Typography

While waiting in line to pick up my ticket for the first instalment of the Rock the Beach music festival at Hietaniemi beach in Helsinki, a light drizzle that did away with the sun for a little while threatened to dampen the day. But, as I walked into the festival premises, the sprinkling shower stopped, and the masses of people who had gathered to the festival went right back to what they were doing.

Sitting around, dancing, listening to music, drinking the overpriced beer, and eating the greasy food were all on the menu for thousands of happy and sunny people. Then it hit me: the Finnish summer is truly a time of magic. Not only are days so long that darkness hardly ever creeps into the cities, but people seem to be happier and more outgoing than the stereotypes of what it means to be Finnish would have us believe.

Even though a good mood is to be expected when you find yourself at the beach on a hot day, sharing a few drinks and enjoying good music with your friends, I couldn’t help but think that there is something in the summer air that makes those typically reserved Finns become outgoing.

Even the bands felt it: Josh Homme the frontman of Queens of the Stone Age told the audience that he wanted everyone to make something good together. While performing a song, he commanded the security personnel to not pull down a girl who had climbed on her boyfriend’s shoulders. “Let her stay there. She’s just fine there!” said Homme, adding that he wanted everyone to relax and enjoy themselves.

Another funny moment happened during the Green Day concert, when singer Billie Joe Armstrong invited a fan onstage to play a song on his guitar, and after the song finished, hugged his adoring fan and told him to keep the guitar. How nice of him!

Even Rammstein, the headliner of the festival and a band of very few words, seemed to enjoy the beach atmosphere. Their performances included some racy props and behaviour but, as always, they were welcomed with adoration and big applauses.

If a positive atmosphere, excellent music, great organisation, and overall good time is what Finnish music festival season has to offer, I am certainly looking forward to visiting Turku and it’s native festival, Ruisrock next week!

TIJANA STOLIC