as SMS, or even the Snake Game itself. Interfaces
are constantly being re-developed which may make even virtual space more
tangible to the user. One field that Holopainen suggests should be expanded in
regards to research is the investigation of ethics. One workshop that covers
such a theme is Ethics of Pervasive
, to be delivered at the PerGames conference June 11-12th
in Salzburg, by
Markus Montola, Jaakko Stenros and Annika Waern.

November, IPerG will be releasing a new game called Mythical: The Mobile Awakening, you will find information
about this at

To find out more about IPerG and their research see:

Misc News

New film distributor offering quality films

Metropol Cinema will start modestly, circulating only one copy of the film. The film (Finnish title: Ei minua kukaan rakasta; English: Not Here To Be Loved) will open on 28 September at a Finnkino cinema in Helsinki. The copy will later circulate through the rest of Finland.

The company will decide later how many different films to distribute on a yearly basis and whether to circulate more copies of each film.

Managing director of Metropol Cinema is Sam Kamras, whose family used to run Bio City, a seven hall cinema showing quality films in the centre of Helsinki. The theatre went bankrupt last year due to disappointing visitor numbers.