Featured Image : Flow Festival / photographer : Kimmo Metsaranta
While desperately trying to avoid redundancy, this year’s FLOW festival was pretty close to perfection.
The weather was cooler than normal for a typically hot mid-August, even by Helsinki’s notorious standards. Yet, with cooler temperatures came cooler vibes – along with pockets of trickling rain. But that’s Helsinki, if it’s not raining and above 15 degrees, you’re doing pretty good.
I was clear-eyed and focused on the task at hand – trying to absorb as much of a multi-day festival as I could. Visually, this festival is flawless and well-executed. Everywhere you turn there are interesting things happening. If you are not astounded by the musical performances alone, then you can stimulate your mind in countless other ways : exploring the light installations, grabbing a delicious snack from top Helsinki chefs or wandering into a space that is unexpectedly amazing…that is the true beauty of moving with the current.
Tackling a city festival of this magnitude is no easy feat. I imagine it takes countless hours of calculated measurements, and ideal management. For a festival that started small and grew steadily with each passing year, the management behind FLOW have found ultimate fluidity amongst detailed logistics. The transformation of the grounds alone is mind-boggling enough. It turns from rustic, run-down factory (Suvilahti) to tantalizing subsections of fun.
Once the sun set below the lofty smokestacks of Suvilahti, a nice level of intimacy set in.
A short chat with a member of the FLOW staff revealed that, “The working environment is the best – there’s great people, good energy and music. It’s fantastic.”
It should be noted that FLOW is a uniquely individual experience despite the camouflage of crowds traveling about in packs. Remember when we mentioned the vibrations of FLOW not staying confined to the premises (in the last article)? Well again, the surrounding Helsinki areas were full of festivities. There was boisterous laughter filling the parks, lively people on every corner and random street food to indulge in. It reminded me of precisely why I love this city…Helsinki will come alive during crucial times of the year, especially when positivity must trump the end-of-summer blues.
This is happily a crowd I would stand in. A crowd of the somewhat “against the grain” sub-cultured. This term is easily identifiable for the often misunderstood whom run outside the box of societal normalcy. These people comprise a pillar of society that’s always existed – where many talented people shine bright. The recurring attendees that grace the festival grounds each year – from artists to bankers and everything in between – will find something to satisfy their soul even if the music itself is not enough. There are positive overtones, the experience is memorable, and it definitely gets better every year…
Henry Rollins stated in a recent interview that, “if you want to see humanity at it’s best then one should attend a music festival,” and in my heart, he couldn’t be more right.