A Racing Cert

Finland’s Ilosaarirock Festival, on the song grounds next to the horseracing track at Joensuu, once again showed it’s a safe bet to sell out its 22,000 capacity in advance.

“Yes, we had another great year,” said festival chairman Markku Pyykkönen as Ilosaarirock sold out for at least the 10th time in succession.

Every year the organisers discuss making Ilosaarirock bigger – there’s room for another 10,000 on site – and every year the broad consensus is that making it bigger won’t make it better. More importantly, it could ruin the atmosphere the event has created.

The only downside was the non-appearance of Maximo Park, which had been delayed by the disruption at Spain’s Benicassim Festival. But the situation was more than rescued when Finnish cello-rockers Apocalyptica stepped in to the fill gap.

For the second year, the event was preceded by the Ilosaarirock Summit, a one-day conference to discuss the regional and international music business.

This year’s speakers included Finland’s Music Managers Forum chairman Kari Pössi, IQ and VIP journalist and regular panelist Allan McGowan, Scott Lavender from Live Nation Finland, Provinssirock chief Juha Koivisto, Fullsteam boss Juha Kyyrö, and Jouni Markkanen of King Foo Entertainment.

The acts playing on the big stage July 17-19 included Beenie Man, Röyksopp, Killing Joke, Maria Mena, Femi Kuti & The Positive Force and Bad Brains.