Provinssirock Festival & the Finnish Music Scene

Episode 24

Juha talks about the history of the Provinssirock Festival, and the popularity of domestic music making it possible for Finnish-only events to sell-out.

Guest: Juha Koivisto – Festival promoter, Agent

Download an MP3 file of Epsiode 24 – Provinssirock Festival & the Finnish Music Scene

Show Notes

Guest: Juha Koivisto – Festival promoter, Agent

Listen to the part 2 of this interview here

This week I talk to Juha Koivisto about his past as an integral part of Provinssirock. He explains how this event began as a co-operative organisation, with an idealistic, World Music feel. You’ll hear his reminiscences of booking Danzig back in the early-90’s, as this self-confessed punk-rock-kid started running the show, and then took it in a heavier direction, musically.

Juha also tells me about the recent circumstances that led to him selling the major stake in Provinssi. The competition from a growing list of festivals, along with higher band fees, mean the promoters need ever-deeper pockets. This means it is important, nowadays, for festivals to be part of a larger, commercial company in order to survive and thrive.

We also discuss the recent move into a more varied direction, with 2015 seeing headline acts from Muse, Faith No More, Calvin Harris and, Finnish favourites, Haloo Helsinki. This more eclectic line-up has seen the Provinssirock name abbreviated to, simply, Provinssi!

This part of the conversation ends with a discussion about Finland’s domestic music scene, and how it’s possible for many festivals to achieve high attendances with Finnish-only bills. We muse on the importance of TV in raising the profile of Finnish acts, and how rapper Cheek outsold One Direction in summer 2014. Fact!

Here’s a neat video from KomiaInfo that gives a great flavour of three of Seinäjoki’s biggest festivals:

Finnish Words in the Episode

  • Vauhtiajot – Race & Rock festival held in Seinäjoki each July
  • Vain Elämä – ‘Only Life’ TV Show where a group of musicians spend time in a summer cabin and perform each others songs


Next episode – Festvials part 2: Midsummer Metal & Tango Camper Vans


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