Although it seems to lack the European profile of other major Finnish festivals like Ruisrock and Provinssirock, the 21,000-capacity Ilosaarirock Festival at Joensuu beats all competition when it comes to selling out.
Organisers said they’d need to look back before saying if the most recent festival (July 13-15), staged on a site that includes the North Karelia regional song festival grounds and the neighbouring horse-racing track, was the 10th, 11th or 12th to go at least a month in advance.
They’ve resisted all temptation to make the event bigger on the grounds that they like it just the way it is.
The mainly student town is sufficiently far north to suffer less of the effects of the number of top international attractions playing stadium and arena shows in Helsinki this summer.
It also tends to place top Finnish-based talent among the headliners, with two of this year’s top slots going to HIM and Disco Ensemble.
The other acts helping to make Ilosaarirock yet another predictable sellout included Anthony B, Calexico, The Cinematic Orchestra, Hatebreed, Opeth and Porcupine Tree.