A Plague Of Amateurs

Finnish promoter Juha Koivisto believes the Scandinavian outdoor market is suffering because there are too many new festivals being started by young amateurs wanting to make a quick buck.

He said there’s already more than enough competition this summer as the Nordic region has an unprecedented number of stadium and arena shows.

"There are a lot of new festivals, which are not necessary professionally organised. There aren’t any new major players on the festival field but new young promoters who are trying their luck," he explained after his own Provinssirock Festival had failed to do quite the numbers he’d hoped.

His comments echo the words of fellow Scandinavian promoter Rune Lem of Gunnar Eide in Norway, who summed up the market by saying, "Every small town with a kiosk and a telephone booth wants to put on Elton John and Robbie Williams."

Koivisto cited two examples of new Finnish outdoors trying to start up. One was canceled because it didn’t obtain a license and another because of poor ticket sales.

However, Koivisto said these events are a distraction and hurt the longstanding festival’s ticket sales.

This year’s Provinssirock (June 15-17), the 29th installment, attracted crowds of nearly 20,000 on the first and third day.

On the Saturday sandwiched in between, when the event usually sells all 25,000 tickets, the numbers were down to less than 21,000.

Among the acts playing the southeastern city of Seinäjoki were Scissor Sisters, Patti Smith, Velvet Revolver, The View, Disco Ensemble, The Go! Team, The Blood Brothers and Oh No Ono.