Ankkarock Crowd Drops

This year’s Ankkarock Festival crowd in Finland dropped to half the size it was two years ago, drawing 17,000 fans Aug. 14-15.

Production manager Mikko Niemala says that in the last two years the event has been hit by the number of large shows happening in Finland during the summer, as the attendance dropped from 32,500 in 2008 to 21,000 in 2009, and this year to 17,000.

Two years ago, Finnish promoter Juha Koivisto, who promotes the annual Provinssirock Festival, warned that Finland’s festivals could be put in financial jeopardy by the number of major acts visiting the country and the number of “young amateurs wanting to make a quick buck” by starting new festivals.

In 2009 Festival chief Juhani Merimaa cut the entertainment budget for Ankkarock and made other savings to ensure it didn’t need an average of 12,000 per day to break even, but this year’s average of 8,500 per day might not have put it in the black.

Niemala says that apart from having Pink, Muse, U2, Green Day, and the two-day Sonisphere Festival happening at around the same time, the Finnish tabloids’ sensationalist reporting of the storm that shook Sonisphere have hardly encouraged fans to go to outdoor events.

The acts at this year’s Ankkarock included The Ark, Amy Macdonald, Apocalyptica, Editors, Disco Ensemble, Enter Shikari and The Sounds.