After two summer Covid restrictions, Finnish festivals have garnered a record number of participants this summer.
The Ministry of Culture and Science announced earlier this month its initiative to promote the event industry by removing virtually all restrictions on Covid.
At early summer festivals, the crowds have increased sharply. The Sideway Festival in Helsinki was attended by 26,000 people over three days, while the Turku Summer Peace had more than 19,000 visitors during the weekend at the beginning of June.
Midsummer festivals have also attracted a large number of concert goers. The Himos Midsummer Festival has brought about 30,000 visitors to the venue. A year ago, only 15,000 people attended the event.
The Pohjois-Savo Tahko Midsummer Festival has also gathered its largest audience with 15,000 spectators. Before this year, the most visitors to the Tahko festival in 2019 were 14,000.
Allu JokinenThe director of the Tahko festival described the atmosphere of the event.
"People are in a good mood. They have been looking forward to the feast to celebrate Midsummer together," Jokinen told Yle.
The events are suffering from rising prices and labor shortages
Ticket sales were already brisk in the spring, with more tickets purchased than in the previous record year of 2019.
Maria SahlstedtThe director of communications and advocacy at Tapahtumateollisuus ry, an organization representing the Finnish event industry, said that people are excited about going out to events after the Covid restrictions of the last two years. Sahlstedt told Yle that he believed the sold-out festivals would continue later in the summer.
"Both at festivals and at all kinds of events, from sports to spiritual events, you hear that people are on the move. People still have a passionate need to meet and that joy clearly exists," Sahlstedt said.
New problems arise
Added to this is the fact that festival guests will buy tickets later – a trend that started before Covid. Due to poor ticket sales, at least one event, Saimaa Festival, had to be canceled.
"Just a few days before tickets can go in large numbers, which is different from a few years ago. Perhaps we are also in this dichotomous situation, as some companies have been able to anticipate this and prepare for it. Events must have a risk tolerance so that they can wait up to the last meter before they occur," Sahlstedt told Yle.
As ticket prices rise and attending festivals becomes a last-minute decision for festival-goers, it is a big question whether this will affect people’s enthusiasm for festivals.
"So far, there are no signs that consumers are pinching pennies. People still have money to spend and a pent-up desire to go to events. Perhaps in the midst of such uncertainty, the escapism offered by events is also needed," Stalhstedt explained.
Source: The Nordic Page